Jeaqualyn (Jackie) Borgonia

Jackie BorgoniaClass of 2021

BA in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies
Saint Martin’s University

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

After I graduated from Saint Martin's University, I became an AmeriCorps volunteer. Through AmeriCorps I worked for an underserved, low-income middle school in Tacoma as a college and career coach. That year allowed me to see the realities of underserved public schools in the state. I learned about the barriers youth face, from family members in prison, to foster care, struggles to meet basic needs, and much more. As a college and career coach, I was able to guide and educate students in an important area — higher education. Although I loved that work, I realized I wanted to address the underlying challenges that stood between them and their educational goals. It wasn't just one experience or event that led me to pursue a law degree; it was different opportunities that kept calling me back to the legal field. Each new experience solidified my desire and motivation to learn the law and create effective and just policy.

Why did you choose Seattle U?

There are many reasons I chose Seattle U. One reason is location. To have my support system a ferry ride away, while still having access to the diverse legal community, is something that weighed heavily for me. Another reason I chose Seattle U is the community aspect of the school. My undergraduate institution emphasized community and I thrived in that environment. I knew if I wanted to do well in law school, I had to find a school with a similar feel. Seattle U offered a community in which staff, faculty, and students want you to succeed and will go out of their way to help you do so.

The last reason is Seattle U's mission statement. I pursued law because I want to work at correcting injustices in society. I felt it was important to me to attend a school that had a mission to create attorneys who do just that.

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

I am currently an admissions fellow and a mentor for the Seattle Youth Traffic Court. I have thoroughly enjoyed these positions and the people I have met through them. Next year I will also be involved in the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association as vice president and the Public Interest Law Foundation as the auction logistics co-chair.

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

This is really general, but people. My first law school class was the most diverse class I have ever been in. We all varied in age, social economic class, political views, etc. Despite our difference, we came to law school for a reason. It is amazing to hear people's stories and their motivations for attending law school. In addition to classmates, the faculty, mentors, and staff have been so vital to my law school experience thus far. Whether it is a question on material, or a question about life, it is comforting to have a support system on campus.

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

Outside of law school I love exploring and music. The wonderful thing about Seattle is that there is so much to do! Whether you like music, art, hiking, food, etc. there is something for everyone.

What advice would you offer a prospective law student?

Solidify your reasoning for coming to law school. You don't have to persuade anyone whether or not it is a good reason, but make sure it is reason enough to keep you motivated. Law school, like life, has many highs and lows. It can be easy to lose sight of what brought you here. During those lows, use your reasoning as your driving force and lean on your support system.

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