My name is So Heon Park, and I am a second year student at Regent University School of Law. I am currently working on a project for International Justice Mission (IJM) with my teammates to help bring justice to corrupt legal systems in East Africa, as I shared in my previous blog post. My primary responsibility for this project is to research cases in the United States where police officers are prosecuted for violating the law and finding the procedures that were followed in the investigations and prosecutions. I would like to share a few things that I have learned through working on this project.
First, I have learned real skills that I need to know to work at a law firm through the work at the Center. For example, when I first heard the term, “billing hours,” I had a general idea of what this meant. However, I did not know what exactly the term encompassed. After learning that “billing hours” requires recording the date, amount of time, and a short description of the work that I did, I feel that I am getting trained and ready to work at a real law firm because this is what I am going to do to bill my clients or keep the record of my work at a firm in the future. Although it might sound like “billing hours” is a very simple thing, I was excited to learn how a law firm would run and how I would do the same thing as a lawyer in the future.
Second, working at the Center has helped me to focus on the task that I am assigned to. As I was reading many cases during the research process, I sometimes had a hard time figuring out whether I was answering the question that I was asked to because there were so many materials that seemed important for police accountability. Our supervisor, S. Ernie Walton, always guided me toward focusing on my assigned question and seeing the big picture of the project so that I can focus on more important materials. I also appreciate his encouragement, which helped me to keep up the work and see the importance of the project.
Third, serving as a student staff for the Center is such a privilege, especially working with other student staff members, who love God and know the importance of the work that needs to be done in the world to bring justice. It is easy to focus more on assignments, exams, and other extra-curricular activities without remembering the reason why I came to law school and why I am at Regent University School of Law. The Center work is the constant reminder of the reason why I am in law school and the mission that I have for God.
The Center is not only a safe environment to see the room for growth, but also a great place to train myself to work with excellence. I really appreciate the support and encouragement through prayers and words by the staff members, and I am so proud to be a part of this community.