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UDC Law Student Denisha Jones Named Finalist for National Jurist’s Law Student of the Year

Monday, March 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Looney
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WASHINGTON — In the Spring 2018 issue, The National Jurist named Denisha Jones ‘18 a finalist for Law Student of the Year. Jones and 19 of her colleagues from around the U.S. were honored for contributing “the most to their schools and communities in the past year.” One of five students representing the Northeast region, Jones was chosen for her efforts in the classroom, the courtroom, and the community.

Denisha Jones

In addition to excelling in her courses, Jones served as a student attorney in the UDC Law Legislation Clinic, where she represented BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters) on advocacy efforts to provide free access to menstrual products for women and girls in schools and shelters. After the D.C. Council successfully enacted legislation to repeal the sales tax on feminine hygiene products (L21-0201), Jones assisted BRAWS with testimony at a D.C. Council budget hearing in hopes of getting the new law funded. After Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced the Menstrual Equity For All Act of 2017 (H.R. 972), Jones co-authored an issue brief explaining the bill for her client’s use in educating the community about proposed menstrual equity legislation.

Jones also served as a student attorney with the Whistleblower Protection Clinic at the Government Accountability Project, representing clients seeking protection under the various statutes that protect whistleblowers.

As well, Jones is the Managing Editor of the UDC Law Review, Director of Community Service for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), Vice President of the UDC Law National Lawyers Guild Chapter, and host and organizer of the 2018 Robert M. Cover Retreat for public interest law students, practitioners, and academics.

Jones was recognized for her commitment to her legal education by the Jack & Lovell Olender Foundation when she received the Earl H. Davis Award in November alongside five of her classmates for their outstanding service on behalf of clients in our clinical program.

Last month, Jones and Alicia Lewis ’18 represented UDC Law BLSA in the Mid-Atlantic BLSA Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. The pair won the regional contest and will compete in the national finals March 12-18, in Brooklyn, New York.

When she is not hard at work representing clients, Jones is an Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Trinity Washington University. She received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education from The University of the District of Columbia in 2003. She taught kindergarten on Capitol Hill before attending Indiana University to earn her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. She later moved to San Diego, where she served as director of a campus-based preschool center. In 2011, she returned to Washington to work as an Assistant Professor at Howard University.

Jones is also active in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of public education. She is a board member for the Badass Teachers Association, Inc., United Opt Out National, and Defending the Early Years. Her decision to attend law school grew from this work, as she hopes to become a more effective advocate and activist for public education. Jones has attended and organized numerous rallies, marches, and conferences to support public education and to stop the privatization of public schools. Her decision to participate in the Legislation Clinic was also driven by her public education work; the experience prepared her to develop strong public education legislation that promotes high quality public schools for all children.

Asked what comes after graduation, Jones said, “Now that I am in my last year of law school everyone wants to know what comes next. Some assume I’ll quit my job as a professor and move right into law once I pass the bar. I love my job as a professor, but I also have a passion for advocacy and public policy. Now I have the tools to do both. I can continue preparing future teachers, work on ensuring all teachers receive whistleblower protections in every state, and advocate for undocumented young women and men to pursue their dream of becoming teachers. The sky is the limit, and I owe it all to the faculty, staff, and students at UDC Law.”

Jones was chosen by faculty, administration, and her fellow students to represent UDC Law in this competition for her work as both an educator and a student attorney.

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