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Jessica Merker is a legal intern with Hale Law Jessica was born and raised in Florida, and currently lives in Saint Petersburg, FL with her wife and golden retriever. Jessica graduated from the University of Florida (UF) earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Masters degree in Secondary English Education, and an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. After completing her studies at UF, Jessica served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, where she taught education and language classes at the local university and worked with a domestic violence organization educating clients and community members on their legal rights. Upon returning to Florida, Jessica spent four years teaching high school English and Creative Writing in Lake City. After experiencing and observing injustices within the education system, Jessica committed to advocating for her students, which sparked her interest in the law. While Jessica remains passionate about education, she realized the best way to effectuate change would be to step out of the classroom and into the courtroom. Jessica is currently a second-year student at the Stetson University College of Law, where she is a participant in the Social Justice Advocacy concentration. She also serves as a Stetson Ambassador, welcoming and mentoring new students at the law school. In her first year at Stetson, she was one of only sixteen students selected to participate in the First Year Appellate Advocacy Competition. Since joining Hale Law, Jessica has fostered an interest in litigation and is motivated by contributing to victories for each of the firm’s clients.