Skip to main content

Jenn Long: From cosmetology school to law degree

Jenn Long ’22 came to WVU Law after 16 years as a professional hair stylist, owning her own salon and working for accounting firm.

Jenn Long talks about her journey to law school and her judicial externship.

A licensed cosmetologist since 2003, Long earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and economics from West Virginia State University in 2018. Then, while working as a tax consultant, she took the LSAT.

"You know in kindergarten when they ask you what you want to be when you grow up?" Long said. "My answer has always been an attorney. I always knew I would go to law school." 

However, Long became pregnant in high school and chose to defer her law school dreams  — for a while.

"But, as my daughter got older, I knew I had to show her that I could still accomplish so many things. I needed her to know this because I want her to feel the same way," Long explains.

After getting into WVU Law, Long moved to Morgantown with her son. She spent her final semester at home in South Charleston, West Virginia, with her family while working in a full-time externship with the Hon. B. McKay Mignault, chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. After graduation, Long’s externship becomes a full-time clerkship.

WVU Law student Jenn Long in Judge Mignault's courtroom

Jenn Long (far right) in Judge Mignault's courtroom.

While in law school, Long worked for the Hon. Frank Volk (WVU Law Class of 1992) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in summer 2021. She also served as president of the Employment Law Association and the Labor Law Society. This spring, the Labor Law Society earned the WVU Student Group Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, selected out of more than 500 organizations. 

“My advice for non-traditional students is this,” Long said. “Find a support system both at home and at the law school, and remember to just keep showing up. Most things can be accomplished by continuing to show up!”

Jenn Long with Labor Law Society award

Labor Law Society VP Steven Smith and President Jenn Long with Professor Anne Lofaso and the trophy for 2021-22 WVU Student Group Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.
WVU LAW Facebook WVU LAW Twitter WVU LAW Instagram WVU LAW LinkedIn WVU LAW Youtube Channel