Jessica Uzcategui, B.S. 1997

Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court – Los Angeles, California

1997 Major: Biology

How has being a Biology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"After my graduation from Duke, I spent two years working in a cell and molecular biology lab at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital while deciding whether to pursue graduate studies in biology. I ultimately decided not to pursue graduate work in biology, but instead went to law school. After working as a lawyer in Los Angeles for 16 years, I was appointed to the Superior Court in 2018."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Biology programs? 

"Keep your mind open to all kinds of opportunities. I am sharing my story so that students can see that a biology degree may lead in unexpected directions. Although I changed career paths, I am grateful that I studied biology at Duke because I enjoyed it and it gives me a different perspective from many other lawyers and judges."

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