Justin King

Hometown: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Undergraduate School: Boston College

Job: Clerkship with the Hon. Rhys S. Hodge, Chief Justice of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Student Groups

While at Temple Law, I participated in the Moot Court Honor Society and was the treasurer of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). When I joined Moot Court, I knew that I loved oral advocacy but I thought that I’d forever hate to write. What surprised me most about Moot Court was that it changed my perception of writing and helped me develop a passion for researching, analyzing, and writing about the law.

Temple BLSA afforded me the opportunity to engage in issues affecting the African-American community in an academic sphere, and it often provided forums for useful discourse for any person willing to participate. At the same time, it provided excellent networking opportunities with other student organizations, practicing attorneys, and local and national affinity groups.

Experiential Opportunities

As a third-year student, I participated in clinicals with the Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Office-Claims Division and the Camden Public Defender’s Office. Through both, I began to learn how practicing city attorneys manage large caseloads and how demanding it is to do so. It was fantastic being able to see the courtroom and watch practicing attorneys in their element whenever I wished. I learned not only from what good lawyers were doing right, but more importantly, from what many attorneys were doing wrong.

Favorite Faculty Member

This is a tough one for me, so I have to take the easy way out and say there isn’t just one single faculty member who was my “favorite.” A few names that come to mind are Professors Frank McClellan, Nancy Knauer, and Susan DeJarnatt. Professor McClellan and I became friends in my first week of law school, and he forced me to become engaged in and to eventually love Torts with his constant—and sometimes seemingly pestering—questioning. From my first year until today, Professor McClellan has remained heavily in my corner. He helped me get my first Judicial Clerk Internship with the Hon. Gregory Sleet for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and was heavily involved in helping me find employment for next year.

Professors Knauer and DeJarnatt were equally amazing. They both taught subjects that I thought I would hate (Tax and Legal Research and Writing, respectively) and made them fun and interesting. In fact, it was Professor DeJarnatt who encouraged me to join Temple Moot Court. And like Professor McClellan, both were highly invested in my success. I have little doubt that they are just as encouraging for all of their students.

Carrying Temple Forward

Entering my first year, I was an over-confident Boston College economics major who thought he knew it all. If I learned anything from law school, it’s that, in reality, I know nothing. But, that’s okay because I have been given the skills to figure out the answer to anything I need to. Temple has taught me how to think, how to analyze, and how to work through anything that seems difficult, because there is always the assumption that I don’t know anything and can always learn more.

Advice for Future Owls

Before going to law school, many people told me to be careful because law school tends to be very adversarial in nature. I quickly learned, however, that there were only a few outlying students who acted that way. Most of my fellow students were extremely willing to help and assist each other through any problem. So if I had any advice to the next class, it would be to be a part of that large majority and be willing to engage with other students to work through difficult issues, because it makes for an easier and more enjoyable learning experience.