Jeremy Pratt has seen firsthand that the criminal justice system doesn’t work for everyone, and he’s determined to help reform it.
“I’ve always wanted to be a voice for those underrepresented in the legal field,” he says, “and I believe a law school degree will allow me to achieve my goal of implementing changes to help those failed by the system.”
Growing up in inner city Toledo, Ohio, Jeremy didn’t know of anyone in his community who had attended college, let alone law school, yet he set his sights on becoming a criminal defense attorney.
His mom was a secretary for the public defender’s office, so he spent part of his childhood watching arraignments and trials. Then, some friends and family entered the criminal justice system, and he witnessed how the system railroaded and failed them. “Rather than wait for improvements, I figured I would become part of the solution,” he says.
Jeremy received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Ohio Northern University. He grew to love the campus and people, so ONU Law became a top choice when he was looking at law schools. “First, I was impressed with ONU Law’s bar passage rate,” he says. “And, I really enjoy the atmosphere of the University. Everyone from the faculty to the students know each other by name.”
Jeremy’s law school attitude is “to be like a sponge and soak it all in.” And while he’s heard people say that law school doesn’t prepare you for the real world, he feels the opposite is true at ONU Law. “We are learning skills that will transition directly to the field,” he says.
While Jeremy’s goal is to become a criminal defense attorney, he's not ruling out another area of the law, or someday running for a judgeship or political office. His background growing up in the inner city, and his achievements in academics, sports and leadership, uniquely position him for success.
He tells future students not to be intimidated by law school. At ONU Law, he says, everyone has your back. “Your professors want to see you do well and will do anything in their power to help you succeed. Lastly, when you leave your family on your way to Ada, I assure you that you will meet your family away from home.”