Annual “Law Day” Helps Students Prep for Legal Careers

Annual “Law Day” Helps Students Prep for Legal Careers

Annual “Law Day” Helps Students Prep for Legal Careers

The John Jay Pre-Law Institute has long been preparing John Jay students from all fields of study for careers in law. At the institute’s annual “Law Day,” John Jay students and alumni have the unique opportunity to learn directly from law school admissions officers, current law students, and legal professionals about the study and practice of law.

Each year, students look forward to attending the various events scheduled for “Law Day” and this year was no exception, drawing large crowds to its the morning and afternoon sessions. Through a variety of discussions and small workshops, students learned how to build a successful law school application; attended a mock law school class; listened to current law students talk about their transition to law school; and heard about the realities of a legal career from practicing attorneys. This year, the 13th Samuel and Anna Jacobs Lecture on The Law and the Legal Profession, a keynote speech from an accomplished and inspiring legal professional, was delivered by Shirlethia Franklin. 

Watch Shirlethia Franklin speak at Law Day on John Jay’s Youtube

Franklin is a Howard University School of Law graduate and has served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Alexander Williams, Jr., federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. In 2013, under President Obama’s administration, she was appointed to the Class of White House Fellows, one of the most prestigious fellowships for leadership and public service.

After a warm introduction by President Karol Mason, who once worked closely with Franklin, Franklin spoke about her journey from growing up in Shaw, Missouri, to becoming a public servant. She encouraged students to never stop believing in their own potential, and cited her own struggle with overcoming self-doubt. “I once had a fear of my own talents. I didn't think I was good enough,” Franklin said. “But I was destined to become a lawyer because I needed to help people like me.” 

Annual Law Day John Jay College

Becoming a lawyer can often seem like a challenging task, but Professor Charles Robert Davidson, Director of the Pre-Law Institute and Center for Post-Graduate Opportunities, emphasized his commitment to preparing John Jay students for successful legal careers. “We believe that the potential for excellence is in each and every one of you,” he said to students in attendance. “We care about you.”

President Mason showed great admiration for Davidson and the accomplishments of his team. The Pre-Law Institute has a track record for success: its students have been admitted to over 85 national and local law schools, and have secured over $20 million in merit-based scholarships. Mason promised to make sure that the Pre-Law Institute continues to grow. “I wish I had these kinds of supports when I was  going to law school,” she said. “We’re going to create more partnerships and raise the money needed to make these supports even better.”

Katherynne Santos was one of the students who attended Law Day, where she had the opportunity to network with law school admissions officers and learn more about which schools she might want to apply to upon graduation. Santos, who has a two-year-old daughter, said that she initially came to John Jay thinking she would go into law enforcement, but she’s recently changed her mind. “It’s through law that I think I can have the biggest impact,” she said.