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Jade McLeod


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J.D. candidate an Emory University School of Law with an anticipated graduation date of May 2026. Pursuing a transactional law certificate, with interests in general corporate and real estate law. Prior to law school, received a B.S. in economics from Florida State University with minors in mathematics and political philosophy. Passionate about merging a deference for both the law and economics. Currently working as a research assistant at Emory Law School, focused on using corporate legal theories to foster economic development.


Emory University

Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)
2023 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Law

Florida State University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Economics

Suncoast Community High School

High School
2017 - 2021
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

    • Intern

      Bender Legal
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Incubation Program Intern

      Domi Station
      2023 – 2023



    2014 – 20206 years


    2017 – 20214 years


    • captain
    • MVP


    • Law

      Emory University — Research Assistant
      2024 – Present

    Future Interests





    Minority Women in LAS Scholarship
    My grandmother has always instilled in me the idea that I should never be afraid of trying something new. She, herself, is the epitome of this mantra. Born in Jamaica to Asian parents, my grandmother spent most of her childhood as a foreigner in England. From there, she relocated to Canada, where she and my grandfather had my mom. They soon moved back to their homeland of Jamaica, only to readopt their alien status in the United States. My grandmother never let a border stop her from chasing her dreams, and never let society’s views on immigrants thwart her confidence. I, however, was never as graceful as her when dealing with isolation. Though I grew up as a black woman in America, my experience was quite unlike that of my peers. I did not grow up with the African American culture that my peers are so incredibly proud of; I did not know the music, learn the history, eat the food, or even watch the movies. Though I was born in the United States, I imagine that I felt exactly what my grandparents, parents, and so many other immigrants felt—that we did not belong. I had no community to look up to, and no one to show me that there is a place in the corporate world for people like me. I want to go into corporate law because that is where, I feel, people like me are kept out of the most. Everyone expects the black lawyer to work in criminal defense or human rights, but we are needed everywhere. I believe that even corporate lawyers have the opportunity to fight for equality, and I want to be a part of that struggle. I want to be able to fight for the hardworking entrepreneur who, like my own family, is just trying to make it in America. To me, being a corporate attorney means that I get to help ensure that there is a seat at the table for everyone, because we all belong. Law school had continuously forced myself out of my comfort zone, and has given me the confidence needed to be able to infiltrate spaces that have historically kept people like myself out. The more I am able to learn from those different from me, the more I realize just how similar we are. As I get older, I think more often about how scared my grandma must have been every time she moved to a different country, each move probably just as intimidating as the last. Nevertheless, as I get older, the boldness I have always coveted seemingly grows more attainable. I have always feared the unknown, however, through diverse spaces, I hope to familiarize myself with the unfamiliar and learn to use my experiences to help those who, just like me, feel like they are in this world alone.
    Janean D. Watkins Aspiring Victim's Rights Advocate Scholarship
    I’ve always hated history— the notion that you ought to look to the past to determine the future. My history, reduced to a few data points, tells a miserable tale; I am not supposed to amount to anything. Children of abuse are 4.8 times more likely to be arrested as a juvenile than other children. Girls who grew up witnessing domestic violence have a nearly 30% chance of developing PTSD. Kids who experience child abuse have about a 9 times greater likelihood of partaking in criminal activity. I have had statistics like these memorized since I was a child. I like numbers; these figures helped me make sense of the world, and more importantly, they helped me make sense of me. History claims that because my father repeatedly assaulted my mother while I sat there, watching helplessly, I am somehow less than. History alleges that because I can still hear my mother sob as we fled our own house, without shoes or a place to stay, I am weak. Truthfully, these incidents have only made me stronger; if I could survive that, I could survive anything. Since I first read statistics like the above, I have been determined to defy expectations. The day I found out about my subordinate position in this world was the day that my outlook on life was forever changed. I won’t let myself give anything less than my best effort in all that I do because then I would be letting history win. My mom did not risk her life to save mine for me to simply give up. I do not view my history as a hindrance because it handed me something that very few other students have: a sort of grit that cannot be acquired overnight. With every action, I am constantly trying to prove to myself, and to the world, that I deserve to be here. I am determined to rewrite my history and become the best attorney that I can be, and I am not afraid to put in the work to get there. For everything I’ve earned, I have had to work twice as hard just to level the playing field. I will continue to outwork and outperform because a victory for me is a victory for everyone like me. I want to push the statistics in the right direction so that every little girl who wants to google what history says about her isn’t intimidated, but inspired. I am merely someone who is just trying to defy her odds, and I believe that my journey through law school is my next step in winning my battle against history. I plan to enter the criminal justice realm in a rather nontraditional way. I am currently a research assistant at Emory Law School, focusing on using corporate legal theories to foster economic development in marginalized communities because I believe that the best ways to help the underserved is by giving them the resources to help themselves. Though my mom and I received help from various individuals and organizations, we were not truly liberated until we were able to support ourselves. It is my sole mission to afford everyone that same opportunity through education and economic opportunity. Penal reform takes many forms; I am excited about the prospect of being able to use my JD to open doors to dismantle deep-rooted institutional barriers.