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Business Law

Jung Seon Hahn (a.k.a. Michelle)

June 09, 2014

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Jung Seon Hahn (a.k.a. Michelle)

Anticipated Graduation Year: 2014

Hometown: Seoul, Republic of Korea

Undergraduate & Previous Work Experience: After graduating from University of Pennsylvania, I started my career in a consulting practice at Big 4 accounting firm first and moved to the CNN financial network.  I learned everything from editing video clips to pitching story ideas that are needed to produce a live TV business talk show.  At the same time, I was offered an opportunity to broadcast US market news to viewers in Korea.  I reported from New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ market sites.  To learn more about the financial market, I earned an MBA at NYU Stern and, upon graduation, joined one of the major investment banking firms learning how to structure municipal bonds, and kept working in the financial industry in New York until I decided to come to law school.

What is your particular area of interest pertaining to law?  While I kept my interest in business law in general, my focus for the last couple of semesters has been tax law.  Prof. Bogdanski’s income tax class opened up my eyes for topics in personal income tax, Prof. Brown’s international tax class expanded my scope into corporate issues in foreign transactions, and Prof. Pierce’s Tax Clinic gave me a chance to directly assist low-income taxpayers to protect their rights.  I was privileged to receive Tax Stipend Award from Oregon State Bar, which also led me to work at Legal Aid Services of Oregon on more diverse tax dispute issues which low income taxpayers struggle with.

Are you involved with any extracurricular activities? When I came to Portland first time about 3 years ago, I participated in Opportunities for Law in Oregon (OLIO) where I met many judges, attorneys, and students in minority.  Since then, I have gone to various events and conferences dealing with issues on minority and women.  Additionally, I have involved in several volunteering opportunities through non-profit organizations such as bankruptcy clinic by Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section and Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.     

What do you like to do for fun: I am a semi professional piano player; I have actively participated in various orchestra, ensemble, and played at church.  I am also an avid musical goer, which has been on hold since I started law school though, I am looking forward to getting back to a fantasy of performing arts soon again.  In the mean time while I live around campus, I enjoy running/walking the trail.

Favorite places in Portland? I absolutely love the trail behind Law School.  Every time I go there, the everyday changing nature greets me.  I run into snails almost as big as my fist, little snakes, and even deer once in a while.  I also enjoy spots with various food carts in downtown.

Why did you pick Lewis & Clark Law School? Having been born/raised/and always lived in such big cities, I wanted to go to school with more nature (Thanks to the trail again my way to walk to school!)  Moreover, while Lewis & Clark seems to be known for one specialty, many programs seemed well balanced.  The unique program by AEP (Academic Enhanced Program) that is considerate for people with foreign background as well as years of work experience was another influence that made me choose L&C.

What do you like about Lewis & Clark?  Generous and gracious faculty members who respect you just as you are and the collegial student body.  You will get a support from everywhere if you seek out and more support continues outside the classroom too.  For instance, AEP led by J.B. Kim and fortnightly debriefing session by Judge Ortega are invaluable sources.  I still meet my mentor, Christine Tracey (also an alumnae from Lewis & Clark Law), who School matched with me in my first year.  At the end of the day, it’s grateful to be at law school where even the dean remembers your name and cares about your concern.

Any reason for electing Business/Tax Law as a focus? My employer was one of the biggest banks that went bankrupt first during the recent market turmoil due to hedge funds schemes.  I have witnessed many of the chaos you must have seen on news.  I also helped out developing a startup company in Wall Street during/after that chaos.  I have seen ins and outs of mature and growth companies.  Not stopping at technical understanding, I believed, my skill sets could be used better for applying those technicalities balancing with social justice, if I study Business/Tax law.


What has been your favorite experience so far?  Among many valuable experiences I had at L&C, I would pick Clinic experiences as my favorite and also I highly recommend every law student to try clinics.  It is an opportunity for you to be a leading attorney in real cases and make tangible changes in clients’ lives.  I participated in Lewis & Clark Legal Clinic (mainly Tax program) and Small Business Legal Clinic.  It was a sheer joy when my client gave me a hug for appreciation after the case was resolved.  By working at Clinics, I was assured that my decision to come to law school was a good one and furthered my interest through taking more diverse cases at LASO.  All the non-profit legal services on tax in Portland area are run by either L&C faculty or alumni, including Matt Erdman (JD ’10) at LASO, and they are great supervisors/mentors in our legal community who I would always seek for advices.

Any advice for new students?  Utilize all the sources School offers. Yes, it is important to focus on classes, but make sure to meet your mentors, alum, attorneys, judges, not to mention your fellow students.  School will provide many opportunities to get involved such as mentorship program, clinics, conferences, volunteering opportunities, etc.  I can assure you without hesitation that you are in the town full of the most friendly and supportive legal community that would go extra mile to help you succeed.  It is the culture of Lewis & Clark Law School as well as Portland legal community.  Make sure to fully utilize all the support and you do the same in the future with the people entering to this profession.

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