As an undergraduate, James King played Division I football for Central Michigan University. But on the cusp of what was expected to be a promising career in the NFL, he was accused of second-degree murder. He was not convicted, and he maintains his complete innocence, but he spent some time in jail on a lesser charge.
"My life literally got flipped upside down. There is nothing like sitting inside of a jail cell for a crime that you didn't commit,” King, who is 30 years old, said. "It made me switch my passion from trying to be a football player to doing something more down to earth and more meaningful,” said King. Fueled by the tragic events that changed the course of his life, King’s passion for football gave way to a passion for justice - and he looked to the law, and UDC-DCSL, for redemption.
While in law school King was an Associate Editor on the UDC Law Review, President of the Student Bar Association, and served as a teacher’s assistant and tutor to fellow law students. In his clinical work, which is required as part of the curriculum, King worked with immigrants and traveled to Mississippi to work with survivors of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. He graduated this spring, and is now working for The Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia.