After graduating from law school and practicing law on the West Coast, Virginia native Magistrate Judge Jennifer Carroll ‘10 returned home. She says the experience gained as an Adjunct Professor at Virginia State University, a Litigation Associate with the Law Office of Ralph Harrison and being a solo practitioner prepared her to assume the role as Magistrate Judge in Richmond.
As a Magistrate Judge, Carroll presides over hundreds of bail hearings and hearings relating to Fourth Amendment issues for search warrants and arrest warrants for a multitude of crimes such as homicide, rape and robbery.
Judge Carroll began her career as a Litigation Associate with the Law Office of Ralph Harrison in Los Angeles where she represented clients in ERISA, mortgage fraud and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 excessive force claims. After a few years with the Law Office of Ralph Harrison, Carroll returned to Virginia where she opened her own law practice, the Law Office of Jennifer Carroll. Her practice specialized in firearm, property and drug related offenses.
Outside of her professional endeavors, Carroll began The Foundation for Foster and Orphan Children. “It is one of my proudest contributions to the community,” Carroll said. The Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, provides tutoring, mentoring, coats and clothes to disadvantaged foster youth in Petersburg, Virginia and surrounding areas.
It has been important for Judge Carroll to give back to her hometown. She grew up in Petersburg and graduated from Petersburg High School, where she demonstrated the extraordinary potential that earned her a full college scholarship. After graduating, Carroll enrolled at Virginia Military Institute as one of the first females to attend the historically all-male college. Shortly after VMI, Carroll attended Virginia State University where she obtained a Master’s Degree in English. Carroll’s exceptional academic performance led to a position as an Adjunct Professor at Virginia State University before enrolling at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
At TJSL, Carroll continued her impressive academic path, graduating with cum laude honors in 2010. “The academic rigor of Thomas Jefferson, the faculty support, and small classroom numbers ensured that I obtained a quality legal education so that after graduation, I was well-prepared to enter the legal profession and be successful,” Carroll said.
“The best advice I could give to new TJSL graduates is to be resilient and resourceful,” Carroll said. “Inevitably, there will be hardships and obstacles that you will have to overcome such as a competitive job market, but you have to be willing to explore new practice areas and make connections with potential employers. Thomas Jefferson School of Law equips its students for such fortitude.”