Jamaica: Brother and sister become lawyers together

(Star of Jamaica) Dewayne and Feleca Jonas were like peas in a pod when they were growing up in the Belmont, Lawrence Tavern, St Andrew area. The two, who were among six children to Daisylin Dacres and Constantine Jonas, still share a special bond.

On Tuesday, Dewayne, 37, and Feleca, 35, achieved a great achievement together after being called to the Bar, which means they have joined the law society and are now lawyers.

“I think our journey was ordained by God because some things that happened during the courses of study, some would have stopped. But God made it possible, ”said Dewayne, a detective sergeant in the Jamaica Police Force (JCF). He said he originally wanted to become an artist as he drew well. However, at the age of 20, she enrolled in basic training at the police academy and developed a passion for law after receiving the police law and procedure book. Feleca only began to consider law when she started working at a law firm at the age of 18.

Oberlin High School alumni ‘journey into the legal profession dates back to 2011 when Dewayne brought Feleca’s attention to a pre-law program being offered at the University of Technology, (UTech) Jamaica.

“When I heard about the law program at UTech, I told her and we made the prerequisites then moved on to the faculty,” Dewayne told THE WEEKEND STAR. They then embarked on five difficult years of balancing work, study and personal life. “The journey was tough but despite the fact we had to overcome,” said Feleca.

Once again the siblings became each other’s tower of strength. “At one point my sister got pregnant and I had to take notes for her … and double up on the courses,” said Dewayne.

Feleca also stepped up over her big brother after he had an accident. “He spent a month in hospital and I had to make sure I got all the notes for him. We were always there for each other, ”he said.

She remembered that she was the “caretaker” of Dewayne after her mother died in 2000; she was 15 and Dewayne was 17.

“I took care of him, even throughout his training at the police academy. I washed him, cooked and looked after his meals and made sure he was fine. We looked after each other, ”he said. Their father, Constantine, died in 2018, when the siblings were about to enter Norman Manley Law School.

“We realized we don’t have any parents so we have to make them proud to do it for ourselves,” said Dewayne. “We studied and dealt with Norman Manley’s entrance exam so that this was our last chance. We persevered and encouraged each other. At one point my sister said she didn’t know if she could catch up, and I said ‘you must’. ‘

Two years later, they have successfully completed law school with similar degrees.

“It’s a lovely feeling to see how things are going with us, even at the call [to the Bar] my brother embraced me and said, ‘Like, we did it. We are attorneys-in-law ‘, ”said Feleca.

“I’m glad because we know our journey and the work we’ve done, and we can now reap the success,” said Dewayne as he dreamed of setting up Jonas and Jonas law firm. “The Best is still to come.”