Law School Prepares Student to Be a Stronger Community Leader
When talking about his disability, Marlon Jackson states, “I never dwell on the few things that my disability doesn’t allow me to do, but instead concentrate on the many things that I can do!” Jackson was injured in a car accident and has been a paraplegic for the last 24 years. For Jackson, having a disability has taught him that “nothing can hold me back, and that failure is not an option.”
A second-year law student at the Southern University Law Center, Jackson has earned the William S. Mayfield Memorial Scholarship 2013 and the CALI Award for highest average in Legal Writing and Analysis. “My disability definitely has made me a better student because I take nothing for granted. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone.” The school has created a welcoming and an inclusive environment for him. The administration actively inquires about what accommodations he needs. In fact, the Chancellor gave Jackson a key to the staff elevator.
Before attending law school, Jackson was an Engineer and an active member of the disabilities community. “I feel the need to help my community, especially persons with disabilities and the elderly.” Jackson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering from Southern University, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was employed as a Test Engineer for General Dynamics where he helped design and produce superconducting magnets. Jackson plays on the New Orleans Pelicans Wheelchair Basketball Team and served on the Louisiana State Board of Council for Independent Living. As the inclusive education coordinator for Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge, he helped families get the accommodations their children with disabilities needed. “I chose a career in law to become a stronger leader within my community.”
Serving as a mentor has always been important to Jackson. He knows first-hand the central role that mentors can play. “My mother is my mentor. She was a single parent that sent me to the best schools. She taught me that sacrifice and hard work pays off. She encourages me to do positive things in and with my life.” Jackson has mentored, tutored and inspired young men throughout the community whose parents were in difficult situations become productive individuals.
As for the future, Jackson’s goals include excelling in school and preparing for the bar. After the bar, he plans to pursue a career in international human rights, disability rights or patent law.