I chose SILS for my undergraduate education mainly because of its international setting and its liberal studies program. When I entered SILS, I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted to do with my future. Because SILS encourages its students to take variety of courses, I was able to explore my true academic interest. Among the classes I took, I truly enjoyed Performing Arts classes taught by Professor Mikami and Professor Sekine, and all law-related classes taught by Professor Waters. I have taken every course by Professor Waters, which was a life-changing event for me. I have never thought about going to law school or becoming a lawyer. I did not even know I had interest in law. However, taking his courses made me realize that I like learning law, and it is one of the reasons why I proceeded to law school after graduating from SILS.
My first year in law school was very challenging. People say that the first year is the hardest, and I can tell you that they are not lying. I had endless reading and writing assignments just like everyone else, but it was easier for me to understand the materials since I had basic legal knowledge from taking the U.S. law-related courses in SILS. Although law school was difficult, I truly enjoyed learning law. Aside from attending classes, I had the honor of participating in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, which is one of the most prestigious moot court competition in the world, as an oralist representing my school. Preparing for the competition was very intense, but academically stimulating at the same time. I spent three years of law school fully and happily, and I graduated in December, 2011 with Magna Cum Laude.
After graduation, I went on to take the bar examination in Washington D.C. in February 2012. The District of Columbia bar exam is a two-day exam, which tests you on 17 subjects of law. Preparing for the bar exam was quite intense, and it felt as though it could go on forever. However, with the support of my friends and family, I was able to pass the bar at first try. I will be traveling to D.C. to attend the swearing-in ceremony in June.
When I look back, I wonder how I got here. Becoming a lawyer was a dream that I did not even know I had. But for going to SILS, I would never have realized my interest in law. I consider SILS to be a great place where students can prepare for their next step, especially for those who want to work internationally. Professors are very encouraging and always willing to help. I strongly encourage the current students to explore every opportunity that SILS can offer, because there are many. It is a matter of grasping them.