My 20-year odyssey, from on-line schools to Attorney!

Jeremiah 33:3“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

Concord Law School Graduation, Los Angeles, California, 2009.

Born in Whittier, California, Jerry took over the family business (a small construction company) at a young age and successfully ran it for years before relocating to the Gulf Coast. During that same period, he sold real estate in the Los Angeles market by day and went to law school at night, graduating with Moot Court honors (JD).

He now lives in the Gulf Coast area, specializing in the luxury residential real estate market. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA), he launched a successful local boutique luxury real estate company to offer his expertise and unique skills to the local Gulf Coast community.

On a personal level, Jerry enjoys travel, the symphony, tennis, soccer, Church-related activities, and family events. He looks forward to serving his clients and making the Gulf Coast a better place to visit and live! 

Update: On January 8th, 2021, California released the results for the October 2020 California bar exam. Jerry’s name was on the pass list, which completed a 20-year odyssey that began with the University of Phoenix (UOP) and ended with the announcement of a passing score on one of the most difficult bar exams in the country.  

Growing up in California, working with his Dad in the family construction business, Jerry never imagined that he would be an attorney, practicing law one day. However, after taking over the family business and running it for a while, Jerry decided that he wanted to do something different. At first, he wanted to get an MBA from a major university and move ahead in some kind of career in business. But, running a business and supporting a family, he could not just drop everything and go to school. In August 2001, yes, just 2 weeks before 9-11, Jerry enrolled in an online school (UOP) to get his BS in Business Administration. This would be the first step in earning an MBA from a major university. 

Just 3 years later, Jerry graduated early from UOP with honors. Now, he could go after the big prize he was seeking all along, an MBA from a major university. In 2004, he applied to both UCLA and USC and got onto the waitlist for UCLA. However, ultimately he did not get in either school. Jerry never took junior high and high school seriously, believing that he would never pursue education as he was slated to take over the family construction business and run it for the rest of his life. His grades from that period reflected this, and although he graduated from high school, the academics were lacking. Therefore, it wasn’t easy to get into a major university.

Not deterred, Jerry decided to reapply to both colleges the very next year, only to be denied again from both schools. Then, Jerry saw an ad from Concord law school, and the rest was history. He enrolled in the online law school in 2005 and graduated in 2009 with Moot court honors. Jerry never thought about being a lawyer, but when he hit a wall in 2005, the idea of practicing law intrigued him. Over the course of the 4-year online degree, Jerry absolutely fell in love with the law.

After graduating from law school, Jerry sat for his first bar exam (July- 2009). He did not get the results until November of that year, and by that time, the country’s financial and housing collapse was in free fall. Jerry’s family business was a causality of this crisis. The results in November were also negative; this gave rise to a new opportunity. Jerry’s wife is from Mobile, Alabama, and Jerry fell in love with the South, and from the time the two were married (Thanksgiving, 1999), they both wanted to relocate to the South. However, with Jerry’s family business in California, it did not seem that this dream of moving to the South would ever be fulfilled. Of course, when the business failed in 2009, nothing was keeping him in California anymore. Thus, on December 25, 2009, the family (now a family of 8-Mom and Dad with 6 kids) moved South.

It was a struggle for a few years in Alabama. One of Jerry’s bright lights was the privilege and opportunity to sit for the California bar exam (CBX) and finish what he started in law school, get his license to practice law. At this time (2011), they were living in Mississippi (right over the border from Alabama) when Jerry flew out to California to sit for the CBX for the second time. Although the experience and excitement of re-engaging the law were spectacular, the result was not, although the score did improve from the first try.

Later that year, Jerry was accepted into the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) for a roughly 2-year executive MBA program. Finally, he got into a major university and was poised to fulfill his original dream of getting an MBA from a major university. The difference between now and 2004 and 2005, applying to the California schools was a law degree. This likely pushed him over the finish line as far as getting into a big school. Jerry graduated in 2013 From Alabama and had fulfilled the dream!

But now, he still had unfinished business with his law aspirations, a license to practice law. Concord law school is not an ABA law school, which means the only bar exam Jerry qualified to take was in California. Thus, before he could sit for any other state’s bar exam, he first must pass the CBX. Therefore, in 2017, he flew out to California again to sit for the third time. Although the score was much improved, the results were again negative.

In 2019, Jerry and his family (now 9 kids) took a trip to California to see family and friends and sit for the CBX for the 4th time. Instead of flying to California with 9 kids, they took the family van (commercial grade 15 seaters) and drove over 3,000 miles to the Golden state. Well, although we had a blast seeing the family and friends again, I found out in May that again I was unsuccessful in taking the CBX, and the score was actually lower than my last attempt.

So, in 2020, I focused on building my current business (real estate) and was resigned to put the law dream on hold for a while. Then, in March of last year, COVID-19 hit, and everything change. Now, my new business (real estate instead of construction) was threatened, and the future was uncertain. But, not wanting another crisis to go to waste, the CBX again bounced up on my radar. So, I took 5 months and every free second, between running a real estate company and raising 9 kids, to study at finally fulfill my dream to become an attorney. Because of COVID-19, the exam, normally administered in July, was moved to September, then to October, gave examinees the option to take the exam online, at home if they choose to. Well, this was a boon to me because now I did not have to fly to California and sit in a room of 600 plus nervous test-takers to try for the 5th time to pass the CBX. Not only that, but they rearranged the format of the test and dropped the passing score by 50 points. I had a real wind at my back, and after taking the exam in October, I felt confident that I passed. But, again, the long wait (from October 5-6, 2020 to January 8, 2021), all the doubts and negativity set in, so by the time the results came in, I was convinced that I failed again and was not sure if I would ever try again. Then, at 8 PM (central time) last Friday, the results were out; I PASSED, and I was, of course, ecstatic. Finally, after 20 years, both the MBA and the law dream came true!   

Jerry ran a family business by day and went to law school at night, graduating with Moot Court honors (JD). He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in 2013. In October 2020, Jerry sat and passed the California Bar Exam and will be sworn-in, January 2021 to practice law as an attorney.

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