Jacob Eccleston

Associate Attorney at Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber & Kaufman, P.C.

2019 | Portage, MI

Aquinas College | Community Leadership

Jacob Eccleston, ’19, combined his natural leadership instincts and desire to help others to shape his legal career.

He attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids where he originally planned to serve the community as a doctor, but his undergraduate experiences shifted his endgame.

“Through numerous service-learning trips to places like Philadelphia, the Dominican Republic, and Peru, I realized how much I enjoyed influencing and leading other people. During my junior year, I decided to switch my major to Community Leadership,” Eccleston said.

At MSU Law, he embraced the freedom to develop as a leader, to learn to be an advocate, and also to grow as a person. From the beginning, he was involved with the student community. He led his section as class representative for the Student Bar Association during his 1L year; served as a MSU Law student ambassador; and worked in the law college’s Career Services Office for three years. Eccleston also participated in the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute (TPI), the Mock Trial Team, and the Civil Rights Clinic.

“My experiences in TPI hit every facet of the emotional spectrum. The exhilaration of impeaching an opposing witness on an integral piece of the case. The disappointment of realizing you misread an issue in a brief you’ve been working on for weeks. The happiness of giving a flawless opening statement. The frustration of realizing you forgot how to respond to an objection right in the middle of your well-rehearsed direct. You experience it all in TPI,” Eccleston said. “But more importantly, you can learn from those successes and failures and they enable you to become better prepared to be a litigator.”

Eccleston's extracurricular roles helped him meet and network with a wide variety of people.In his final year at MSU Law, he led his peers as the Graduating Class President for the Class of 2019. “I am both humbled and proud of being elected as a leader of leaders,” he said. “This honor will remain with me forever.”

He hopes to use his previous experiences in service to launch a career in government, whether on the municipal, state, or federal level.