Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Brooks, 2006


Rachel Bunning

Alumnus Jonathan Brooks graduated from SHPRS with his Bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 2006. He has since gone on to obtained his Juris Doctor in 2010, and now practices family law at Udall Shumway PLC. Brooks is also the Vice Chairman of on the Board of Directors of Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services, and serves as an executive council member of the Arizona State Young Alumni Chapter.

Brooks answered a few questions about his current position, his time with SHPRS and tips for current students.

Tell us a little bit about your current position and how you found yourself there.

I am a family law attorney with the law firm Udall Shumway in Mesa. I was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 2010. After admission, I worked in a few different legal practice areas before finding family law. This area is uniquely challenging and rewarding as clients seek counsel during emotionally difficult times.

Growing up, were you always interested in history?

Absolutely. Next week my wife and I travel to Washington, D.C. Shamefully, I have never been. The study of history and politics continues!

What attracted you to the undergraduate history program at ASU?

The variety of historical areas to study as well as the crossover between studying history and political science. The ability to study history while also dabbling in other areas such as,  philosophy and political science.

Tell us about your time with SHPRS.

I was privileged to learn from extraordinary professors. Dr. T.J. Davis taught a course that encouraged a love for the Constitution and legal theory. Professor Chouki El Hamel taught an extraordinary course on African history, who was so kind as to invite us to his home. Professor Kyle Longley re-framed how I view current events and sharpened critical thinking skills I use in my daily practice.

Did SHPRS and your degree help in preparing you for your current position?

Without question. Researching, analyzing primary documents and thoughtfully crafting argument are each invaluable and transferable skills. No doubt that having a background in history has made me a better lawyer.

Was there a defining moment with your academic career?

I can't remember a singular class; however, when I completed prerequisite courses and had a foundation in research and writing, the higher level courses became more enjoyable.

What is the most useful thing you learned that you can still apply today?

The ability to research and digest a massive amount of information and formulate a thoughtful argument.

Do you have any tips for current students?

"Do the things that make you sweat!" Travel as much as possible to gain appreciation and context for that which you study. And seek out professors and instructors because these efforts can have lifelong benefits.