Samantha Jacques '21January 19, 2021 — Third-year Penn State Dickinson Law student Samantha Jacques ’21 was recently awarded the Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) “My Life as a Lawyer” national scholarship. The award is given to law students who strive to foster diversity within the legal profession.

“Being recognized by the CCWC came at the right time for me,” said Jacques. “I was beginning to doubt myself. This recognition gave me the extra boost of confidence I needed to complete my final year of law school, reminded me that I have all the tools and support necessary to become a great attorney, and got me excited for the future.”

At Dickinson Law, Jacques is a member of Black Law Students Association, Speaker’s Trust, and Jus Gentium: Journal of International Legal History. She served as a research assistant for Professor of Law Katherine Pearson and the Pennsylvania Guardianship Project, and as an Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts Fellow for the Community Justice Project. Jacques was a legal intern with Dickinson College’s Office of General Counsel and in the Consumer Protection Unit of the State of Georgia Office of Attorney General.

In addition to earning her juris doctor degree, Jacques is completing a corporate compliance certificate with a concentration in information security as part of Dickinson Law’s Certificate Program. She plans to use her law degree to promote efficient legal and business strategies when reviewing, drafting or negotiating contracts as part of an in-house legal team or as a member of a corporate compliance department.

Jacques credits her mentors for giving her the courage to continue working hard to become a practicing attorney and shared that as a Black woman attorney, she will use her skills and voice to foster diversity in the legal profession.

“Like my mentors, I plan to change the narrative of being the ‘only one’ in a legal department or practice group,” said Jacques. “I hope to champion women students of color by providing them access to internships that can propel their legal career. I plan to be an active member of my employer’s diversity committee to encourage the hiring of diverse candidates and guide those who join the corporation to make the best decisions to propel their career forward. I will also commit to mentoring through organizations such as Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and Corporate Counsel Women of Color.”

“I recognize as a student how important it is to see successful attorneys that look like me, so I will engage in alumni programming to help students realize their potential to make a difference in their respective fields,” said Jacques.

Prior to attending Dickinson Law, Jacques worked as a bankruptcy assistant for Alston & Bird. She earned her bachelor of arts from Emory University and hails from Atlanta, Georgia.

The CCWC was inaugurated in 2004 as a support network for women attorneys of color and is committed to building a pipeline of diverse lawyers. Based on the premise that women of color face a specific set of challenges within the legal profession—particularly with respect to the glass ceiling and limited networking opportunities—the CCWC promotes their advancement within that arena and advocates for diversity in the workplace.