As a Harvard-educated attorney who once did contract work for the high-flying Robins Kaplan firm, it would seem Sharon Jones had boundless career options. She has chosen to work among the poor.
Jones is the executive director for Legal Assistance of Dakota County, where for the past 10 years she has provided legal assistance to low-income Minnesotans.
“I got to law school and realized that what I really missed was helping people,” Jones said. So she joined the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, representing low-income Boston-area residents. She graduated in 2003.
After stints at the Indian Child Welfare Law Center and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Jones became LADC’s executive director. LADC has managed through budget-challenged times to help 1,200 low-income Dakota County families.
“We are really focusing on trying to make the courts accessible to everyone,” Jones said. “We believe, ultimately, that makes a healthy community.”
Jones hears questions every day about potentially more lucrative career options. The simple answer, she said, is that there isn’t another place she’d rather be.
“I think I am incredibly privileged to do work that I love every day and to walk the paths that I get to walk with my clients,” she said.