Penn State Law student spends summer immersed in military law

Penn State Law student Aboye Jinkiri spent the summer in Washington, D.C. as a Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) intern in the General Litigation Division among people who may be her future colleagues. When the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps are sued, the General Litigation Division defends service personnel, policy makers and commanders.

“The minute you begin working for the Navy you hit the ground running,” she said, describing a summer of immersion in U.S. military law. She assisted in Freedom of Information Act appeals and authored federal court pleadings. Jinkiri was impressed by the camaraderie and powerful sense of teamwork she witnessed among JAG attorneys.

“The attorneys were primarily focused on being a part of an organization as a whole and recognized that all of their work was for the benefit of that organization. People took such pride in their work,” she said.

Jinkiri is attracted to the prospect of a JAG career so that she can get into the courtroom quickly. She also would continue to benefit from the professional development and mentoring that her summer colleagues provided to her. “At the end of the summer I walked away with several mentors,” she said. “Every attorney was happy to help me understand a challenge or answer a question, even if he or she was not in my ‘assigned’ division.”

She will decide in the spring whether to pursue a Navy JAG commission.

The Road to Penn State Law

Jinkiri, who has lived in several regions of the United States, spent a portion of her early childhood in Nigeria and has traveled abroad to Ukraine on mission trips. She was initially drawn to a career in medicine so that she could help others.

After earning a degree in economics from Northwestern University, she joined the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project as an administrative assistant. The organization, a joint venture of the Mississippi Bar and Legal Services, was one of the first state pro bono programs in the United States. Jinkiri credits that experience with “hammering home” to her that law school must be her next destination. “I saw just how much power a lawyer has to impact the lives of his or her clients,” she said.

Jinkiri spent a year at a Mississippi law school before transferring to Penn State Law. “It’s been everything I hoped for and more. I am able to be involved in activities and pursue causes I believe in,” she said. She serves on the SBA Speaker’s Trust Fund, the Law School’s Diversity Committee, and on the board of the Black Law Students Association. She also serves as the student coach for the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition team. “Penn State Law was absolutely the right decision for me.”


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Last Updated July 22, 2015