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What kid wouldn’t want to grow up to be the next Tom Cruise – one of the most well-known and successful actors in the history of film making? Perhaps, they might grow up dreaming to be the next Demi Moore, an award-winning actress known as one of the most powerful women in Hollywood.
However, when Francesla “Frankie” Sequeira says her dream is to be the next Tom Cruise or Demi Moore, she is referring to something far different than most. Sequeira is speaking of Cruise’s and Moore’s characters in the Oscar-nominated, 1992 film A Few Good Men. In the movie, Cruise plays Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel Kaffee, an inexperienced U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps lawyer who leads a passionate defense in the court-martial of two U.S. Marines with the backing of naval investigator and lawyer Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway (Moore).
“I like the movie A Few Good Men, so I thought that would be really awesome,” remarked Sequeira about her future career plans.
Those plans include a position in the U.S Navy JAG Corps upon graduation from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law this May and passage of the bar exam. Sequeira is commissioned as an inactive ensign and will attend Officer Development School and Naval Justice School.
The Ohio State University graduate is no stranger to the Navy as she has been in the U.S. Navy Reserves as Logistics Support Petty Officer since her days in Columbus in 2007.
With that service in the Navy Reserves, Sequeira has the military experience to succeed in her future career. As far as the legal side of a JAG position goes, Sequeira has made it a point to get plenty of experience during her time at C|M|LAW. The 3L student has partaken in externships with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Federal Public Defender’s Office, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and now the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office.
“I definitely think my externships will help with preparing for the JAG Corp,” said Sequeria. “I chose to extern with the County Public Defender’s office because I know you get a little more hands-on and I’m applying for my legal intern’s certificate so I can actually get into court. I know that in the JAG Corp it is trial by fire – within the first week you usually have a trial - so that’s something I’ll actually get to experience beforehand.”
Somehow, Sequeria has found the time to also work in C|M|LAW’s Fair Housing Clinic and as a clerk in the law offices of Philip Eichorn, researching and write briefs in immigration cases. Sequeira is fluent in Spanish and it has helped her with immigration cases and in previous positions.
Sequeira’s Spanish speaking background comes from growing up in her native Miami, Fla. Sequeira moved to the Columbus-area while in high school before attending The Ohio State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science in 2010. That’s when she decided that C|M|LAW would be the place to continue on the path to her dream job.
“Cleveland has everything a big city has but it’s more convenient and has a better quality of life,” explained Sequeira about her thought process in choosing a law school. “Cleveland-Marshall offers a great alumni association and I really liked the atmosphere with smaller classes and that students actually work together.”
That background has also served useful as President of the Hispanic Law Student Association at Cleveland-Marshall.
“I’ve enjoyed being part of the group and my time as president,” said Sequeira. “Although we were small, we were close as a group and worked hard to make an impact.”
That close knit environment where students collaborate is something which Cleveland-Marshall is known for. It is one of the things Sequeira has enjoyed most about her time at the college and it’s something she expects to see as she moves on to her military career.
“I like the military and the environment - how close it is as a family and how they support one another,” explained Sequeira. “In the Navy, I’m definitely going to be working with all people of all walks of the Earth, different races, classes, creeds but everyone is brought together with common goals.”