How Destiny Moore ’11 Made a Career Out of the Army, Law, and Community Development
Destiny Moore ‘11 is proud to live in what she calls the greatest city in the world. Originally from Cincinnati, she returned here for law school and plans to remain here after graduation. “I love it here,” she says, “I wouldn’t go anywhere else.” Her love for the Queen City has spilled over into her career goals: she hopes to use her law degree to continue developing the city and making it even better and stronger.
Moore entered the Army after graduating high school in 2001. Initially stationed in Georgia, she was sent overseas to Iraq in 2003. In 2004-2005, she was stationed in Seoul, Korea, where she served as a paralegal in HR Command for the Army. She also had the opportunity to attend school at night at the University of Maryland-Asian Division. After being discharged from the Army, she went to St. Louis, attending Webster University to complete her last two years of college. Although a civilian at that point, Moore continued to work for the Army as a legal assistant. Soon, however, she joined the reserves.
Why Become A Lawyer
After finishing her degree, Moore returned to Cincinnati for law school. Her decision to be a lawyer was influenced by many sources. As a young girl, her grandmother always told her she would be a lawyer. Later, when she was recruited by the Army, she told them she would only join as a paralegal. “I always admired the status of lawyers in society as up-standing people who benefitted the community,” said Moore. In the military, it became clearer to her that she wanted to practice law, especially because most of those around her, including her commander, were attorneys.
Moore split her time during her first summer of law school. During the first half of the summer, she worked with Laufman, Jensen, & Napolitano, LLC, doing mostly civil rights and criminal defense work. Moore enjoyed the practical experiences she was able to gain from this position, particularly being able to be in court with the attorneys and sitting with them at the counsel tables. “It was a really great experience,” she said, “and I learned a lot. But I also learned that practicing civil rights, at least in that way, wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do in my career.”
What Moore found during her second position for the summer was much closer to what she had in mind. Moore went to work for the City of Cincinnati in the Solicitor’s Office. Her work focused a lot on reviewing community development plans, in addition to working on employment law & litigation cases. “My experience with the City was awesome. I loved it,” said Moore. Her experience was so positive that Moore chose to remain there throughout her second year of law school and during her second summer as well, and she hopes to continue to work there after graduation.
Focusing on Community Development
While her position with the City initially began as more “squarely” in the legal department, Moore expressed to her boss a desire to focus more completely on community development. He told her to go for it. “I still have close ties to the legal department,” said Moore, “and because of my legal education I am able to spot issues when they come up in my work, which is very useful. But at the moment law, itself, does not play a major role in the work I am doing.”
One major project Moore worked on over the summer was closing down an empowerment program which had been designed to give Cincinnati millions of dollars over 10 years to improve various communities and neighborhoods. This year marked the tenth year, so Moore worked on closing that program down. Now, she is working on a tax abatement program as well as a small business assistance program, for which she is on a Small Business Task Force. “Right now the work I’m doing is non-legal; but after I graduate and pass the bar, I would like to do some kind of community development-related law practice for Cincinnati.”
Cincinnati is Great
Moore was careful to stress the “for Cincinnati” part; she stated that she would never go anywhere else. “I bought a house when I came back to Cincinnati, and I got my cat—who I brought back with me from Korea—all settled in,” she said. “Cincinnati really is the greatest city, and I really do want to help make it even better.”
In her free time, Moore is active in her own community through the Westwood Civic Association and does community service whenever she is able. She also enjoys the “artsy” side of Cincinnati, particularly the great theatre and musical performances the city has to offer. She is also a huge sports fan, going to Reds and Bengals games whenever she gets the chance.
Moore stated that she also would like to return to the Army after graduating law school. “After passing the bar, I’d like to get commissioned in the JAG Corps,” she said. “I’d like to be in the reserves, so I can continue serving the country. I’ve found, after being out of the Army for a while, I start to miss it.”