Randy K. Jones
Black History Month: 2010 Honoree
Active community leader Randy K. Jones is an attorney with two decades of experience in federal criminal litigation and government law. He’s a rare lawyer, who brings dedication to law, a broad national and international perspective, and a life-long commitment to making a positive difference in the world to the versatile role of today’s legal professional.
Jones is the local coordinator for the U.S. Department of Justice anti-gun and gang violence initiative called Project Safe Neighborhoods. In addition, he has served as a mentor to young men and women from a gang diversion program, local law schools and other organizations.
In 1990, he founded the Neighborhood Law School program in San Diego. It’s designed to provide lay people of modest financial means a chance to understand their rights under the law. Since its inception, the Neighborhood Law School has been replicated in more than 20 other states.
Jones has also served in leading positions on the boards of the YMCA of San Diego County, Jackie Robinson Family YMCA and Neighborhood House Association, Southeast Economic Development Corporation and National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association.
Additionally, Jones spearheaded efforts that led to increasing the number of minority law clerks hired by U.S. Supreme Court justices. And he successfully lobbied for presidential pardons for black World War II navy veterans, who had been wrongly jailed for mutiny.
Jones’ international achievements include having headed the first delegation of attorneys and judges to East Africa to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. This effort led to the recruitment of lawyers to work at the tribunal and bring justice to thousands of detainees awaiting trial for genocide.
An Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California in San Diego, Jones has tried dozens of federal jury cases to verdict involving sophisticated white-collar fraud schemes, complex drug conspiracy cases, immigration and violent crime matters. And he has successfully negotiated and resolved hundreds of other criminal cases without trial by plea bargain or other disposition.
Currently, Jones also holds the rank of Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves and is assigned as Staff Judge Advocate for Commander Naval Surface Force Detachment A in Coronado. He began his legal career as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps member. During his service, Jones tried more than 200 felony jury trials and was a legal advisor to senior officers and executives on contract negotiations, commercial transactions, environmental issues and other legal matters.
A past president of the National Bar Association, the oldest and largest association of African-American lawyers and judges, Jones represented the organization throughout the country and abroad to ensure it remained a powerful voice in national and international matters involving the legal profession.