“During my first semester, one of my Professors told my class that as a Widener Law student we would gain the skills and knowledge to compete against any Ivy League law student,” says Harrisburg student Jamilah Espinosa, adding, “The summer following my first year, I had the honor of clerking for Judge Albert Diaz of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and my Professor’s words rang true, as my skills and knowledge were put to the test and I was able to meet the Judge’s expectations alongside my Ivy League peers.”
After graduating from college with a major in government, Jamilah joined a non-profit organization working as a Crime Victims Specialist helping victims navigate the legal justice system. While she had always had an interest in being a lawyer, the personal view of the legal system solidified her desire to become a lawyer.
“I have always obtained great satisfaction from helping people, especially during difficult times. I wanted to use the law to assist people in getting through those difficult hardships,” she says.
For Jamilah, her legal education has changed the way she approaches complex problems, and she finds herself constantly applying the theories and concepts she has learned in class.
“The most valuable part of my Widener education has been the way it has transformed the way I think and speak. Prior to law school, I looked at everything either black or white but after attending law school I see the world more as a grey, and I think that my problem solving skills have helped me relate to people better,” she says.
Jamilah is quick to praise her professors and the atmosphere that they create on campus, saying, “The Professors at Widener genuinely care about the students and really want you to succeed. The Professors make themselves available any time to provide you with academic support and at times general support, even if that means a discussion on how to manage stress.”
Beyond the classroom, Jamilah served as a class representative for the Student Bar Association
during her first year and more recently as the Vice President of Academics. She also helped to found the Harrisburg campus Latin American Law Student Association
with guidance from Dean of Students Keith Sealing
“As a relatively young mom, military spouse, and commuter my experience at Widener as a full time student has been challenging and very rewarding at the same time,” says Jamilah, who encourages those facing similar challenges by saying, “Although, I wear many hats, I have been able to navigate through the journey of law school and I am confident that if I can be successful, then you can be more successful here at Widener.”
Jamilah calls her time in law school “One of the most difficult yet rewarding periods in my life,” adding, “I have grown as a student and more importantly as a person.”
She advises future law students, “Be yourself, and always remember that you came to Widener with a purpose – remember that purpose and carry it with you throughout the ups and downs.”