“I initially thought I wanted to do employment and labor law. However, I fell in love with food and drug law once I was in Professor Boyd’s course last spring,” third-year law student and South Carolina native Rosanne Sullivan Prim said. “I believe there should be a fundamental right to know what is in our food, and many of the major companies have largely been intentionally negligent in their representation of nutrition in their products. What we eat affects our health in so many ways (both known and unknown), and the obesity crisis in America needs to be addressed via the legal field in addition to the health field.”
As a 3L, Prim is making plans for her future while graduation nears. She hopes to bring this aspect of law into a firm that already practices in products liability or drug regulation, and her goal is to increase public understanding about misleading labels and advertising regarding food, supplements, and medicines.
“I’m really excited to try and get into food and drug law. There’s not a whole lot of it being practiced in South Carolina, but that’s what I’m most interested in, so I want to bring it into the area. It can go along with product liability, pharmaceuticals, and other areas that you might not consider. It brings up how some foods in grocery stores now say ‘gluten-free’ because they’re trying to appear healthy, but sometimes it’s really just marketing. It’s very intriguing, and that’s ideally what I want to do,” Prim said.
Prim is no stranger to Columbia, having grown up here, and attended the University of South Carolina’s Honors College. So trying to add to and improve Columbia’s law community comes as no surprise.
“I’m a big advocate for Columbia because I’ve been here my whole life, which is one of the reasons I’m in charge of the Ambassadors program at the USC School of Law,” Prim said. “We give tours to prospective students and we help out with alumni events.”
Not only is she currently the chair of the Ambassadors program, but she also is the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Law and Education, and a member of Phi Delta Phi, the John Belton O’Neill Inn Court, and a graduate of the Konduros Leadership Development Program. But law isn’t just about a potential career for Prim—it’s about passion and family.
“My great-grandfather, John Lyles Glenn Jr., was actually a judge here in South Carolina. He was nominated by President Hoover to serve as the judge for the US District Court for the Western District of South Carolina. My father, Richard Lyles Coble Sullivan, was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and was Chairman of the Richland County Democratic Party. Both were USC School of Law alumni, so I am happy to carry on the tradition,” Prim said.
With just a few weeks before graduation, Prim has this advice for incoming 1Ls:
“Take time for yourself. If you need to just go for a long run, and you feel too overwhelmed to go, just do it. Once I was able to get back into the routine of things and take care of myself and put my body first during my 1L year, the rest of me performed better–my grades went up, I was happier, and everything was better.”