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Law | Melissa McLeod - Soaring Above the Rest

Published:Monday | March 4, 2019 | 12:00 AMRocheda Bartley - Lifestyle Writer

How many times have you faced your fear, but are yet to conquer it? Melissa McLeod attorney-at-law at the Hylton Powell law firm will answer, many times. And she’ll also tell you, that it doesn’t have to stop you from excelling.

The travel enthusiast, who dominates in the courtroom, challenges her terror of being airborne with each anxious flight. This goes to show her dedication and determination to use indefatigable efforts as her weapons for success.

“My family drives me, but my mother and younger sister in particular push me more. My sister and I are fifteen years apart and she’s almost like a daughter to me and I want her to have a good role model and someone to be proud of. The hardest thing to hear is my mother say that she is disappointed with my actions,” she told Flair.

NOT AN EASY ROAD

Boasting an unpredictable character, the young professional believes that she was ordained to be a part of the legal system. She reminisced on the incalculable times she was told by others that her destined career path, is that of Law. It’s what she confessed swayed her from walking in her mother’s footsteps and becoming human resources manager.

However, it wasn’t as easy as she thought. First, she was rejected from the law programme at the University of the West Indies. So, she studied something else, eventually earning a Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science (Major) Public Sector Management and Criminology (Double Minor). But she still pictured herself as a legal practitioner. And so, she reapplied to the Law Faculty and this time although she was successful, the pyrrhic victory was accompanied with what she described as endless depression.

“It was a disappointing experience. I struggled to figure out if this is really what I want. I did not have a passion for the profession. I thought I would have been on fire and exciting about, just as when I was doing my first degree which came relatively easy to me,” she explained to Flair.

Even when she had completed her studies in 2012 and had been named lawyer, she was yet to reignite the flames of her adoration for the field. Then she got a job, a transformative opportunity that restored the devotion she sought.

McLeod has recently served as the Chairperson of the Social Affairs and Welfare Committee for the Jamaican Bar Association. This phenomenal woman is also a toastmaster, tutor at the University of the West Indies, mentor of the We Transform Programme – an initiative of the Ministry of National Security that fosters the mentorship of youths in correctional facilities and a certified wedding planner. But most of all, she is a “very proud Jamaican woman”.

She revels in going to gym, dancing and the performing arts just as her appreciation for her career. The multiple roles she plays, together offer a peace of mind to the attorney. Still that’s not what complete her.

“Nothing satisfies me more than quiet time by myself. When people see me in a social space they think I’m a social butterfly but nothing feels better than being on my couch watching HDTV and relaxing away from it all,” McLeod said.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com