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Former Lawyer Provides Real-World Experience to Northwest High Students

Mark Jensen and his studentsMark Jensen has a passion for teaching the next generation of legal professionals. As a former lawyer, he provides students with first-hand experience in a courtroom and running a business. 

“Teaching legal studies is the best of both worlds. For me, it doesn't get any better than this,” said Jensen. “I want to see my students be successful and have the skills they need to move forward with their education to achieve their dreams.” 

Jensen’s experience benefits students like junior Nikoal Harms-Wulff, who selected Northwest High for its Legal Studies Pathway.  

“Mr. Jensen gives us great insight on what to expect in college courses and the industry,” said Harms-Wulff. “This knowledge gives me the confidence to advance in my education and career as a paralegal.” 

A Burke High graduate, Jensen worked at his family business and in private practice. He has taught pre-law courses at Metropolitan Community College (MCC) for more than 20 years and at Northwest High for the past 10 years.   

“Mark looks at law as a skill,” said Northwest High curriculum specialist Teresa Bender. “These courses prepare students with life skills like reading a contract or understanding their rights as a citizen.” 

Legal Studies is one of three overarching pathways offered at Northwest High through Omaha Public Schools College & Career Academies and Pathways. More than 200 students participate in criminal justice, forensic science and pre-law pathways.  

"I’m teaching students at Northwest the same pre-law courses I teach at MCC,” said Jensen. “Every year, the program grows because of the caliber of our students and staff. It’s a program I’m proud to be a part of and excited for the future.”  

The Pre-Law Pathway is designed for any student interested in legal studies but doesn’t require them to pursue a career in law. Students learn transferable skills like problem-solving, critical thinking and attention to detail, preparing them for whatever path they choose after graduation. 

“Mark is eager to do what’s right by our students and provide the best possible experience to benefit their long-term success,” said Bender. “He’s played a key role in building this pathway to what it is and will be in the future.” 

Our College & Career Academies and Pathways better connect a student’s time in high school to their goals for life after graduation, while maintaining the foundation of core classes and access to advanced academics, fine arts and electives. Students gain real-world experience from industry professionals like Jensen.  


February 2024

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