Emmy Award-winning UNLV Alumnus Seeks to Make Difference with Boyd Degree
This article is part of a series featuring the entering class of 2012.
Many law students hope to make a difference with their degrees. Stephen Jackson is one such individual.
Jackson has worked the last few years as a videographer, producer, and web editor at the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas.
“I implemented the social media strategy, started their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and really worked to set goals and achieve them,” Jackson said.
In his time there, Jackson also managed to win two Emmy Awards – one for crime reporting and the other for investigative reporting. He has also won four Edward R. Murrow Awards.
While he enjoyed being able to make a difference as a journalist, he said that he wants to get into law to help make a direct difference in the legal system.
“The difference between law and journalism is that in journalism, you can only do so much [within the limits of the law],” he said. “With law school, you can go into the law and help to make a change.”
He added that he also became interested in attending law school when his wife started working in the public defender’s office.
“It really opened my eyes to who should and shouldn’t be in prison,” he said.
The decision to work in law, however, was not one he made on the spur of the moment. Jackson said that he’s had an interest in the legal system and people in private practices since he was young. He graduated from UNLV with a criminal justice degree in 2012.
A Las Vegas native, Jackson found attending the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law to be an easy decision.
“Vegas is my home,” he said. “My wife and I settled here, and we have strong connections to the community.”
He now is in the full-time program and works on the weekends. Jackson said that he tries to treat Boyd like another job while he balances classes with work and family.
“I try to arrive at 8 a.m. and leave at 6 at night and spend time with my wife in between,” he said.
He said of his first few weeks that he’s worked harder than he’s ever had to in his life.
“[In the past] I’ve worked 50- to 60-hour weeks, but they were not as mentally straining,” he said. “It’s been very difficult, but also almost fun in a strange way.”
Of all his first-semester courses, he said that he really likes the torts and lawyering process classes, adding that it’s those aspects of law that he loves.
Read another entering class of 2012 profile: Professional Poker Player Turns Law Student