"I always do everything as fast as I can," said Jennifer Turner. Indeed, the Wilmington, Delaware native's highly charged style enabled her to squeeze decades' worth of achievements and experiences into her young life. In between her political science studies at the University of Delaware, Turner found time to volunteer on various political campaigns, where she developed a passion for politics. After graduating, she took a marketing job at MBNA America Bank, a Fortune 500 company, but soon relocated to Orange County after being chosen to help start a new bank branch there. Following four years at the company (which she described as "corporate boot camp"), politics came knocking in the form of a job offer from Senator John Edwards to work on his presidential campaign in Iowa.
"We had a great run because we were the underdogs," Turner recalled of the campaign, in which Edwards surprised many by coming in third in the Iowa caucuses. When Edwards joined presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry’s ticket, Turner and her boyfriend started a political action committee to help raise funds for the pair in Orange County - which is not exactly known as a bastion of liberalism. But after a frenetic four-month effort that involved house parties, door-to-door canvassing, and tens of thousands of bumper stickers, Turner's committee managed to raise $60,000 in small donations.
Though the campaign was unsuccessful, it did provide Turner with a new direction for her life. She decided to pursue law thanks to the inspiration of Edwards, who'd made his name as a trial attorney, as well as Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbero, also a trial attorney. "They’re there to fight for people who don't have a voice," she said. "They go out of their way to take cases for people who have been wronged. That's what made me decide to go to law school."Turner was lured by the accelerated pace of Southwestern's SCALE program, which, after just one semester, she said was proven invaluable. "The professors are killer," she said. "They have really just exceeded all the expectations I had." Selected for the law school's TAHP team, Turner also juggled her role as Secretary of the Democratic Party of Orange County. After receiving her J.D., she hopes to practice personal injury and medical malpractice law in Orange County, targeting prescription drug companies whose products have caused injury to consumers.