Professors and students joined together in LA-100 Friday to hear a plea from Hastings School of Law graduate and Contra Costa College alumnus, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Mark E. Jackson.
Jackson, who was invited by the college to speak to students and encourage them to consider a career as an attorney, brought information to assist students determine their interest in going to law school, the steps to get there and career opportunities that are offered with a law degree.
Jackson also made an appeal to students to diversify the arena of law.
During the lecture, Jackson gave good and bad reasons for wanting to become an attorney, and presented students with an overview of what needs to be done to obtain this goal.
Jackson said there is a lot to be done to get into law school, but that should not discourage anyone. He said that like with anything else you would like to be good at, it takes hard work and focus.
"Most people would like to become attorneys because there is a lot of money involved, and we are all taught the money is the most important aspect in career choices." Jackson said. "That is a very bad reason for wanting to become an attorney, because there is a lot of rewarding work that can come from it."
Jackson said the road to becoming an attorney is very challenging and involving, but sticking with it will be beneficial at the end.
"Many people think of a degree in criminal justice as a requirement for becoming an attorney, but that is a misconception," Jackson said.
As he explained, any major can prepare you for law school; it is all about the dedication and the will to succeed which will get you a law degree.
Growing up, Jackson's high school grades were not all that good, "But when I stepped on the CCC campus I knew it was time to get serious, and this is where the focus started," he said. "Instead of focusing on a particular major, focus on the core skills that will get you to and through law school. Some of the core skills include reading, writing and math."
After focusing on the core skills and what you will need to get into law school, explore the different schools and find the one that will work for you.
"There are different programs which will help you get through. You have to utilize and take advantage of what they are offering."
"It is very critical to expose students to lifelong professions, and it is very important to encourage students to think about becoming an attorney because more are needed from urban areas," CCC President McKinley Williams said.
Student Aisha Woods said the lecture was very informative and Jackson delivered the information in a persuading way.
"I had to come as a class assignment, but Mr. Jackson really made me want to look more into law," she said.
"There are so many different arenas of law that you can apply what you learn to any one of them and be passionate about it," Jackson said.
Contact Lamar James at firstname.lastname@example.org.