Shaquelle Duncan

Shaquelle DuncanClass of 2020

BA, Political Science Pre-Law, Minors: Criminal Justice, Ethics
BA, Philosophy Pre-Law, Minors: Criminology
Washington State University
M.Ed, Education Policy and Secondary Education
Johns Hopkins University

What did you do before law school, and what led to you pursue a law degree?

As I teacher, I noticed how the public education system was failing students of color. While in my position, I had very little power to change the politics of the education system that were causing my students to fail. Law school will allow me the education, the skill, the influence, and the position to change education policy for the better.

Why did you choose Seattle U?

Seattle University's commitment to social justice and my commitment to social justice go hand in hand. I support their vision, and I support the way in which they are achieving it. Additionally, in an academic sense, I have received so much support from faculty and staff, that it is almost overwhelming. Everyone at the law school genuinely wants students to succeed and are committed to going the extra mile to ensure that they do. I have never felt so supported.

What activities are you involved in at the law school or in the community?

This year, I founded an organization called Legal Advocates Empowering Youth. The vision of this organization is to remove legal barriers faced by high school students attending public schools in underserved communities by providing them legal education in various practice areas based on their needs. As this organization is new, majority of my free time has been spent trying to lay the groundwork.

What have you found most valuable during your law school education?

In my section, we consist of people who have come from different walks of life. There is nothing more valuable than hearing opinions of colleagues who may have such a different take on a given subject. This allows students to remain open-minded, understanding, and to consider all of the possibilities, which leads to a cultivating classroom environment. The professors are also very good at allowing each student to talk things through and be heard.

What do you do outside of law school? What do you love about Seattle?

Outside of law school I do speaking engagements and spend a lot of time to myself. I like to shop, read, exercise, and use the time to catch up with friends and/or family. While in law school especially, it is important to have a work-life balance. Things will get hectic, which is why self-care is so important.

What I love so much about Seattle is all there is to see and do here. I grew up in Seattle and I still feel as if there is so much so see. I always find myself seeking out new things to do, and I am never disappointed.

What advice would you offer a prospective law student?

In all that you do, remember why you chose to come here. Law school is tough and there may be times where you feel like giving up and/or wonder why you came in the first place. Oftentimes, the reason why you came is what will keep you here. Stay focused and remember that it will come to an end.

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