|For most, summer is often a time for much needed rest and relaxation. But for Marlene Johnson-Moore, the desire to serve never takes a break.
A rising third-year student at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Johnson-Moore will travel near and far this summer to apply her passion for service and leadership to an impressive variety of opportunities.
She began the summer with her second consecutive clerkship at the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, a position she learned about through the law school’s Career Services office.
As a law clerk, Johnson-Moore conducts research of complex legal issues related to workers’ compensation rights, as well as helping draft orders, motions, memos, and briefs on behalf of the Commission. She also frequently attends hearings and witnesses the culmination of months, or years, of preparation as attorneys advocate for their clients’ compensation rights.
“The insight I’ve gained from working at the Commission makes me appreciate how much employment is a source of value in a person’s life,” she says. “It furthers my ambition to protect and advocate for the laws and benefits related to employment.”
Johnson-Moore’s summer plans don’t stop there, however. From mid-August until mid-October, she will attend the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, where she will receive two months of initial leadership training as an officer candidate.
This experience will sharpen her skills as she transitions into a new position and takes on greater levels of responsibility in the South Carolina Air National Guard (SCANG). As someone with a strong military background, which includes seven years of active duty in the United States Air Force as well as membership in the SCANG since 2008, Johnson-Moore looks at this training opportunity as a chance to combine her legal education with her commitment to the military. In fact, her commitment is so strong that she will take a leave of absence from law school for the fall semester in order to complete her training.
She has no plans, however, to let this commitment interfere with her current leadership roles with the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, where she serves as Co-Lt Governor for Diversity in the Fourth Circuit and the Liaison to the Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law. In fact, this August, she will be at the ABA’s Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, attending meetings for both groups.
“In these positions, I hope to highlight the importance of diversity in law schools and the legal profession,” said Johnson-Moore. “I also hope to bring awareness to the issues that affect law students who are in the military, as well as legal issues that affect military members, Department of Defense civilians, and veterans.”
When Johnson-Moore returns to law school, she will resume her position as co-vice president of the Pro Bono Program, and assist in the coordination of the program’s many projects, such as Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the Rural Justice Project (in partnership with the SC Access to Justice Commission).
“It’s been a busy summer for sure and it will be a busy fall, but I am most excited about the opportunities I have and will be given to serve.”