By Nicole DJovin • May 26, 2020•Law School, Internships and Clerkships
My name is Nicole D’Jovin Button and I am currently attending Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My main goal after graduation is to secure a position in public interest and/or public service so that I can help provide legal support to a community of people who so desperately need it. I chased my law school dream with a passion to fight incarceration, and along the lines found out that I also would like to help fight for women’s rights, disability rights, and fight for any other person who suffered an injustice in their life time. I just feel like it is what I am meant to do, and that is why I am here. Currently, for this summer, I earned a Summer position with the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh working within their Civil Law Project. The main focus of the program will be helping victims of domestic violence with Civil Legal proceedings such as PFAs, custody, support, and divorces, so it will primarily be family law work.
Growing up, I had a little sister who was two years younger than me. From an early age, I realized that she was watching me and learning from the things that I was doing. If I snuck a cookie from the cookie jar, then so did she; however, if I cleaned up my toys and put them away, then so did she. It was like having my own little, curly-haired shadow. I started leading by example throughout our childhood by doing my homework and taking my baths on time. I would always eat all my dinner, even the stuff I did not like as much, just because I knew she was watching. When I got my first job at McDonald’s, I went everyday. I never called off, and even got promoted to manager. Two years later, when she turned sixteen, she followed in my footsteps and got a job with me. I know this impacted her positively by teaching her the value of working hard. Seeing me as a manager inspired her to get better at her job as well. Eventually, I had to go away to college, and I did so with the mindset that I was going to try my hardest so that my sister, too, will go to college. Fast forward to quite a few years later, I have my undergraduate degree and am pursuing my J.D. and she has completed her undergraduate degree and now lives on her own and owns her own business. While I know I am not the sole reason for her success in life, I like to think that I lead by example for her and she followed in my footsteps. Every single day of my life, I was a leader, because of my younger follower.
Just as I had done with my little sister, I intend to lead by example while working public interest. I think that I will be able to do this in my summer role because I am also a survivor of domestic violence. While I am not sure if I will get the chance to share my story with the clients, I will still make it so that I can show the steps I have taken to get where I am now in life. I want to inspire people to have their own goals and aspirations, and then to actually take substantial steps towards them. I think that a career in public interest will really help me to be able to help others in this way. I want to continue on a lifelong journey of helping others through legal advocacy.