Member Monday: Jocelynn Jordan-Kerzner

Law Clerk // Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC

Please provide a description of your practice.
I am a 3L at DePaul University College of Law and the full-time Law Clerk for Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC. In my capacity as a family law clerk, I support two Principal Partners, two Partners, and four Associates. Our firm practices in all areas within domestic relations and family law. We have locations in Chicago, Elmhurst, and Park Ridge. As for my studies at DePaul, I was a 2019-2020 Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center Fellow, and I will be graduating in May with my Business Law Certificate. I also served as an Academic Success Program Teaching Assistant and 1L Contracts Teaching Assistant.

Why are you a member of the WBAI?
My journey to law school began at the time of my birth. I was born to an 18 year old, single mother. During my childhood my mother took online classes while working as a Paralegal in a woman-ran firm. My earliest memories are of me spending my school “off” days in my mother’s office, alphabetizing and filing away documents for the women of the firm. This experience stuck with me and twenty-one years later, I still enjoy alphabetizing and filing away for the women of my firm. I also reflect on my pre-law school education and thank my 7th grade Student Government Advisor, my 8th grade English Teacher, and my undergraduate Business Spanish Professor for all seeing the future lawyer and advocate in me, even when I had yet to learn what that means to be. From a dirt road in Alabama to the skyscrapers in Chicago, the women of my life are the reasons I got here and the reason that I keep going. Joining WBAI was an instinct and never a question. I can think of no better way to embark on my legal career than to be surrounded by the most fierce and zealous attorneys in Illinois – the members of WBAI. I hope to learn from them, grow with them, and become them so that I, too, may empower a young woman embarking on her own journey.

What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?
I believe our advocacy should not stop with our clients. We should also advocate for our colleagues when they are not in the room to advocate for themselves. In doing so, we should have empathy and understanding that society puts enough pressure on women in law; we do not need to do the same. And as always, leading by example with authenticity and integrity.

What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?

I am EXTREMELY excited to wrap up my final semester of school, GRADUATE with my Business Law Certificate, and sit for the Bar this coming July. Prior to graduation, I will study Foreign Investments, Trade, and Business Transactions in Havana, Cuba. I am also looking forward to getting married and starting the next chapter of my life.

Tell us something interesting about you.

I took Legally Blonde too seriously as a child. I am a former Miss Teen Tennessee and I am competing as Miss Greater Midwest USA in the Miss Illinois USA pageant this May! I have learned that pageant stereotypes are not pageant specific. While I may not wear a bikini into the courtroom, women are held to a higher standard and expected to always be “on” regardless of the industry. During my Miss Illinois USA preparation, my team and I will be following the next four months via docuseries to highlight what young women in law take on in any given week, how difficult it is to balance work with any other activity or venture in life, and the lack of hours in the day to get it all done.