For Saint Augustine’s University graduates Shaquitta Monique Clark and Antwoine Lamont Coleman Jr., it was not a matter of being accepted to law school. Their biggest decisions were which ones to attend.
Clark was admitted to 11 law schools. Coleman was admitted to eight law schools.
After much deliberation, Clark, a native of District Heights, Md., is headed to Atlanta, Ga. in August to Emory University. Clark also received offers from Michigan State, The Ohio State University and the University of Maryland to name a few.
Coleman, a native of Richmond, Va., decided to attend North Carolina Central University. He also received admission offers from schools such as Michigan State, Florida A&M University, Campbell University and Florida Coastal University.
Clark, who has been a presidential scholar for all four years, shared her initial reaction when she received her first acceptance letter.
“I felt a sense of relief,” said Clark, who has a 4.0 grade point average. “When I received my second acceptance letter, my third letter, my fourth letter and so on, I was so excited and screamed that I am going to law school. Prayer definitely works!”
However, being accepted has not always been easy for Clark.
In one of her personal statements that she submitted to a law school, Clark revealed how her father had to choose between cocaine and her.
“My father chose cocaine,” wrote Clark in her statement. “My grandparents stepped in and saved me. A few years later, my grandfather was murdered—by his son, my uncle. I was forced to move back in with my mother, who worked 60 hours a week. I speak of these experiences not as sob stories or as pity seeking, but as proof of my belief in the following statement: there is almost nothing that I cannot overcome. Growing up, I had no voice; I could not speak for myself, and there was no one to speak for me, to give advice or to advocate for me. My passion for law burns out of this silence.”
At the age of 10, Clark always knew she wanted to be a lawyer. However, Clark did not major in political science nor criminal justice.
“During my freshman year at Saint Augustine’s University, I decided to major in psychology because I have always been a person who asks why,” said Clark, who plans to be a corporate attorney. “I chose to attend Saint Augustine’s University because the institution illustrated its commitment to my success and welcomed me—and other students—without reservation. The student-to-faculty ratio is small, which allowed me to receive the one-on-one time I desired, and also provided the opportunity for my professors and me to get to know each other on a personal level.
Coleman, who has 3.92 grade point average and has also been a presidential scholar for four years, agrees with Clark.
“Saint Augustine’s University is very nurturing,” said Coleman, who is a first generation college student. “I love the family environment.”
Coleman, who is the oldest of six children, expressed his thoughts about being accepted to eight law schools.
“God is good!” said Coleman, whose eyes beamed with joy. “I am extremely excited and truly humbled. I plan to pursue criminal law because it is a lawyer’s responsibility to serve as an advocate for justice.”
Not only are Clark and Coleman both going to law school but they also currently work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office located in downtown Raleigh. Dakeisa Parker, a paralegal specialist in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, currently supervises Clark and has supervised Coleman.
“Monique (as we call her at the U.S. Attorney’s Office) has a strong sense of reason and demonstrates a passion for issues of justice which is rare,” Parker said. “Monique has a very firm foundation on her education, morals and work ethic which will carry her far and beyond whatever path she chooses in life, professionally and personally. We are so very proud of her and her accomplishments. I know she will shine brighter than the brightest star.”
Parker went on to share her thoughts about Coleman’s work ethics.
“Antwoine is a wonderful, young man with so much potential and talent, and he exhibits that potential everyday here in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Parker expressed. “The entire appellate staff found Antwoine to be a delight to work with. I have had the opportunity to see him on a daily basis and observed his work ethic, and I am confident that he has the characteristics to become a contentious attorney. I believe he has the diversity of thought and intellectual qualities that will richly contribute to his law school class.”
It appears that Clark and Coleman are two names that will be known in the legal world in the near future.