Tarra Denelle Simmons is a mother of three who has overcome all of the odds and turned her life around – and the Supreme Court just helped her do it.
When her father died, the Seattle nurse spiraled into a drug-fueled depression that ultimately cost her everything. She was incarcerated in 2010 with drug charges and spent 20 months in prison. While she was in jail, her house went into foreclosure and she and her husband divorced.
Upon being freed, however, she got clean and – because she had become close with the lawyers who had helped her maneuver the legal system during her time behind bars – started going to law school.
According to KING 5 News, Simmons graduated from Seattle University with honors, made it on the Dean’s Medal, and was even awarded the Sadden Fellowship: an honor that has not been bestowed on a student from the school in almost 30 years.
Despite her academic success, a panel told her that she would not be allowed to take the bar exam because of her past offenses.
Simmons fought the decision and appealed to the Supreme Court. Last week, they unanimously agreed that she would be allowed to take the bar exam.
The ruling states: “After consideration of the record filed in this case, the briefs of the parties and the oral argument, the Court unanimously finds that Tarra Denelle Simmons has the requisite moral character and fitness to practice law in the State of Washington and therefore the following order is entered, with an opinion to be filed at a later date.”
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