Name: Jessica DaSilva
College publication: The Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Florida)
Where I am now: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Resource Counsel
The Alligator made me a better legal journalist and continues to make be a better lawyer.
I spent three years working at The Independent Florida Alligator, starting as a stringer and eventually becoming editor-in-chief. Although I couldn’t seem to crack into the industry in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, my writing and research abilities are what got me into law school and succeed as a legal writer.
Eventually, I made my way back into journalism as a senior legal editor for Bloomberg Law, where I wrote about the criminal justice system for a legal audience.
My experience at The Alligator is why I was able to hit the ground running at Bloomberg and successfully cover U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments, political movements affecting criminal justice, and delve deeper into the minds of policy experts to provide analysis unparalleled by other organizations covering the same issues.
This depth of knowledge and ability follow my curiosity to find answers is what led me into advocacy. I use these skills to support the criminal justice reform movement in a way that all people can understand the importance for change.