Bowen Grad Plan to Help Others Through Career as Civil Rights Lawyer
Right after high school, Jacobi Malone was adamant that he was never going to attend college.
Eleven years later, the Little Rock native is understandably excited about his upcoming graduation from the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
“I’m excited, blessed, thankful, and grateful,” Malone said. “I feel like I am crossing the finish line of this marathon I’ve been on for the last few years. I’m excited to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next.”
After passing the bar exam, Malone plans to put his skills to work helping others by focusing on civil rights law in Little Rock.
“I want to inform people of their rights and represent them in cases involving gender, race, or inequality of any sort,” Malone said. “Civil rights violations are not as archaic and antiquated as people believe. They are still there and dangerous, and that is what makes me want to go and fight against it.”
Providing citizens with the information to empower themselves has been important to Malone for many years. Ever since starting work at Willard Proctor Jr. P.A. in 2011, Malone has been volunteering in a monthly educational program providing legal, political, financial, and health information to minorities at his church, Abundant Grace Apostolic Church.
Since joining law school in 2020, Malone has also been an active volunteer with the W. Harold Flowers Law Society, assisting in providing continuing legal education seminars for local African American attorneys. He also served as the liaison between the society and the Black Law Students Association at Bowen, where he served on the association’s scholarship and event planning committees.
From Law Office to Law School
After graduating from John L. McClellan High School, Malone immediately started working as a claims adjustor for attorney Willard Proctor Jr., where he led correspondence regarding claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He was later promoted to a legal assistant, where he would work on preparation for jury trials.
Malone, who had never intended to go to college, gained inspiration from his boss who encouraged him to pursue a law degree.
“Willard Proctor Jr. really encouraged me to go to college,” Malone said. “He told me not to waste my education. He kept encouraging me to take that next step and go to college and then go on to law school. He’s been a big blessing in my life along with my pastor Linda Scott.”
Malone would go on to earn an associate degree from UA-Pulaski Tech and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at UA Little Rock before going to law school.
Additionally, Malone thanks his mother, Emma Malone, a 1984 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, for also making it possible for him to complete college and law school. Malone is paralyzed from the chest down, and his mother has been taking him to classes for years.
“My mom has been my biggest blessing throughout all of this,” Malone said. “She’s driven me to my classes at UA Little Rock and Bowen. She’s been there every step of the way.”
At the end of his law school journey, Malone cited faith and hard work as the key to his success.
“I would encourage anyone that comes from a background growing up in southwest Little Rock that doesn’t have a lot of avenues of success to not let that stop you,” Malone said. “Don’t use that as an excuse. Use it as a stepping stone to go to the next level. Keep God first and continue to work hard, and you will be pretty well off.”