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Pictured Maley Moak (Left) & Aerial Adams (Right)
Pictured Maley Moak (Left) & Aerial Adams (Right)

For the first three years of her time in undergraduate studies at Mississippi State University, Maley Moak had no intentions of pursuing a career in the legal field. If not for a chance introduction to an MC Law alum in the summer prior to her senior year, her passion for politics might have never found its home. 

“After hearing what life as an attorney could look like, I remember saying, ‘Man, I really want to do that.’,” said Moak. “I started studying for my LSATs that night.” 

A communications major and MSU cheerleader, her journey to law school soon became a straight path leading her right to Mississippi College School of Law. “I only applied to MC Law. I only wanted to come here,” stated Moak. “After getting to know the amazing admissions team, it was hard to want to apply anywhere else.”

Aerial Adams attended Howard University in Washington D.C. for her undergraduate program. Although many expected the Jackson, Mississippi resident to continue her studies at a law school in that area, Adams has other plans. 

“I’ve always known that my goal in life has been to gain all the experience and knowledge that I could to be able to return home and reinvest it into my community,” stated Adams. 

After coming home in October of 2022 to work as a press assistant in the Mississippi State Senate, Adams was introduced to a 3L student at MC Law. She was personally invited to sit in on Professor Johnson’s employment discrimination class, and from there, Adams knew MC was where she needed to be. 

“I just felt so welcomed, which was super important to me. Not just because I felt at home, but because I wanted to go into a space where I wasn’t just a number. Where I wasn’t just a student that wouldn’t be remembered in a few years. I wanted that family and community,” stated Adams. “At MC Law, I have had that since before I even pressed submit on my application.” 

The two took their first steps towards obtaining a law degree when they participated in first-year orientation. The week-long event included informative remarks from some of the states top names in the legal profession, breakout sessions with judges and attorneys, and legal analysis and communication workshops – all designed to set incoming law students on a path to success during their three year journey to becoming a Juris doctor.    

For Aerial Adams, orientation put her first-day jitters at ease: “At the beginning of orientation I was very nervous and I felt overwhelmed, but from the time I walked from the front door to my seat, I just felt so welcomed and excited. Everyone was very welcoming. By the end of the first two days, I felt like ‘I can do this…this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.’”

Attendees took part in the James O. Dukes Law School Professionalism Program and Oath hosted on the main campus of Mississippi College  in Clinton, MS. Named in honor of its founder, the late James O. Dukes of Gulfport, a former Mississippi Bar Association president, the annual program is sponsored by the Mississippi State Bar. 

Maley Moak credits orientation with introducing her to those already into their legal careers: “Orientation this year was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to sit at a table and have lunch with some of the top attorneys in our state. I think the orientation experience speaks to how much MC Law cares about the future and success of their students.”

The remainder of orientation took place at MC Law’s downtown Jackson campus. In accordance with the second day’s theme, “Finding Your Fit at MC Law,” the students took part in a Law School Organization Fair, learned about the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions, and discovered how to find their way around the MC Law campus in sessions hosted by Ken Cook, information technology manager and Randy Chatham, security officer. The day’s events included a financial aid meeting and a diversity session. 

The final two days of orientation consisted of an intensive “Setting Yourself Up for Success in Law School – Legal Analysis and Communication” workshop. At the end of the week, incoming students had been fully immersed in the MC Law experience and were given the tools necessary for a successful three years. 

The MC Law admissions team serves as the organizing and planning arm for all orientation activities, and has crafted a successful program for new students who aren’t quite sure what to expect. “Orientation is the highlight of our year,” says Director of Admissions Jay Armstrong.  “Seeing all the new students in one place for the first time represents a year's worth of hard work for our team. We are excited to see one of the best-qualified classes in MC Law history and look forward to watching them grow and mature.”