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A teenager when she started law school, ASU Law dual grad looks ahead to a bright future

photo of Jada Allender

An ASU Law student at just 19, Jada Allender has taken her passion for sports business to earning a dual JD and MSLB degree this spring.

April 16, 2021

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.

At just 19, Jada Allender began her pursuit of both a JD and Master of Sports Law and Business (MSLB) degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

From barrel racing and driving combines while growing up in Eugene, Oregon, to graduating from law school, the now 22-year-old looks forward to a promising career.

With a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon, where she was a student manager for the football team, Allender says her passion for the industry only grew stronger when she started in the Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business program at ASU Law. Studying the legal underpinnings in sports and falling in love with corporate law led to more opportunities for Allender, who has done consulting work for sports businesses and created her own startup company.

Allender, a recipient of the Honorable Cecil B. Patterson Jr. Scholarship and the Kappes Family Scholarship, says she also took advantage of the experiential learning opportunities ASU Law offers. She completed externships at Gammage & Burnham, Greenberg Traurig, the Arizona Supreme Court, and Poli, Moon & Zane. During her summers, she worked as a summer associate at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, where she will be returning as an associate attorney after graduation.

And she still found time to do more.

“Beyond educational and career opportunities, ASU Law has led me to many unique experiences,” said Allender, noting when she was interviewed by the “Today” show and “NBC News” about the impact late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had on women studying the law.

Allender also competed in case competitions, served on the Corporate and Business Law Journal, was on the board of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), completed a fellowship at the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, and helped ASU Law create a Public Interest Fellowship program.

“Since BLSA has many members who are passionate about giving back to the community and working in the public-interest space, we are so happy to see this fellowship initiative take hold,” Allender said in an ASU News article when the program was announced. “Many students pursue public-interest job opportunities but have to turn those offers down and accept a different position simply because the other position is paid. These fellowships will allow our students to chase their dreams in any legal field without stressing over their personal financial situation.”

Reflecting on her accomplishments while at ASU Law, Allender says she is “extremely grateful for all of the opportunities at ASU and the tremendous support I have received from faculty and staff. And, none of this would've been possible without the love and support from my amazing mother, Sarah, who made single-parenting look like a breeze.”

Question: Why did you choose ASU Law?

Answer: I chose ASU Law because of its unique dual-degree program that allowed me to earn both a Juris Doctor and Master of Sports Law and Business.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU Law?

A: While I can't choose just one, and I've had many amazing professors along the way, Professors Andrew Carter and Rhett Larson have taught me countless things that have shaped the lawyer I hope to be.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those contemplating ASU Law, and those still in law school?

A: Find some 3Ls or recent graduates and have them explain the timeline of law school to you! I had some phenomenal TAs during my first semester of law school that helped me understand the importance of networking during the first semester and how that would impact the interviews that started in January.

Building off of that, those interviews for your first summer job can often have an impact on your second summer job or possible externships along the way. Understanding this and being prepared for the different stages of law school is a must!

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: That's a tough question because there are a lot of issues I'm passionate about. But if I had to pick one, it would be helping kids growing up in tough situations and providing support and a stable home. Whether it is homeless youth, youth in foster care, youth suffering from domestic abuse, or any youth in need, I would dedicate the money to supporting them and improving their situation. I attribute basically all of my success to the amazing upbringing and endless love and support I received from my mother. That kind of unconditional support and encouragement is something I wish every child had access to growing up. 

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