Quad Cities Campus

Cierra Davis (BLAS ’18), Master of Law (expected '22), University of Dayton; Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center

February 4, 2020

Cierra Davis

"In May 2019, I was offered a summer associate position at Legal Aid of Western Ohio within the Stability and Independence for Survivors Practice Group, which focused on intimate partner violence, human trafficking, stalking and sexual assault. I decided to decline my summer associate position with a federal judge because my sole reason for attending law school was to serve individuals living at or near poverty. LAWO was a perfect fit for me because I was able to combine my passion of fighting for the rights of sexual assault victims and aiding to those who could not afford legal representation. It was an eye-opening experience for me in a number of ways. One was the amount of work that legal aid attorneys are given; another was that being an attorney was not everything I'd thought it would be. My supervising attorney was overworked and barely had time to get to know her clients. From that experience, I knew that I did not want that for myself. I didn't want my caseload to be so overwhelming that my client was just my client. I guess I had this misguided understanding for what my role as an attorney would be. I always envisioned myself being more involved in the healing process of victims. "

"In June, I decided to follow my gut feeling that becoming a practicing attorney was not my true calling. So after discussing my options with my advisor, I transferred my first-year Juris Doctor credits to the Masters of Law program that is still associated with University of Dayton School of Law. The only difference between the traditional JD and Masters of Law program is that students enrolled in the MSL program do not intend to sit for the bar exam, which worked out perfectly for me! Currently, I am pursing my MSL degree in Human Rights Law. My anticipated graduation date is May 2022 since I am going part-time."

"At the end of July, I accepted a full-time position at Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center, which is a non-profit organization that provides no-cost legal representation to victims whose rights have been violated in the criminal justice process. I serve as a victims' rights advocate. I love my job! It is such an awarding feeling aiding to the needs of victims, while also being an active participate in the judicial system. Right now, I am advocating for the incorporation of a specialized court docket for children who have been sexually exploited in the state of Ohio. On Friday, OCVJC is being awarded 'Most Outstanding Non-Profit Organization in Ohio' by the Ohio State Bar Association. A lot has changed, but it all has worked out in my favor."

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