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Brendon W. Marshall ‘13 Builds a Career at the California Department of Justice

January 26, 2015

Soon after graduating from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Brendon W. Marshall ‘13 found what he considered to be the perfect job for him. “After passing the bar, I was afforded a position as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice. I became a statewide criminal prosecutor, representing the people of the State of California in state and federal trial courts, appellate courts, and Supreme Courts,” Marshall recalls. “None of this would have been possible without the support and motivation of my colleagues and professors during my time at TJSL.”

“Interestingly enough, I never intended on going into criminal law,” Marshall acknowledges. “In fact, my journey to the California Department of Justice and acquisition of the title Deputy Attorney General was more or less an accident. It started as another internship, a resume builder, and frankly that is all I thought it would be.” Enthusiastic about his career and the people he works with, Marshall added, “The attorneys are top notch, incredibly helpful, and devoted. The opportunities and resources are limitless and the work is intellectually and emotionally stimulating. In sum, I became interested in criminal law when I dove into it head first.”

Although Marshall did not anticipate pursuing a career in criminal law he has found great personal satisfaction as Deputy Attorney General. “The most rewarding part of my job is being able to represent the State of California in the pursuit of justice against individuals who have, at times, destroyed the lives of others,” said Marshall. “Whether it is capital murder, sexual assault, abduction, robbery, or a gang related crime, the goal at the beginning of every day is the same, to insure that justice is carried out. Simply put, it is an honor being able to stand before a trial court, an appellate court, or the Supreme Court with the understanding that I represent the people of the State of California, and more specifically, the victims of merciless crimes.”

Like many students, Marshall found law school challenging, “I entered law school with the understanding that in order to succeed it was going to require extensive perseverance and dedication.” Marshall also admits, “Along every step of the way I had extremely supportive colleagues and professors that went out of their way to make sure I had every nuance for a given legal subject well versed.”

During law school, Marshall was involved in Phi Alpha Delta, editor of the student run newspaper The Jeffersonian, member of Moot Court and lead notes editor of the Law Review. Marshall credits the Law Review note writing process in particular for sharping valuable skills. “It taught me to manage my time, focus my energy, and how to produce a high quality piece of legal scholarship on a deadline,” Marshall said. “This process which paired me with one of my 1L professors as a mentor greatly shaped the attorney that I am today.”

“After law school came the Bar exam. Again, I knew this would be a challenge and I prepared myself for it in advance. I started studying early, continued until late at night, and kept my eyes on the prize, “Esq.,”’ Marshall said. “Yes, bar study is an extremely long and daunting process but with a good work ethic and reasonable goals along the way, it can easily be viewed as a job with a nifty title as a paycheck. Luckily, I did the job right the first time.”
Academic achievements aside, Marshall recognizes that connecting with colleagues is what opens doors in the legal community. “Network, network, and continue to network,” Marshall said. “Life is not a fairytale and, consequently, jobs will not fall from the sky into your lap. You need to be a go-getter. I attribute most of my success thus far to networking and seizing opportunities that presented themselves. Go to an event, find common ground with a person of interest, and chat them up. Carpe diem.”

In addition to making connections outside of TJSL, Marshall values the relationships he was able to build with professors. “It was incredibly helpful being able to connect with professors who not only enjoyed what they did, but who were also willing to take additional time outside of the classroom to make sure you enjoyed the learning process as well,” Marshall said. “Some of my fondest memories while at TJSL pertained to my professorial relationships. To name a few, Professors Rebecca Lee, Maurice Dyson, and Steve Semeraro went above and beyond their duties by insuring that not only my sanity remained intact, but also that I understood their respective fields inside and out. It was a blessing having such dedicated professors.”

“My law school experience at Thomas Jefferson School of Law was enjoyable and highly memorable,” Marshall stated. “While law school in general is a challenge, I contribute much of my pleasurable experience at TJSL to the collegiality of the students and the support of the staff and faculty.”