Mississippi College Law School Welcomes New Students
Joseph Paul brings valuable experience as an Army officer and sheriff’s deputy in Florida as he enters Mississippi College’s Law School.
The Florida Gulf Coast native earned his degree at Troy University in Alabama earlier this year. MC Law in Jackson is a perfect fit, opening doors to the legal profession, he says.
“I chose MC Law because I was looking for a school that held similar values as my family does,” Paul says.
A Bridge Creek Baptist Church member, the Floridian will soon join a new class of about 125 first-year MC Law students. They get ready to begin three years of law school at an August 11-14 orientation. An all-star lineup of state judges and attorneys will offer the students advice about key legal issues.
Each summer, MC Law School Dean Patricia Bennett is thrilled to welcome another new diverse group of students from the South and regions across the USA this summer.
“This is an ideal time for students to pursue a legal education in order for them to be able to influence and work to reform our criminal justice system,” Bennett said. “We must have policy changes in the justice system. Members of the legal profession must have input and be part of the process.”
With an education at MC Law, she said, students get the opportunity to take courses and sign up for programs “to do this type of work to effectuate change.”
Orientation sessions at the Christian university’s Clinton campus are always special for Dean Bennett. A Clinton resident, Bennett is an MC Law graduate and past president of the Mississippi Bar Association. Her warm welcome to the Class of 2023 will be joined by other law school administrators and professors.
Plunging into the rigors of law school is never easy for first-year students. But Paul, 38, is used to working hard. He joined the U.S. Army in 2000, and succeeded at difficult tasks.
A military police officer and explosive detector dog handler, Paul assisted the U.S. Secret Service on VIP missions during America’s 2004 presidential campaign.
Paul joined the Walton County Sheriff’s Department in 2006. He worked 14 years as a patrol deputy, school resource officer and investigator.
Family is a big priority when he’s not working or going to school. His wife, Jennifer Paul, is pursuing a doctorate in nursing practice. She teaches nursing students at Emerald Coast Technical College in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Their son, Bradeon, 12, is being homeschooled.
For Jay Armstrong, MC Law School’s director of admissions, the job of recruiting students is a labor of love year-round.
“The best part about my job is helping people achieve their dreams,” Armstrong says. “People come to us with this common goal of earning a law degree. And our Admissions Office, though a small part of that journey, gets to help them make that happen.”