While it all worked out in the end, Brigade Judge Advocate Brandon Jones says from Germany, he had no business going to law school.
“If I’m being honest ... I chose that vocation for the wrong reasons. I didn’t choose it out of love; I chose it because when I was 18, I’d decided that that’s what I needed to do to make money because I had family members who would come to depend on me.
“I had a rough go of it while I was at U of I. I struggled both emotionally and academically and wasn’t sure the law was for me.”
And here’s the part where a pair of faculty members at the College of Law enter the picture and steer Jones down the path he’s taken, one that now has him advising the U.S. Army’s 2d Theater Signal Brigade Commander.
“Dean Virginia Vermillion and Dr. Karla Fischer both took the time to mentor and inspire me,” he says. “It would not be a stretch to say that without their influence, I would not be where I am today.
“Dr. Fischer inspired me to work with survivors of domestic violence. Much of my early career was defined by this work. I was able to assist numerous clients and, while working with Dr. Fischer, I learned the value of service in the law.
“While mentoring me through school, it was Dean Vermillion’s influence that convinced me to seek a career in the JAG Corps, where I currently work.
"Serving in the Army has been one of the greatest honors of my life and it all started with the women I met at the University of Illinois.”