"Professional-level writing skills"
Ji Won Park admits that coming to law school was intimidating. One of the first things any law school tells you is that the three-year process will change the way you think. What they often don't mention is that law school will also change the way you write.
"I knew legal writing was a unique form of the craft that requires training and skills beyond those required by less technical st yles of writing that I had previously been used to," she said. "Having to always be mindful of your audience, whether it's a judge or a partner at a firm, was difficult to grasp at first, and the significant amount of legal research that has to be done before writing anything can be overwhelming."
But Indiana Law's Legal Research and Writing program helped Park develop those skills during her 1L year, giving her a solid foundation to be used when she served as a judicial extern with a federal judge.
"Legal Research and Writing was the only skills-based course that taught me practical skills among all the other doctrinal first-year courses," she said. "The program helped me achieve a professional level of writing with well-reasoned logical analysis, organized research, and clear presentation. And it also helped me gather a portfolio of writing samples, which greatly contributed to my landing on the first externship at a federal district court."
After that externship, Park returned to Bloomington and was selected as a Dean's Writing Fellow, serving as a resource to incoming 1Ls. That experience kept her writing and editing skills sharp, as she was now the "go to" person for her new peers.
Looking back, Park said she's grateful for the many opportunities provided by the Law School's program.
"The best part has undoubtedly been the individualized support from LRW faculty and my fellow Dean's Writing Fellows," she said. "As a 1L, I was not only able to benefit significantly from one-on-one constructive meetings with professors, but also from upper-level students' coaching and insights. Now, as a Dean's Writing Fellow, I'm grateful for getting to know the new 1L students whom I would not have interacted with at length otherwise. It's been a rewarding experience watching them grow, and I continue to refine my writing skills as well."