It was before her time at law school that Marlene Johnson-Moore knew she wanted to help people. Now, with a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, the 2015 alumna serves as a part of the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF). It’s a job she says she was prepared for, with the help of the School of Law.
Beginning in 1977, PMF sought to create opportunities for graduate students to get engaging federal work experience. Every year, students apply for the program to prove they are the outstanding type of candidate that the PMF program seeks. In 2016, Johnson-Moore was announced as a finalist for the program and became a Fellow.
“Being selected as a PMF was extremely meaningful for me because when I began law school I already had the idea that I wanted to take a non-traditional path into the legal profession by working in government at either the state or federal level,” Johnson-Moore said.
Through the PMF program, finalists are trained as leaders in government to seek out and create change. Finalists are expected to embrace challenges and serve their country through their work. Johnson-Moore was appointed as a Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The government, at all levels, often oversees broad but critical issues such as education, food, housing, healthcare, and other vital matters that affect every family and individual,” Johnson-Moore said. “Therefore, it is important that conscientious, fair, and compassionate people who understand the importance and value of public service become actively engaged at all levels of government.”
Johnson-Moore says her social and political consciousness was nurtured at the School of Law, both in the classroom and through extracurricular experience, providing her with opportunities to engage and interact with the diverse student body, the community, and local government participants.
“From Career Services workshops, to fundamental and skills-based legal courses, to meaningful volunteer participation; the breadth of my time and education at the School of Law prepared me well for my experience as a Presidential Management Fellow,” Johnson-Moore said.
The PMF program is not the end of the line for her, though. Through the program, she says she will be able to make connections and seek career advancement across all facets of government. These unique, unparalleled opportunities are what make the PMF program such a significant catalyst for well-qualified graduate students seeking careers in policy, politics, or government leadership.
“Now, as a Fellow, I can continue to advance professionally, while serving my country and making meaningful contributions to local communities, families, and individual citizens.” Johnson-Moore said.