Alumni Spotlight

UHLC grad earns fellowship to help Asian community

Esther Kim '15

Oct. 2, 2015—Weeks before graduating from the University of Houston Law Center, Esther Kim learned she had earned her dream job, receiving the Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowship for public law to work with the Family Law Unit at Lone Star Legal Aid (LSLA).

“When I received the email, I almost jumped through the roof,” she said. “My husband thought I had finally lost it after three years in law school, but my daughter laughed and started jumping with me.  EJW told me I had 48 hours to think about it, but I replied with an acceptance email within five minutes. I knew I finally got my dream job,” she said.

“The EJW fellowship accepts applicants from across the United States, so I was competing against quite a few applicants,” said Kim.

The public interest law fellowship is a two-year program in which every fellow must develop a project, set goals, and a reasonable timeline.

“My project for example is to provide legal services to victims of domestic violence in the Asian population in Harris and Fort Bend counties,” Kim said.

During the fellowship Kim will learn about court procedures and, will also organize information sessions to increase LSLA’s visibility, and enhance cultural awareness of attorneys who are interested in understanding the underlying cultural beliefs and practices of many Asians.

While at the Law Center Kim was a member of the Public Interest Law Organization and a research assistant for the Center for Children, Law & Policy.

“The civil clinic was the best experience ever,” she said. “It was the best class I took in all my year in law school. I think the clinic should be mandatory for all law students.

“I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle cases on my own,” she added, “but the clinic taught me more about myself and my abilities.”