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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

 

BASF Scholarship Recipient Update: Ann Kariuki

 

Ann Kariuki, one of more than 70 alumni recipients of BASF’s Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarships, will complete her law school career in 2011. She has been active in multiple causes since her scholarship began in 2008, and we were eager to catch up with her and discover her plans for the future.

Ann Kariuki

BASF’s Lauren Luke (LL): How has the scholarship impacted your law school experience?

Ann Kariuki (AK): The scholarship has allowed me to pursue my legal degree and passion for social justice. As a community we strive for diversity in all aspects of life. Whenever opportunities are created to foster diversity, especially in the legal profession, the represented communities benefit by having one more advocate to champion their rights. The scholarship has allowed me to meet attorneys from many different practices, to develop relationships and I have gained more exposure to the legal community and the practice. A legal education is costly today and as a result increasingly out of reach for many ordinary people. The scholarship bridges the gap for students like myself who may be hindered from seeking a legal degree based on financial disability. The scholarship has allowed me to have one less thing to worry about and to focus more energy on the study of law.

LL: What are you doing this summer?

AK: Last summer I worked for the District Attorney’s office and did research and writing on criminal matters. This summer I decided to switch gears and explore an area of law that has always been a passion of mine based on my background, International Human Rights. I’m currently working for an international NGO, The Forgotten International, in San Francisco. I’m assisting with foreign legal research to inform a documentary and book project entitled “Living on a Dollar a Day.” I’m looking at some social and legal aspects of India’s labor, education, and housing policies. The goal of the project is to bring awareness of the struggles of the poor, focusing on South East Asia and Africa, and of how hard they have to work just to stay alive. The book and film will include contact information of aid organizations to not only raise awareness, but also to serves as guidance for people who wish to get involved. I’m really enjoying the experience especially since I recently took Comparative Law and I believe in this social cause.

LL: If you are still volunteering with Asian Pacific Islander Outreach (APILO), how has that been?

AK: I have tried to engage in different practical experiences while in law school. In particular, I have found the clinics rewarding by putting class room skills into practice. I have had a good experience volunteering for the clinic and helping community members with their immigration matters. It’s also a good way to sample an area of law and to do some career exploring.

LL: Now that you’ve completed your second year of law school, which class(es) have you enjoyed the most and why?

AK: So far I have enjoyed Public International law, Property law and Corporations. I found the courses eye opening and they gave me a different lens for looking at society and socio-political behavior. I also enjoyed the courses because they have some interesting historical foundations and they made world events more meaningful. As they say knowledge is power!

LL: What are some of your hopes/plans for the next year and after graduation?

AK: My goal is to continue to do well academically and to explore more areas of law, such as Labor, International Human Rights and Real Estate law. In the fall, I will be taking a trial practice course, interning for a civil judge, and I will also participate in a mediation clinic. I hope to get much more litigation training before I graduate. After graduation the sky is the limit, I’m open and willing to explore wherever my interests take me. However, I will always remain committed to human rights no matter what field I end up in.

For more information about donating to the Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship, please visit www.sfbar.org/scholarships.aspx.

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