“When I went to visit other schools, right when I walked in, I felt the competitiveness from students. Everyone was giving each other dirty looks, and it was just a very stressful environment. Then, I came and visited here, and right off the bat someone noticed I looked lost, offered me help, and gave me a tour around the school. It was so different from all the other schools. It was such a welcoming feeling.”
That’s how first-year student Jean Kim describes her initial experience with the University of South Carolina School of Law. A graduate of Temple University with a degree in Criminal Justice, Kim left the familiar confines of Philadelphia to pursue her J.D. at South Carolina.
“I have never lived outside the state and been so far from my family and friends so I wanted to test and push myself. It definitely has been hard, but I don’t regret my decision because I have grown and learned so much about myself,” Kim said.
The children’s law concentration program is what initially caught Kim’s eye and drew her to Columbia.
“I eventually want to become a family court judge. I was not aware of any law schools back home with a concentration in children and family law, so when I learned that USC offered it I was hooked,” Kim said.
As a first generation American whose native language is Korean, Kim also credits South Carolina Law for helping her improve and perfect her writing abilities.
“Since English is my second language, writing has never been a strong point of mine, and I have always been self-conscious about my skill level. When I learned I had to take a legal research and writing class, I remember thinking I was going to fail because those were my two weakest skills during undergrad,” Kim said. “Somehow, my LRAW professors have convinced me that legal research and writing can be enjoyable! My confidence in those areas has increased drastically since I started law school, thanks to them.”
So far, all of Kim’s work has paid off; she secured a summer intern position that is rare for a first-year student to land.
“This summer I will be interning for Judge Margaret Seymour, a senior judge of the United States District Court for South Carolina,” Kim said. “I am hoping to apply the writing skills and technique that I am learning from my studies here, and I look forward to the challenge.”