Monday, March 24, 2014
San Diego (March 24, 2014) – After Jazmine Gregory ‘14(JD) received her degree in early childhood development from San Diego State University, she dreamed of opening a pre-school. She knew teaching wasn’t for her, but she was very interested in the administrative side of running a quality program. She soon found the business and financing issues to be more complex than she had ever imagined, and she shifted her focus, deciding to study law, which she’d become fascinated by when she took a class as an undergraduate that looked at abuse of various vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.
Gregory knew from the start of her studies at USD that her focus would be on children’s rights. After her IL year, she took advantage of USD’s varied curricular offerings in the area, enrolling over the next year and a half in child rights and remedies, education law, the child advocacy clinic, special education and the law, and the education and disability clinic. Also, in the spring of her first year, she joined Advocates for Children & Education (ACE) where she was able to begin putting her newly-acquired knowledge into practice.
ACE was started by students at USD in 2011 as a response to the need for more hands-on experience within the child rights and child advocacy fields. Through ACE, Gregory began work with the youth empowerment clinic, giving presentations to at-risk teens on issues of interest to them such as freedom of expression and current events. She also participated in the education liaison program, partnering with the San Diego Public Defenders Office to assist recently released juvenile offenders by pairing them with tutors and mentors. Gregory noted that one of the law students working in this clinic was able to help his learning-disabled mentee fill out an application to obtain a scholarship that enabled him to buy a computer.
As president, Gregory oversees all five of ACE’s volunteer programs, its nine board members, and the 30 student volunteers who cycle through the programs during a year. In addition to the youth empowerment and educational liaison programs, ACE provides a diversionary program for first-time misdemeanor juvenile offenders, a SMART program that partners with the Escondido Youth Court working with first-time juvenile offenders to discourage recidivism, and the new Crawford Academy Project that brings about thirty low-income students to USD for a day to learn about careers in law.
“Some of our members,” Gregory notes, “work in a program such as the Escondido Youth Court because they plan to pursue a career in criminal law, while other students, like me, work in clinics that help us develop skills we will need as child advocates.”
Gregory currently works in a firm that handles special education cases, helping children secure the classroom accommodations to which they are entitled; this is the area in which she plans to practice upon graduation.
In her spare time, Gregory works out and trains for half marathons or spends time relaxing with Bear, an adorable beagle/pug mix, known as a “puggle.”
About the University of San Diego School of Law
Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law, and taxation.
USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.