Every summer since her college sophomore year, Ashley Cook has volunteered at a secondary school in Uganda. “I had worked in developing countries as part of my undergraduate experience,” says Cook, who graduated magna cum laude from UCLA. “And what resonated most with me were the legal issues, primarily those involving child advocacy.”
Cook chose Pepperdine for its Global Justice Program and other global opportunities, and after completing her first year of law school, she returned to Uganda to work at the Uganda Supreme Court where she assisted the chief justice with formulating policy and drafting opinions. She also worked on advocating for children left in custody, sometimes for periods that would have met their original maximum sentences. According to Cook, Pepperdine has been instrumental in helping to expedite trials through plea bargaining.
Currently ranked at the top of her class, Cook is the note and comment editor for the Pepperdine Law Review and is a co-chair for the Interschool Moot Court Team. Cook was selected as a summer associate with Jones Day, ranked among the world’s best law firms providing legal counsel to approximately half of the Fortune 500. She has accepted a position with the firm following graduation. She also continues to advocate for others through her pro bono work at Pepperdine’s Appellate Advocacy Clinic.
According to Cook, while law is inherently competitive, Pepperdine offers a different experience. “The attitude that we can all do well has been incredibly important to my legal education and has been one of the most enriching aspects of my time at Pepperdine."