Educator Obtains Law Degree to Begin Career in Restorative Justice

Posted December 07, 2021, 11:32AM
Joy Clark

Joy Clark always aspired to attend law school however her love for math and teaching took her on an alternative path. She tributes the 2016 presidential election with changing her perspective and for sparking her interest to pursue her ultimate goal – a law degree.

Prior to entering the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law, Clark earned a bachelor’s degree in math from NCCU in 2002.

Clark’s father, a 1981 NCCU’s School of Law graduate, served as her inspiration to return to NCCU to obtain a law degree.

In 2019, Clark enrolled in North Carolina Central University School of Law’s Evening Program to pursue restorative justice law. Just a short three-and-a-half short years later, Clark will graduate early from the program. She tributes having extra time during the pandemic for allowing her to enroll in additional online courses to graduate early.

The Raleigh, N.C., native was eager to apply to NCCU’s evening program, where she could study law and remain employed full-time as a math teacher at J.D. Clement Early College High School. In 2020, she was named the school’s teacher of the year.  

As a law student, Clark introduced restorative practices she learned in law school to local classrooms to assist with building relationships between students and teachers.

During her studies, Clark also served as a writing tutor at the School of Law. In 2019, she also worked with the Legal Eagle Law Camp and facilitated restorative practice talking circles with incoming 1L law students to provide insight into restorative justice.

After passing the bar, Clark plans to continue her work with Dispute Settlement Center as a restorative practices associate, with the ultimate goal of becoming a law professor.

She encourages future law students to rely on faith, manage time wisely and remain faithful in pursing goals.

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