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Career Paths: Jasmine Cooper ’24L After graduation, Jasmine Cooper will join Sheppard Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in their Washington, D.C. office as a Labor and Employment Associate.

JCRSJ-Headshot_2023-2024_Cooper-800x533 Career Paths: Jasmine Cooper '24LJasmine Cooper ’24L

Jasmine Cooper ‘24L is from Bowie, Maryland. She attended Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey where she received her B.A. in Sociology from the Honors School.  At W&L, she is Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Executive Articles Editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, and a Rachford Fellow for the Office of Career Strategy. During her 3L year, Jasmine served as the National Director of the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition for the National Black Law Students Association where she executed the National competition and oversaw the six regional competitions within the organization.

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?

After graduation, I will be working at Sheppard Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in their Washington D.C. office as a Labor and Employment Associate.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in this field?

No! Before law school, I knew nothing about labor and employment or even Big Law! All I knew coming into law school was that I wanted to do litigation.

What role did the size and location of the firm play in the search and decision process?

Location was the most important factor for me when I was looking for job opportunities. Growing up in Maryland, right outside of D.C., I knew I wanted to be close to my family and support system after graduation. I mostly targeted the DMV area and Richmond. As far as size, I wasn’t super picky! I didn’t mind the idea of Big Law and the resources associated with it, but I also did not want to be in a summer associate class of over 100 people.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this career choice?

My 1L summer experience confirmed my career choice. During 1L summer I worked for the Honorable Mark R. Colombell on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond. Observing court and writing bench memos confirmed for me that I wanted to do litigation. I got the opportunity to prepare settlement conference memos for my judge and sit in on the actual mediations. One case was a labor and employment matter, and I fell in love with the legal issues and wanted to explore the practice field more. During the spring semester of my 2L year, I took the Labor and Employment practicum and continued to learn more about the practice area and the type of work I would be doing full-time.

What classes do you think are helpful to prepare for this job?

Some of the most helpful classes I have taken to prepare are the Labor and Employment practicum, the Civil Litigation practicum, and my Judicial Externship class. The Labor and Employment practicum exposed me to common legal issues in the practice area. The Civil Litigation practicum allowed me to litigate a complex civil case from filing an answer to the motion for summary judgment stage. Lastly, my Judicial Externship class with Judge Carson helped me continue to develop my legal research and writing. As part of the class, we worked on “pop writing” assignments where we were given 30 minutes to an hour to research a legal issue and write a quick memo. Through these assignments, I became super comfortable with research tasks with quick turnarounds.

Can you describe the job search process?

I tried to start my job search early on during my 1L summer and go about the application process strategically. I knew mass applying to firms was not going to be a strategy that worked for me, so I was very intentional about researching each firm I wanted to apply to, reaching out and networking with a few alums at each firm, and tailoring my application to the particular firm I was targeting. I was on the fence about Big Law and really wanted to make sure I found a place where I felt comfortable and where I felt people were invested in my success. The only way I knew how to gauge that was by talking to as many people as possible at each firm.

What are you most looking forward to about this job?

I’m most looking forward to working with some extremely talented attorneys! I learned so much during my 2L summer that I can’t wait to return full-time.

Outside Law School


Watching reality TV and playing the flute

Favorite Location in Lexington/W&L Campus

Hulls Drive-in movie theater

Advice for Prospective Law Students

Law school can be hard so it’s important to never forget your why.

Something/Someone you will miss at W&L Law

I will miss the BLSA community! From the moment I stepped foot on W&L’s campus (literally) BLSA members embraced, supported, and uplifted me. This year it has been amazing getting to know the 1Ls and support them through their first year.