Samantha Silva Tillett, MA

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Ms. Silva was born and raised in San Diego and first developed interests in law and criminal justice at the University of San Diego. There, Ms. Silva was pre-law and excelled in electives such as public policy, debate, and conflict resolution. She was also invited to Washington, D.C. through The Washington Center’s intersession program with the University of San Diego to participate in a winter academic externship on Capitol Hill during her senior year. Near the end of her bachelor’s program, Ms. Silva was accepted to intern at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office East County Division. She was later invited to stay past her internship and worked as a student worker with the DA’s office in the felony and misdemeanor departments.

Ms. Silva then pursued her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice at one of the most prestigious liberal arts institutions for criminal justice and in one of the world’s most dynamic cities, John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, New York. This John Jay graduate program has been characterized by its intellectual rigor, practical application, and its focus on building and sustaining just societies. John Jay was recently ranked #1 in best college to obtain a criminal justice degree in the whole country.

Ms. Silva was accepted as a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, John Jay’s criminal justice honors fraternity and was involved in numerous dimensions of criminal justice such as community policing, investigative techniques, and counter-terrorism. Ms. Silva chose to participate in the thesis track of her master’s program, where her choice of topic was the use of force by NYPD police officers and its different attributes between genders. In order to obtain the most accurate information, Ms. Silva reached out to various precinct’s in the five New York City boroughs to interview police officers, investigators as well as educators, and even the public that had fallen victim to NYPD’s Terry stops and use of force. This information was used to develop an accureate account in order to develop an accurate account of how force is used in a police department and how it affects its surrounding urban communities.

Ms. Silva’s thirst for the law didn’t stop at John Jay. Shortly after receiving her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice with honors, Ms. Silva moved back to her hometown of San Diego and was accepted into the University of San Diego’s paralegal program. While working in civil law by day, Ms. Silva achieved her paralegal certificate with honors with emphases in criminal law, litigation, and court procedure.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor in Peace and Justice Studies, The University of San Diego
  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice>
  • Paralegal Certificate, The University of San Diego
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