My journey to law school represents great sacrifice and preparation, both by myself and my family. The first step was taken by my family which entailed relocating to another area to allow me to attend a high school that specialized in legal studies as taught by notable law professors. I took the next step on my own with my major commitment to participate in community service in my hometown of Dallas, Texas.
I remember that the first time I stepped foot into the world of community service in Dallas, I was an idealistic young person who had such high regard and belief that the overall population of our country gained access to the benefits they were entitled to. This was a point of view that came to change over time because of my deep involvement with the Korean- American senior citizen community, all of whom needed help and guidance towards getting the benefits that they rightfully deserved. I assisted those without shelter by assisting them with the housing authority application process so that they could afford a decent place to live.
In addition, I helped those who were hungry and sick gain access to food stamps and Medicare. Also, I witnessed how Medicare money was being used as a way for hospitals and insurance companies to make money rather than helping people in need. Taxpayer money was being diverted instead of being used to assist those truly in need. My eyes were now open to the errors within the system so I did what I could to help in my small way. I prevented hospitals from creating false statements by working one-on-one with the individual and the insurance company representatives. After successfully doing my part in helping them achieve their goal, several other Asian American-related events further fueled my interest in the study of law.
The intersection between Emerald and Royal Lane, near my home, was known as “killer road,” because at least one accident occurred there every day. For five years, person after person and different organizations attempted to address the issue. Not being the kind of person to be deterred by previous failures, I persisted in phone calls and e-mails and ultimately got a meeting with Dallas Mayor, Laura Miller.
When I brought the issue to Mayor. Miller, her exact response was, “I was never aware of this problem, but I will get to it right away.” I appeared the following week with other representatives of my community in a newspaper story announcing that millions of dollars would be spent to remediate this road. However, this was only the beginning and did not result in immediate road construction. The first of the long and tedious processes began by planting road buttons to prevent cars from going in the wrong direction.
However, the buttons were not strong enough and were destroyed after a while. I started addressing this issue with help from all the community organizations and was finally successful in receiving approval for a major road re-construction. Furthermore, I recently got involved in a large-scale effort in response to the announcement that the expansion of Interstate 35 would cause the elimination of the Royal Lane exit. This result would hurt the businesses in that particular location. Hence, I am working with the community to expand the construction to create another exit for Royal Lane so Asian Americans will not be affected by this change.
Furthermore, I am an active member of the Korean American Coalition (KAC), a non-profit community advocacy organization that focuses on Asian American population on a national level. I initiated Korean American Day celebrations and actively participated in all related activities such as planning, securing approval from the city, and managing the parade during the day. The celebration brought people of numerous nationalities together to honor the establishment of Korean American Day. In addition, I was part of the board committee for the KAC annual banquet. The banquet involves meeting with over ten senators including Senator West, over twenty judges including Judge West Moye, and attorneys from all over the state to address the success and issues within the Asian American Community.
I also attended national conventions in Washington D.C. and in Los Angeles which addressed national level issues with KAC members and elected officials from all over the United States. Together with Korean American judges such as the Honorable Judge Howard Halm and Honorable Judge Carlos Chung, we discussed ways of getting Korean Americans involved in judicial and political appointments across the country.
Personal experience has taught me that the majority of people are too busy to help individuals suffering from sickness, poverty, and other issues, and those who do work to help are mostly interested in working for justice for large communities and institutions. I can proudly tell you that I am different mainly because I am undertaking the studies for a higher purpose in life. That mission is to become the champion of the Asian-Americans needs and rights first in the city of Dallas and then within the state of Texas.
What I know and believe is that by achieving and effectively implementing whatever changes I can in Dallas, my acts will have far-reaching effects and results across the nation as well. But I can only achieve these goals if I am allowed to attend law school and gain the ample theoretical and hands-on training that will help me towards the completion of my end game. Therefore, it is with high hopes and a great desire for knowledge that I request you to consider my application for acceptance into your highly esteemed law school.
Growing up in Dallas as an impressionable child, I often heard about and saw the admirable people who graduated from SMU Law School. When I became old enough to pursue my passion for the law, these previous graduates became my icons by whose standards I have set my future academic goals. After much deep thought, I came to realize that the only way by which I can even attempt to equal these exemplary people’s accomplishments is by attending the same law school they attended, SMU, where I can be educated and molded by the very same professors, mentors, and student programs that helped them reach the pinnacle of success.
Several training and internship opportunities have presented themselves to me over time, thanks in part to my untiring community service endeavors. However, I will only be able to pursue these activities, such as a summer internship with Judge Eric Moyer in Downtown Dallas, if I am granted admission into SMU Law. Other activities that I have lined up include working with Senator West and continuing my work with the KAC Dallas chapter together with Tina Yoo.
As you can see, I am already currently working with and have been tapped to work with some of the most important and notable names in Dallas politics. All these projects are important to me because by fulfilling these tasks, I will have been able to have proudly given back to my community. Mainly because all of these projects I have lined up are meant to make a difference in Dallas and, hopefully, make a positive impact on the Asian Americans living in Dallas then eventually, the whole nation.
All of these plans just need to be set into motion. The catalyst will be my admission into SMU Law School. It won’t be hard to accomplish these plans once I begin my studies at SMU because of the way I have thought out these plans far in advance. Just wait and see, if I am given the chance to attend SMU Law School, my name will also become part of the proud names listed as having matriculated from SMU Law School.