50 for 50 Spotlight: Danielle Hickman (JD '97)
"Pepperdine Law School provided me with the skills and legal foundation on which to build my career. Personally, the mentorship, guidance, and training I received from such outstanding professors...were instrumental in developing my confidence and advocacy skills and influenced the choice I made to pursue a career as a prosecutor, focused on advocating for justice for vulnerable people and victims of crime."
Pepperdine University recognized some of our most dynamic alumnae whose leadership in their respective fields is shifting cultural landscapes, shaping and reshaping industries, and innovating in powerful and purposeful ways. School of Law graduate Danielle Hickman (JD '97) is among this year's Outstanding Alumni Women in Leadership honorees, and she is this week's 50 for 50 spotlight.
Hickman is a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section. After graduating from Pepperdine Caruso Law and completing her international law LLM in London, she worked with United Nations High Commission for Refugees to assist refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, including Kurdish refugees fleeing genocide in Iraq in the late 1990s. In 1999, Hickman was able to document war crimes in Kosovo through work with International Crisis Group. The work was dangerous, but it was the first time these victims of ethnic cleansing were afforded the chance to tell their stories. In the years that followed, she worked as a prosecutor with a focus on crimes against women, children, and other vulnerable members of our community who are too often victimized by those closest to them. After these experiences, Hickman defines her own success story by having been afforded the opportunities to make a difference in the lives of survivors, and sometimes on behalf of those who didn't survive.
"My personal success story comprises a career of many amazing experiences I have had helping others using my legal education," Hickman explains. She continues, "Pepperdine has played a significant role in my success both professionally and personally. Professionally, Pepperdine Law School provided me with the skills and legal foundation on which to build my career. Personally, the mentorship, guidance, and training I received from such outstanding professors, particularly Peter Wendel, the Honorable Bruce Einhorn, the Honorable Armand Arabian, and Harry Caldwell, were instrumental in developing my confidence and advocacy skills and influenced the choice I made to pursue a career as a prosecutor, focused on advocating for justice for vulnerable people and victims of crime."
Hickman has a true Pepperdine heart. She calls the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa the modern-day leaders she most admires for the way in which each freely gave of themselves and invested their lives in public service, dedicated to helping others.
Hickman leaves us with her favorite quote for thought: "Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do." —Pope John XXIII