Though statistics show that fewer and fewer people are choosing to go to law school, the acquisition of a J.D. is still tremendously important for a number of people all over the country. Just ask Sandra Wilson, a 70 year-old business owner and grandmother, who graduated from Faulkner University’s law school in May.
Wilson, along with her husband Steve, has owned and operated Panama City, Florida’s Wilson Funeral Home for decades. They have three grown children, a number of grandchildren, and by all accounts, a happy life. Though Wilson says she was very content with her life, she had always dreamed of getting a college degree, and in 2005, at the age of 63, she enrolled in an undergraduate program at Florida State University, and graduated in 2009.
While earning her degree at Florida State, she discovered that she was interested in law. “I found that every time I was writing a paper I was writing about the law,” Wilson told the Panama City News Herald. “I would always gravitate towards the law. Then when a couple of classmates of mine decided to go to law school, I thought, ‘I wish I could do that.’”
Ultimately, Wilson decided that she could do more than wish. She was accepted to Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law, which is based in Alabama, and decided that she would leave Florida and live on her own for the first time in order to attend. “I never lived by myself,” she said. “I left my parents’ home when I married my husband. It was amazing doing things that were foreign to me.”
Armed with a smartphone to stay in contact with her family, Wilson began at Faulkner in 2009, and graduated this May. She is currently studying for the bar examination, and hopes to find a job with a law firm if she passes.
As an already successful business-owner, Wilson admits that she did not seek a law degree to make more money. “I really want to do something in the public interest. I really want my degree to be used as a ministry,” she said.
After graduating in May, Wilson moved back to Panama City just in time to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband and family.