Profiles: Jessica Brown
Associate at Holland & Knight LLP
Tell me something special or interesting about your background before you went to law school?
Although Jessica grew up with both her parents practicing law, she wanted to pursue a different career path as a human rights advocate. Before entering GGU, she worked for several high-profile non-governmental organizations in San Francisco, New York, Brussels and Geneva on important causes on such as international religious freedom, the impact of climate change on poor countries, and the human right to food. She also earned a Masters Degree from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley in Ethics International Human Rights Law, taking some of her classes at Berkeley Law.
Why did you decide to go to law school?
Jessica's decision was based on several important factors: 1) coming to love the intellectual rigor and writing that the profession requires, 2) wanting to see more concrete results from her work versus doing general policy advocacy, and 3) needing a more financially stable professional degree and field. Tell me something special or interesting about your law school experience? Jessica has loved GGU -- particularly the personal support from faculty and the public interest law and HLP staff in encouraging her to apply to internships, such as clerking for Justice Chin at the Supreme Court of California and Judge Güney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Where does she find motivation and support as she works towards her JD?
Jessica is very excited about her legal work and relies on the strong support of her close knit family -- both biological (her mom, dad, brothers and sister) and extended.
What is your favorite thing you do when not at law school?
She enjoys hanging out with her family and staying in close touch.
What message/advice do you have for your fellow law students?
Her immediate response was "Make your own outline!" Jessica firmly believes the key to success is hard work and taking charge of your educational experience. Also, she encourages students to make time for family, especially in the first year, to maintain a balanced perspective and to get support.
If not in law school right now, what would you be doing?
Jessica would be back in Brussels working on human rights issues -- and still struggling to pay off her loans.