Overcoming Barriers for Self, Family, and Society
I am Brad Haggard. This fall, I will begin law school to obtain my J.D.. It didn’t always seem like that would be possible for me. Late in December of 2012, while still in undergrad, I received a call from Erik Crew regarding a potential internship position at the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Earlier that week I had been offered a position with another office in Cincinnati. However, I knew immediately while speaking with Erik that OJPC was where I belonged. We discussed working on the record sealing process, which was new to me, and advocating for those who find themselves disadvantaged, whether incarcerated or free in society.
My own experiences with poor decisions and court appearances allowed me to relate strongly. A minor misdemeanor ticket had prevented myself and my three kids, whom I have full custody of, from receiving public housing. We survived for some time living from house to house–even sleeping in the car on occasion. Growing up microwaving meals at the gas station is far from what I want my kids to remember. When I heard about what attorneys at OJPC did, I had to take the internship.
My previous, and too frequent, court encounters earlier in life created the passion in me that drove me toward law school. After being denied at the majority of the law schools I applied to due to my criminal record, frustration was beginning to set in. But thankfully, I was recently admitted to the Houston College of Law, where I will get my Juris Doctor. I plan to focus my studies on criminal law and real estate law.
I have a direct understanding of what qualities matter to a client when it pertains to criminal defense. I crave to fight for fairness, liberty, and human dignity. There have been too many times where I had been pushed to plead guilty and my innocence did not matter. I realized through direct experiences that the consequences of what happens within the courtroom extend well beyond. This is where I feel I can make a difference. I want to provide an opportunity for others to make it through their dilemmas, giving them another chance to be a better person and not allowing it to break down themselves or their families.
My other passion is my family, and I’ve learned I always have to have a backup plan ready to provide support. So along with specializing in criminal law, learning real estate law, coupled with a real estate license, will allow me to give my wife and family what we need and what we want. This is my way of expressing my appreciation and thanks for all of the support she and they have provided throughout this daunting journey. Being an expert in the real estate industry could provide an additional source of money or maybe even a new profession as an agent shall I ever get bored with law, but the odds of that seem slim.