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2L Jennifer Kim: Los Angeles Native and Daughter of Immigrants

published November 26, 2007

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( 78 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
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Korean American Kim was born to immigrant parents and raised in Southern California. Kim, who has one older sister, has been influenced a lot by her cultural background, especially the hard work her parents have had to endure to become successful.

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"I definitely think that watching my parents struggle to create a better life for my sister and I has played a monumental role in developing my drive to succeed. It has invoked in me the desire to achieve greater things for my future family and has caused me to want to work for upward mobility in the Korean community," she explains. "[My parents] have encouraged me by supporting all of my endeavors and serving as a constant reminder that hard work and determination can open all doors and lead to wonderful opportunities."

Kim completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied English. After graduating from UCLA, she entered Loyola Law School, also located in the L.A. area.

"I picked Loyola Law School because they are reputable for producing efficient attorneys and because it is closer to home," she says.

Kim entered law school hoping to make a difference in the Korean community and in the Asian sector. She is a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) chapter at her school. The organization is under the umbrella of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA).

"I hope to become more involved in the Korean American community in terms of helping people who have little knowledge of our legal system," she says. "I am not absolutely sure what area I'd like to work in. As of now, I am considering business, family law, or real property."

Kim is also a staff member for the International and Comparative Law Review (ILR).

"Student associations help you to meet new people and give you good experience in developing effective networking skills," she says, offering some advice to future law students. "After all, these are the same people you may be working with someday!"

As far as her future goes, Kim still has to figure everything out, but she knows that some specific areas of law excite her more than others do.

"I like that there are few bright-line, black-letter categories when it comes to law. Everything is open for argument and interpretation," she says. "My favorite course thus far has been contracts. I liked it because contracts are involved in just about every transaction that occurs in businesses and between people. The slightest difference in wording of provisions could result in an entirely different outcome in the resolution of a case."

Last summer, Kim interned at a small firm in Pasadena, specializing mostly in business litigation.

"I found the internship through a friend," Kim says. "I was able to experience a little bit of every area of the legal process: discovery, drafting complaints and motions (e.g., summary adjudication)."

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As most law students say, her most memorable moment came from hitting the town after what every student dreads: finals.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. I like to read fiction novels and go visit parks and other places away from the bustle of the city.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now, or what was the last song you heard?
A. Random MP3 CDs — The Killers, John Mayer.
Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. People.
Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A. Although I don't have one favorite, I must admit I am a sucker for reality television.
Q. Who is your role model?
A. My parents. As immigrants, their experience of hard work and dedication in providing my family with a good life in the U.S. has been an immeasurable source of teaching and inspiration in my life.
Q. What is something most people don't know about you?
A. I was a semi-finalist in the national Miss Korea Pageant in 2002. However, I am probably the furthest from the stereotypical pageant type most people would imagine. Usually I am seen as "one of the boys."

"After finishing a grueling round of finals during my 1L year, a bunch of my fellow classmates and I went out to grab some drinks and relax for the first time in about a month," she says.

Now in her second year at Loyola, Kim credits her professors with really encouraging her.

"Observing just how hard they work and how passionate about various legal fields [they are] motivates me to strive harder to succeed and make a difference," she explains.

She also hopes other law students will look into the numerous options available in the industry.

"Be diligent, and don't limit yourself to one legal area without first exploring others," she says.

Kim is planning to graduate in May 2009.

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published November 26, 2007

( 78 votes, average: 4 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.