A Man of Many Hats: 3L Jonathan LeCompte breaks the mold

lecompte“Some people are able to go straight from undergrad into law school.  I was not one of those people.”

Everyone’s educational and professional paths are different, but not many people have the chance to pursue law through two different disciplines. Third-year student Jonathan LeCompte is pursuing his second career at the University of South Carolina School of Law after serving as a detective for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“As a non-traditional student, working seven years after undergrad, I was looking for a school that had a strong reputation and that provided the tools necessary for a student like me to achieve. When my wife and I visited here and met some of the faculty, staff, and students, we agreed that USC Law was where I needed to be,” LeCompte says.

After ensuring that more schooling, and law school specifically, was the right decision, LeCompte truly immersed himself in the environment, learning to take advantage of as many available resources as possible.

“We are fortunate enough to have so many professors who have done so much in their legal careers.  Take a look at the school’s bio page if you haven’t yet. As a first year student, I was worried that I would be bothering professors by bringing my trivial questions to them. Not one of them, however, has ever been too busy for my questions,” LeCompte says. “Whether about course material, careers and recommendations, or even just about the profession in general, I’ve never been greeted with anything other than a smile and an eagerness to help. I don’t think enough people take advantage of this opportunity.

“Law school is no picnic. It’s a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and long hours away from family and friends.  But it’s also been rewarding, and at times, even enlightening. I’ve met a lot of great people here, and I have learned a lot about myself. When I look back several years down the road, I’m sure I’ll remember law school being tough, but I imagine the things I’ll remember most are the people and experiences that I came across during my brief time here.”

Not only has LeCompte taken on two careers in his lifetime, but he also sees a world of possibility within this field for himself.

“I’m leaning towards something in the corporate field, but I am open to most anything at this point,” LeCompte says. “That’s the best part of this profession: a lawyer can wear a lot of different hats.”