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“There are exceptions of course, but after so many years of practicing law, I have encountered many versions of the same problem. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is seeing the relief on a client’s face when we finally achieve the objective he or she wants.”
VBD Magazine is proud to share insights from our exclusive interview with Attorney Jennings. We discussed his inspiration to pursue a career in law, his plans now that he has established a practice, and how he successfully balances work, life, and family.
INSPIRATION TO PURSUE LAW
Attorney Jennings hails from the parish of Clarendon in Jamaica. He attended Frankfield Primary School, Calabar High School, and then graduated from the University of the West Indies (Mona) with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and a minor in Philosophy. He earned his Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law.
Interest in the law has been a part of Attorney Jennings’s life from an early age. “When I was a little boy, I was fascinated with the police. My mother told me that if I wanted to work with the police, I should become a lawyer. I asked her what that was, so she asked my father to take me to the court. That day, I watched the attorneys arguing with each other in court and I loved it. After that, my mother started to call me barrister Mark and she never stopped until the day she died.
I have been practicing law since 1995, and I find a career in law challenging intellectually, along with being personally fulfilling and financially rewarding.”
There is no greater time than now for a purpose-driven action and Attorney Jennings was ready to take the leap. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to start my own firm. I wanted the freedom to work from wherever I wanted to and the freedom to do the type of work that I wanted to do.”
Attorney Jennings operates out of two offices, Mark C. A. Jennings & Associates, Miami, Florida and Mark C.A. Jennings & Co-Partners, Kingston, Jamaica.
“I want to expand my firm by hiring more lawyers. Also, I would like to establish larger offices in Jamaica and the State of Florida. In doing so, we can help more clients.”
As anticipated, Attorney Jennings will continue to build strategic alliances to exchange ideas and share resources. “I believe in collaborating on initiatives and helping to tackle issues that will ultimately empower individuals, organizations, and communities. I am committed to making a difference.”
ADVICE TO ASPIRING LAWYERS
“Go for it, it’s a great profession, you will never regret it. With the complexities of our ever-changing legal system, there are diverse legal career options so choose wisely. Remember that at the heart of the legal profession is the service we provide to clients to help them resolve their legal challenges.”
A CHALLENGING MOMENT
“In my first two weeks as a lawyer, I went to watch a trial with my then boss who I was supposed to be assisting. He got up and announced to the judge that I would be the one conducting the trial. I was shocked and terrified. I got up, pretended that I knew what I was doing, and by the mercy of the Lord, I actually won the case.”
When he is not practicing law, Attorney Jennings is busy pursuing his passion for writing plays, short stories, and working on his first novel. Despite that, he tells us, “His love for God is first and next his family.” Attorney Jennings is married to the love of his life Sardia and they have two sons, Chase and Stephan.
Sardia was born in the parish of Clarendon in Jamaica. She attended St. Thomas More Preparatory School and Glenmuir High School. She then attended Auburn University in Alabama, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working for many years as a Cardiac Nurse, she then transitioned to Application Analyst in the healthcare industry. Sardia loves nature, watersports, hiking, dancing, tennis, gardening, the theater, and fine arts. She is a firm believer in natural remedies and the body’s ability to heal itself.
“We were married on July 12, 1997, and will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year,” Attorney Jennings reveals. Smiling, Sardia adds, “Where did the years go? Our wedding day was beautiful, filled with friends and family. I remember that we were a bit worried because we had invited 300 guests, but more people showed up. Thankfully, the food and the space were more than enough.”
With their children now older, this power couple is better at practicing work-life balance. “We try to support each other, when either of us has a difficult or stressful work assignment,” Attorney Jennings states. “So, our work challenges become part of our relationship and an opportunity to communicate with each other.”
STRENGTHENING A RELATIONSHIP
All relationships go through good and challenging times, so take action to keep your love alive. Mark and Sardia recommend:
Spend time together.
Learn to forgive each other.
Listen to each other and be kind and gentle no matter what.
Talk about your dreams, goals, and the vision of the life you would like.
Be brutally honest with each other. It will pay off.
Celebrate each other.
Mark C. A. Jennings & Associates 1351 NW 174th St, Miami, FL 33169-5230
Mark C.A. Jennings & Co-Partners
1 Norwood Avenue, Kingston 5
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