Presidential matters

Jahnee’ Hughes takes the helm of Loyola’s Student Bar Association

Jahnee’ Hughes is president of Loyola’s Student Bar Association (SBA) for the 2020-21 academic year. The Denver native is an active member of the Loyola community, having served as a legal writing tutor, a lead student facilitator for the first-year-required Professional Identity Formation course, and a member of the Thurgood Marshall moot court team. Under the theme of Transparency, Legacy, and Collaboration (TLC), she will lead the SBA as the organization tackles obstacles and seeks new opportunities to build a strong community.  Here, Hughes shares why she chose Loyola, how she overcame her fears, and the leadership qualities she feels are most important to her success.

What drew you to Loyola?

I was drawn to Loyola for its top-ranked advocacy program. While I knew how important it was to advocate for myself, I also knew there were many people who don’t know or can’t do so for themselves. Loyola has given me an opportunity to learn the necessary skills to advocate for those in my community.


“The fact that there are alumni who continue to come back to teach, mentor, and donate goes to show how rewarding the Loyola experience can be.”

In what ways has the city of Chicago enhanced your law school experience?

Chicago is an amazing city. During my 1L summer, I worked for the City of Chicago in the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are, without a doubt, areas of the city that need some work.  However, I’ve had the chance to work in those spaces and to offer a hand.  I have a better understanding of how the city functions because of my experiences.

As Loyola’s 2020-21 SBA president, what leadership qualities do you think are most important to be successful in this position?

To be successful in this position, one has to be patient, persistent, and reliable. After being involved in the organization since my 1L year, I’ve seen that it is no easy task!

How would you describe Loyola to students still searching for the right JD program?

For those still searching, you should find a school with a strong alumni network, and Loyola has just that. It is no surprise that law school is tough, and the fact that there are alumni who continue to come back to teach, mentor, and donate goes to show how rewarding the Loyola experience can be. It’s reassuring to know that no matter where I end up in my career, there will be a Loyola alum I can reach out to and who will offer support and keep me focused.

If you had any fears about enrolling in law school, what were they? How have you managed them?

I had a couple of fears about enrolling in law school, such as struggling to manage the workload and worrying about making such a big investment without being “good” at it. There were periods where I struggled through cold calls in class or couldn’t find time to read. I took a step back, looked at my schedule, and adjusted successfully. During my 2L year, I had to adjust again as I became more involved in extra-curricular events and organizations. This time, I asked for help and was upfront with my professors when I was struggling. Doing so strengthened my relationships with my professors.

Do you think Loyola has changed you—be it in perspective, attitude, or ambition?

It has certainly helped me grow. Loyola has taught me the importance of giving back to the community. I look forward to coming back to Loyola and being a mentor to others similar to those who have mentored me.


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