The Perseverance of Judge Darnell Jackson

If Judge Darnell Jackson didn’t enter law enforcement, he would have been a speaker—both informational and motivational. In the past he’s worked as a prosecutor and for a police department, each job allowing him to help others. His passion for helping other people is truly inspiring. He realizes that now, being a trial judge, allows him to assist people more directly.


“When you have someone in front of you, you get to impact someone’s life right away,” says Jackson, about being a judge.


In his position he has the opportunity to help people for the better so that they can try to get on the right path. To Judge Jackson, everyone has to start somewhere and while there may be obstacles, there’s always the opportunity to pull through and turn things around.


While getting ready to write his book, The Steps of a Good Man, Judge Jackson looked back on all of the challenges and setbacks that stood before him in the past. But then he had a bit of an epiphany.


“I realized that setbacks weren’t really setbacks,” he says.  


Instead he saw them as opportunities to work on other things. According to Judge Jackson, there’s a story behind every resume and when one door closes, three more open with even more possibilities. Things may not pan out the way you hope, but that may be because there’s something even better around the corner.


When Judge Darnell Jackson missed the bar exam by one point, he didn’t let it stop him from moving forward. Instead he saw it as a stepping stone to get to where he wanted to be—he saw it as a sort of sign that things will work out for the best in the end.


His advice to younger generations is to find something that you’re passionate about and go for it. He explained that if you’re interested in a particular field, you should read up on the subject as much as possible and then find someone in that field who can act as a mentor.


“I always tell young people, find something in life that you really enjoy doing and get someone to pay you for it,” says Judge Jackson with a chuckle.


He enjoys playing golf and watching movies when he’s not working. He stated that going to the movies, for him, is like going to a library. It’s his place to relax, but it also gives him the opportunity to sort things out in his head. The people who came before him, such as his parents, are the ones who inspire him the most. They raised him with the work ethic and moral compass to get to where he is today.  


Judge Jackson heard about the Men of Color Leadership Conference from a friend who asked if he’d be interested in attending. However, upon reading more about the conference, he decided to take on a more active role as a speaker. Judge Jackson will be holding a session titled “The Rewards & Challenges of Leadership.”
For more information about Judge Darnell Jackson’s book, The Steps of a Good Man, click here.