When soon-to-be law school graduate Wensdai Brooks began looking for a college to attend, she decided to heed her grandfather’s advice and move from her hometown of Santa Cruz, California to an out-of-state university.
That’s how Brooks ended up in Columbia, Missouri— and after four years of undergraduate studies followed by three years of law school, there’s no place she’d rather be.
“It’s been amazing,” Brooks said. “A lot of it has been the community. All of us are really a family. We all actually, genuinely love and care about each other.”
During her time at Mizzou Law, Brooks brought the pre-law mentoring program ‘Dear Future Colleague’ to Mizzou Law. She was also an incredibly active member of the Board of Advocates moot court, where she helped create a digital organization system to assign roles and responsibilities. She also led the expansion of informational and training sessions to help 1Ls get a sense of what moot court is all about.
Just as Brooks began to prepare for graduation this May, she was awarded the Missouri Lawyers Media “Leaders of Tomorrow” at their annual Women’s Justice Awards Ceremony to honor her achievements during her time at Mizzou Law.
“It’s given to law students who have demonstrated a passion for furthering the profession and giving back to it,” Brooks said. “I think that was where my mindset always came from— giving back what I’ve been given.”
Brooks’ vision for the future of the legal profession? More women in the courtroom.
“It’s important to me that I get to go out there and represent [women], and give that representation to future generations,” Brooks said. “That’s why mentoring and giving back is also really important to me.”
“Building those connections and showing people— not only can you do this— but you don’t have to be at the top 10% of your class. You don’t have to go to ‘big law’ to do all these cool things. You can be really successful on your own terms.”
As Brooks looks to the future, she feels optimistic.
After graduating in May, Brooks will begin her new job in appellate law at the Attorney General’s office in Jefferson City.
“I’m excited to graduate: to go out, show everybody what Mizzou Law teaches their lawyers,” Brooks said.
Though she moved nearly 2,000 miles from California to mid-Missouri, the Mizzou Law community can’t wait to see how Brooks continues to develop Missouri’s legal scene.