For first year law student Jon Jackson, child welfare law is more than just an interest. After spending two years teaching in Washington, DC, Jackson applied for and began his student work at Gonzaga Law with the hope of spending his career advocating for the rights of children. The Thomas More scholarship recipient has now been awarded the Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship, which will allow him to spend 10 weeks working with the East Bay Children’s Law Offices in Oakland, California this summer.
A Passion for Child Law
Jackson’s interest in child law did not start with law school. Beginning in the Big Buddies program in California. An internship with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and continued mentoring relationships led to a Teach For America placement in Washington D.C. Through the Thomas More scholarship program, Jackson began attending Gonzaga Law with the intention of learning how to advocate for the rights of children within the legal system. Jackson serves as the Gonzaga Law representative for the Juvenile Justice Section of the Washington State Bar, and also volunteers with the Street Law program, Child Advocacy Association, and Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic.
About The Bergstrom Fellowship
The Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship is an award given to students that wish to pursue child welfare law careers. The fellowship provides a three-day training session at the University of Michigan Law School. After the training, Jackson will travel to California to work with the East Bay Children’s Law Offices (EBCLO). EBCLO represents children and youth in cases of abuse (physical, emotional or sexual), neglect or abandonment by their parents or guardians. EBCLO strives to provide young clients with a voice in the decisions affecting their lives. Additionally, EBCLO protects and defends the rights of child clients outside of the juvenile dependency court proceedings, including advocating in any joint dependency/delinquency type hearings, school expulsion hearings and other special education proceedings.
“The Bergstrom Fellowship will be a great opportunity to prepare me for the work I will be doing at EBLCO, as well as connect me with other attorneys around the nation who practice in child advocacy,” says Jackson.
Looking Ahead To The Future
Though Jackson has an exciting summer ahead, he is already looking forward to his 2L year and beyond. “In my 2L year, I plan on working in Gonzaga’s Center for Justice. In my 2L summer, I would like to go back to California and continue to gain experience in child advocacy to prepare me for a career in the field after I graduate,” explains Jackson.
About the Thomas More Scholarship Program
Gonzaga Law School’s Thomas More Scholarship Program provides a unique opportunity for talented individuals to realize their commitment to serving the public interest through law. Each year, our scholarship committee selects a small number of entering first-year students to be Thomas More Scholars. These Scholars are awarded full tuition so that they may pursue careers in public service unencumbered by substantial law school debt.