Name: Lesli Cooper
Program: Master’s in Criminal Justice; B.A. in Sociology
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
Favorite Life Quote: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Sassy, Honest, Trustworthy
What friend are you in your group of friends?
I am the blunt friend who will tell you how it is with no questions asked.
What do you do to relax after a stressful day?
Drink wine, watch my favorite tv show, and interact with my cat Shane who’s like an old man
What is one thing that you’re most passionate about?
I am most passionate about spending time with my family and having a great time since I do not go home as often as I used to.
What are your greatest dreams and aspirations?
Becoming the best female Black attorney. I say that because in many career fields in the United States, we need more Blacks in the medical field, law, therapy, etc.
What inspired you to choose your career path?
After having a meeting with a district attorney back home and learning what he does, why he loves his job, and him pushing me to consider becoming an attorney because of the skills and assets I possess, I strongly considered becoming an integral part of the law
In this field, what is your area of interest and why?
I want to study law in order to become prosecutor. Even though many people groan when I tell them that is the type of lawyer I want to do, I tell them that I chose to do criminal law because it is more interesting and even though prosecutors are looked at as the “bad guys”, someone has to get the job done in the end.
What is a typical day like for a full-time graduate student while maintaining a job?
The typical day for a full-time graduate student while working, can be a bit much at times honestly. I come into work on campus around 7:50ish AM and leave work around 2 or 3 PM, depending on what all I have to get done that day. After working, if I have time I may go to the HSC just to have some time by myself and then around 4:30 I go to class. I stay in class from 5-7:30 PM every Monday and Wednesday. Tired is definitely an understatement but I have to do both in order to get my education done while also paying bills and other items.
What factors aided in your decision to get involved in Criminal Justice?
The main factors that aided in my decision was 1) to have a higher GPA than I did in undergrad, even though I did not consider it to be that low, but I know that if I have a higher GPA, that would aid me in having a better chance of getting into law school and 2) after talking with the district attorney back home and figuring out what he does.
What do you hope the future holds for you?
I know that I have a bright future ahead of myself in terms of career because of the many resources I have utilized while getting my undergraduate degree and the connections I have made thus far and will continue to make.
What is one piece of advice you could give to students coming behind you, with the aspirations of pursuing this career?
Do not get bogged down with what society wants you to believe in terms of not being able to make it in this “dog-eat-dog” world; just because you are a minority means nothing. If anything, prove to those who think that you will not make it, not by your words, but by your actions. MOVE IN SILENCE.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Whew, this type of questions always gets me. In 10 years, I see myself being an attorney in Washington, D.C. or wherever I am placed jobwise, married with kids. Ultimately, I see myself thriving in my career and being successful in general.
Her Campus UAB wishes you all of the success of your future endeavors, Lesli