Jose Lopez

Learning from Shon Hopwood about How to Prepare For Excellence in Prison

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Learning From Shon Hopwood

 

Law Man: Memoirs of a Jailhouse LawyerThis journey of mine has been extremely nerve racking thus far. From being in a position to where I felt that I had it all, to getting sentenced to 135 months in federal prison, it’s safe to say that my life has taken a downward spiral in less than 36 months. At times it is difficult to remain positive. Even though I know I have my family’s love and support, thinking that something productive could result of my prison sentence is not a thought that crosses my mind often. Shon Hopwood’s story completely changed my perspective regarding my situation.

 

Learning From Law Man

I’ve watched his interview on 60 minutes and with Michael Santos at least 5 times. It is incredible to see how far he has come considering how his story started. His story not only gives me hope, but also strength. Shon had zero experience in practicing law, he is a convicted felon who served a 12 year sentence and is now a professor at a prestigious university. Let that sink in for a minute. Sure, the naysayers may say ‘Oh he was lucky that his brief was accepted by the Supreme Court’ or ‘He had it easy cause he was in Federal custody’. That’s all bullshit. This guy busted his ass. He worked hard and was committed to success and now he is enjoying the fruits of his labor.

His story has given me a different mindset on the journey that I am about to begin at the end of this year. I want to have the kind of success that Shon has had after completing his term of incarceration and I fully understand that this will only happen if I develop a plan, commit to that plan, and work my ass off just as Shon did while incarcerated. Shon admits that he didn’t begin working on studying law until 2 years after he began his sentence. I am sure that he wishes he would have begun as soon as he entered the prison where he was committed. This is what I plan on doing. I don’t want to waste any time. Truthfully I want to become a lawyer. I was consumed and surrounded by all things ‘law’ while employed for the Orange County Superior Court. Some may say I have an advantage considering I was a court clerk for over 7 years. Whatever the case, thanks to Shon, I know see that any goal can be attained no matter the situation so long as one applies the commitment, drive and hard work.

Everyone that is incarcerated should know of Shon’s story. I am a firm believer that in order to receive you must give and give abundantly. I don’t have any money or material goods to give, but I will give my time, knowledge, experience and support to any fellow inmate that is willing to put forth an effort to attain a better life for themselves after their prison term is complete. I am hopeful that while I am serving my sentence, I can not only share Shon’s story but also be an influence and inspire others to create and reach their goal. I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know how I will do it, but I will find a way. A part of me cannot wait to get this journey started.

Thank you Shon.

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