After Teach for America, Brandeis Law student is pursuing legal career

Calesia Henson
Calesia Henson

After completing their two-year teaching assignment with Teach for America, many people are motivated to pursue careers in education. But for rising third-year Brandeis Law student Calesia Henson, that experience piqued her interest in another career path: employment law.

"Teaching was probably the most difficult and rewarding thing I've ever done," says Henson, who taught fourth-grade grammar and ESL classes in Memphis. "Teachers don’t get the respect that they deserve. From an employment standpoint, I thought that no employee should feel the way that teachers feel."

Henson has had the opportunity for hands-on experience with employment law as a summer associate with Louisville's Stites & Harbison, PLLC. She has spent two summers there and has conducted research, written memos and assisted attorneys with presentations to employers.

Henson says she has always wanted to go to law school, and that her experience as a teacher solidified her decision. After graduation, she is eager to become more engaged in community service in Louisville.

"I also want to use my law degree to impact education. I don’t know what form that will take, but I feel like my knowledge of the law will help me,” she says.

As a law student, Henson is involved in several extracurriculars: she is the articles selection editor of the Louisville Law Review, incoming president of the Black Law Student Association, a research assistant for Professor JoAnne Sweeny, an academic success leader and a student worker at the law library. She has also been chosen for the Brandeis Inn of Court, a select group of local practitioners and law students that promotes professional skills and values with a special emphasis upon ethical and responsible advocacy in state and federal courts.

Henson says she values the experiences she has been offered at the Brandeis School of Law. 

"Everybody wants you to thrive," she says of the school's small size and collegial atmosphere.