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Home / Supplements and Special Sections / Up & Coming 2018 / Public service: Jesse Sendejas, 37

Public service: Jesse Sendejas, 37

Associate City Prosecutor, City of Kansas City, Missouri

jesse-sendejasPractice Area: Criminal law

Law School: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Jesse Sendejas’ negotiating skills as a teenager help to set the stage for her future career as a lawyer.

One particular example: her first car-buying experience. After she saved up enough money, she found a car for sale in the newspaper, called the dealership to ask questions and ended up negotiating the sale over the phone.

“When I went to the dealership in person with my parents to finish the deal, the salesman practically fell out of his chair when he realized he had negotiated with a 15-year-old,” she says.

In college, a mentor and former boss told her that her interest in debating could be useful and suggested that she consider law school. “I was a junior in college at the time and was not really sure where I was heading,” she says. “I don’t think I even stopped to think about it and charged full-speed ahead with pursuing admission to law school.”

What advice do you have for young lawyers?

You may think you know what area of the law you want to practice in, but that can change quickly, so take full advantage of all the opportunities offered to you in different areas. Additionally, get involved with your local bar associations and community organizations. The best mentors I have came from my involvement outside of law school and work.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what profession would you have chosen?

I think I most likely would have pursued an MBA and continued in medical office management, the job I was working until I entered law school.

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