Jourdan Dukes, Class of 2018

Harvey Initiative

Jourdan Dukes1. Why was it important to you to be a part of the student response to Hurricane Harvey?

It was important to me to be a part of the student response to Hurricane Harvey because I not have family in Houston but also very dear friends. Personally, I know what it is like to go through trying times in life and a small act of kindness goes a long way. 

2. What have you learned so far from being a part of the Harvey initiative?

I have learned that changing the world or making an impact isn’t about making the biggest wave or the loudest roar. Its about doing one act of kindness each day for your community and caring enough to go the extra mile. We took selling t-shirts and hats, a common occurrence for the Student Bar Association, and turned it into a helping hand. Using some of the proceeds to help those in need.

3. How do you see that alums and lawyers can best assist in the SMU Law-led initiatives?

I see lawyers and SMU alums attending our events, buying a merchandise, and coming and helping with pop-up clinics.

More about you…

1. Tell us about yourself.

I am a Dallas, TX native; born and raised. I graduated from Red Oak High School and gained My BBA from Stephen F. Austin State University.

2. Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?

I came to SMU Law because my mother absolutely loves SMU and I knew that the school would afford me the most opportunity if I wanted to practice law in Dallas and in Texas.  

3. What has been your favorite class and why?

My favorite class has been Clinic. It has given me real life experience on what it is like to practice law and it gives me a chance to give back to my community.

4. When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?

I like to spend time with my family and friends. I am usually watching movies, drinking good wine, and enjoying my company.

5. What extracurricular activities have you enjoyed most and why?

I have enjoyed being in SBA because I see the impact that we make on the student experience. I believe that it is not enough just to go to law school, or any school for that matter, there needs to be student engagement. When the students feel like they are heard, valuable, and a part of the make-up of the school the students do better and the school has a strong alumni base. I like helping make sure every student feels valued.

6. How has law school challenged you most?

Law school has shown me what busy and stressed actually looks like. Law school has required me to be more patient and reflective; I have truly grown as a person and as a student. 

7. What has been your most memorable law school moment so far?

My most memorable moment in law school is I went to Oxford with about 30 other law students. We had a blast. Traveling to Bath, Rome, and London with some of my closest and dearest friends has been the most memorable thing about law school thus far. 

8. What do you plan to do post-graduation?

I plan to work for a mid-size or smaller firm, working in trust and estates, labor and employment, family law, and/or constitutional law.

9. Have you had any important mentors during law school? If so, who?

Yes, James Dickerson, he has been my mentor and dear friend for years. He is one of the reasons that I am in law school and gotten through law school. I met James Dickerson when I sat on the Board of Regents, he is a former oil and gas attorney and has been a wealth of knowledge for me and a constant cheerleader (something deeply needed while in law school). 

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years? 

In 5 to 10 years I see myself with a family, practicing law and perhaps running a campaign to become a state representative.