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Jackson State University College of Liberal Arts unveils new Pre-Law Center in honor of Attorney Bob Owens

 

(Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

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JACKSON, Miss – Jackson State University students who aspire to have a career in law will now have a space dedicated to making those goals a reality. The JSU College of Liberal Arts unveiled the new Bob Owens Pre-Law Center, located on the second floor of the Dolly M.E. Robinson Building. A large gathering of family, friends, colleagues, and elected officials attended the event honoring alumnus Bob Owens, J.D., ’73.

(Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

President Hudson and Attorney Bob Owens standing in front of the Bob Owens Pre-Law Center

“I want to give thanks to Attorney Owens. Twenty-four years ago in the Fall of 1998 you came and spoke to our class,” recalls President Thomas Hudson, J.D. “I was a student here at Jackson State University and just during that short time you poured something into us and into me that I feel sparked everything that you’re seeing here today. It’s that life of service, that legacy of excellence. We’re just so thankful it culminated in this moment where we can have the Bob Owens Pre-Law Center that we needed when we were students here.”

In keeping with the university’s strategic plan to foster student success through student-centered programs, the Bob Owens Pre-Law Center’s premiere program will be the Bob Owens Pre-Law Academy. The academy will serve as an accelerated and interdisciplinary boost to prepare students for the LSAT exam and the difficulties of Law School.  The center will bring together new program delivery models and challenging initiatives that will aid JSU students interested in attending top-tier law schools.

“We envision Jackson State as a major pipeline for law schools around the country, for this to be accomplished we’ll need each of you to be ambassadors for JSU and the Bob Owens Center,” expressed Owens.

The Bob Owens Academy will focus on implementing preparatory programs, special projects, events and co-curricular activities. The undergraduate academy welcomes students from various studies to apply if they possess a serious desire to work in the field of law.

(Charles A. Smith/University Communications)

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, KB Turner, Ph.D.

“The center does not promote any particular major. A student with a strong academic record and a strong interest in pursuing law will be considered,” says KB Turner, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Research shows that students with a background in biology, physics, history, and English tend to also be accepted at compatible rates as those students with degrees in social sciences, like political science or criminal justice.”

JSU alumnus Charles Irvin, Ph.D., will serve as the advisor for the Bob Owens Pre-Law center. During the ceremony Irvin praised Owens and his family for investing in the future generations of lawyers who will graduate from Jackson State and pursue law degrees. Irvin also spoke about his plans to lead students of the Bob Owens Academy to success.

“Establishing a successful pipeline means those students need to be ready and what does it mean to be ready? It’s rigor, it’s exploration, exposure, advantage detail and yield. You’re going to need a certain GPA and you’re going to need a certain LSAT score those are practical implications that we’ll deal with,” stated Irvin.

Attorney Owens stands as one of the nation’s legal luminaries. He is the founding partner of Owens Moss law firm, a fixture on West Street in Jackson, Miss. Owens’ firm has been listed in the Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, which includes only the most distinguished law practices. For almost five decades, Owens has quietly garnered countless million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of egregiously wronged clients. However, he cites his greatest professional satisfaction as working at Central Mississippi Legal Services where he was the managing attorney handling consumer and civil rights cases. Owens was successful in litigating cases involving constitutional rights of pretrial detainees, ensuring their civil and humane treatment.

Owens has been recognized with some of the highest awards in the legal profession, including the Jack H. Young Sr. Award for the lawyer contributing the most to the profession; the R. Jess Brown Award; and the NAACP of Mississippi Lawyer of the Year Award.

After graduating from Jackson State University, Owens earned his juris doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law. He is married to the esteemed Chancery Court Judge, Denise Sweet Owens, who attended George Washington University School of Law. They have four children – Selika is a pediatrician and the other three are lawyers: Bobby (Northwestern School of Law), Brittany (Harvard School of Law), and Jason (University of Chicago Law School).

The Owens endowed gift represents a synthesis of his love for Jackson State University, his respect for the legal profession, and his hope that the highest aspirations of lawyers yet to come will be realized. The first class of the Bob Owens Academy will enroll in Fall 2022.

- JSU –

Media Contact: Anthony Howard, Anthony.J.Howard@jsums.edu