Detrek Jones: Army Veteran, Future Lawyer

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Being an advocate for those 'who can't speak for themselves' motivates Detrek Jones, '16, in his quest to become a lawyer.

Detrek Jones, '16Faith is an integral part of Detrek Jones’ life. It’s one of the reasons he wants to become a lawyer. So is helping others find their voice. “I want to advocate for people who can’t speak for themselves,” said Jones. The University of Washington Tacoma senior graduates in June with a degree in politics, philosophy, and economics.

The 27-year-old started his undergraduate work at a community college in his native California. He met his wife in school which changed his life in more ways than one. She applied and got into UW Tacoma’s master of social work program. As it so happened, Detrek wanted to major in PP&E and UW Tacoma is one of the few schools on the West Coast that offers it as a major. As he has pursued his studies, he has also written for The Ledger, the student newspaper, and worked as a student mentor in the academic advising office.

Jones is working on an application for the Washington State Bar Association’s Admission to Practice Rule 6 Law Clerk Program. This unique, four-year program, an alternative to law school, will allow Jones to work with a lawyer or judge with at least 10 years of active experience. Afterwards, Jones will be able to take the Washington State Bar Exam.

An Army veteran, Jones wants to use his experience to help others. He served as a prison guard at Fort Leavenworth and got to know some of the inmates. “A lot of their environments that they grew up in are similar to the one I grew up in,” said Jones. “I got to know that they’re not that different from me.”

In between graduation and starting his journey to become a lawyer, Jones is taking graduate level courses from an online seminary. “I wouldn’t be here without my faith,” said Jones. “Situations change and always having something to fall back on is very comforting.”

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / June 6, 2016
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or