Model: Jacquelyne Yawn
Spinal cord injury
Paralegal at Bellator Law Group, a female-owned firm

Twenty-five years ago, at four months old, I was in a horrendous car accident that left me paralyzed, due to a broken neck and spinal cord injury. Because of my inability to do physical activities in school, I turned to the world of books for companionship. By the time I graduated high school, my reading average was a book a day, about 1,000 pages a week. I have become an avid scholar and researcher as a result.

My next goal was college, where I became an activist member of the Student Disability Advisory Board and the Student Advocacy Board. As president chair, I pushed for students in wheelchairs to be allowed to sit on the basketball court to join their fellow students, rather than being forced into isolation in the bleachers. I graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English and high praises from my professors.

My next goal was law, and I started as an operations clerk at San Diego Superior Court. While working diligently at the courthouse, I attended night classes at the University of California, San Diego, attaining a paralegal certificate. Presently, I am a paralegal at Bellator Law Group, specializing in estate and probate law, conservatorships, litigations, and more. I love my job and my team there. However, I passed the LSAT in August 2023, and I plan to attend law school. Once I pass the bar, I hope to work harder for those who need a voice.


Photographer: Chris Wojdak