Jessika Jackson knew she wanted to be a lawyer her whole life. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida in sociology. "I chose to study sociology because it's such a diverse field. It's about people. What drives them? What motivates them? That's where my passion lies."
Jessika is a First Lieutenant working in human resources for the Army National Guard. She also participates in the Veterans Law Clinic, led by Professor Jayme Cassidy, and combines her military experience with the desire to help people that brought her to law school in the first place. The Veterans Law Clinic educates students regarding the substantive, procedural, practical, and ethical elements that arise in the direct representation of veterans and/or active military personnel in general civil and quasi-criminal matters. While pursuing undergraduate and professional degrees, military service has been an important part of Jessika's life and she is presently interviewing for jobs with multiple military and government agencies which combine serving in the military as an officer with working as a legal professional.
Jessika's esteem for Professor Cassidy does not go unnoticed. "She is so knowledgeable and passionate about veteran's law. I already know that I want to be a part of influencing military policies, but Professor Cassidy's passion is contagious." Jessika is also quick to acknowledge Professor Areto Imoukhuede who guided Jessika on a paper she wrote regarding a change in military policy pertaining to appearance that was highly disputed as discriminatory toward minorities. She also works with Professors James Wilets and Douglas Donoho in the Inter-American Center for Human Rights, and describes the work as impactful. "The army is a global force. We are constantly travelling nationally and internationally to learn, train and fight. It's so important to understand your rights as an American citizen abroad."
In fact, Jessika is especially excited by NSU Law's global perspective, and has taken the opportunity to earn credits toward her J.D. degree during a summer abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. There, she took Global Employment Law, Comparative Privacy Law, and Comparative Election Law. "I had already taken International Human Rights at the NSU Main Campus with Professor Willets, so I was able to apply much of that knowledge to the courses I took in Prague."
When she's not at the Veterans Law Clinic, Jessika serves as president of the National Security and Law Society and has maintained active involvement in the Black Law Students Association. She recently graduated the Army Logistics University, Captains Career Course, and earned the Pathfinder Badge and the Air Assault Badge from the Warrior Training Center for mastering specialized military skills. Jessika has also received the Theodore Roosevelt Achievement Award for her Army Physical Training and continues to focus on fitness, regularly running half-marathons.
"NSU Law faculty work with students one-on-one, something I value and that I know is hard to find at other law schools," Jessika says, "they constantly throw opportunities at you at every turn, and they make sure to challenge and push you to be the best you can be, but I know that when I graduate, I will be the best I can be, and I have NSU Law faculty, in part, to thank for that." Of the demanding schedule of law school, Jessika says, "juggling my military commitment and law school has definitely been challenging, but I challenge others to take on what they have a passion for. If I can do it, others can do it too."