2016 Concord Graduate, Juris Doctor
After 32 Years, a Wife and Mother Fulfills Her Dream of Graduating Law School
If you had to pick out two defining characteristics of Charlene Standridge, they would be perseverance and self-reliance. At 50 years of age, Charlene was a wife and mother with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from California State University-Fresno and 27 years' experience in the pharmaceutical field. And yet, it was those two qualities that would help her fulfill the wish of her 18-year-old self.
"When I was 18 years old, I worked for a law firm as just a secretary, and I never thought it was something that I could do myself. I had to put myself through college to get my bachelor's degree, and then life kind of got in the way. I worked and got married, and I never, ever thought that I could become an attorney."
It was Charlene's father who gave her the idea. "About 5 years ago, my dad said to me, 'Well if you're miserable in your job, why don't you go become an attorney?'
I found Concord online, and it was an answer to a dream that I had had for almost 30 years."
The Freedom of Flexibility
"I think it's worth it for somebody in my age bracket that can have a second career at this stage of your life. And I don't think that that's easy when you're raising children and working full-time that you can just do that, if you have to go to a brick-and-mortar type of a school. Concord opens up that ability for you to be able to still work full-time [and] work your schedule on your schooling that works best for you. And then to be able, at 50 years old, to say, 'Hey, I'm an attorney and I'm going to go out there and I'm going to practice law now.'"
Networking and Next Moves
During Charlene's time at Concord, and since graduation, she has seen doors open that she never thought would be possible. She's been able to network with professionals and see which of those opportunities can help with a future career.
Today, Charlene is a law clerk at a boutique corporate securities law firm whose practice area focuses on securities offerings for real estate syndications and small business startups.*
"I see me going to work for a law firm. I have a couple of different opportunities. One is with a trust and estate planning firm, to possibly come in and work with them and do wills and trusts. And I have a second opportunity which is a bit different-working for a small firm and doing workers' compensation, doing immigration as a second associate. To give back to the community would be an awesome, awesome thing to do."
*Concord Law School cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.