Many Indiana Law graduate students return home to practice in large firms working on multinational transactions. But when Michie Kohara goes back to Kyoto, Japan, she'll be involved in a wider array of cases.
"Kyoto is an ancient city and the former imperial capital," she explained. "And the firm I'm going back to is small by American standards — only 16 lawyers — but it's the second-largest one in Kyoto."
Why Indiana University? "I spent a year as a visiting scholar at New York University studying children's rights and child abuse in America. When it came time to apply to graduate programs, I was accepted at a school in New York but decided that it would be fun to experience a smaller city. It's been a great place to live."
On the American Education System. "The American style of teaching is very different. Professors in the U.S. make their lectures exciting, even entertaining. And they are very accessible and easy to talk to if you have a question outside of class."
Kohara's practice in Japan will be general. "Everything from corporate law to divorces to criminal law," she said. "My family law class with Professor Widiss and evidence with Professor Orenstein will be very useful to me at home."
Getting Acclimated. "Bloomington is very different from Japan. The Graduate Legal Studies staff has been wonderful. Dean Davis and Lara Gose are so kind and friendly, and the peer group assistants helped me become familiar with the city and with law school in general.
"I also joined an English conversation group, which has helped me improve my skills. And I was even invited into people's homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I wouldn't have to be alone on those big holidays."
General Advice. "Take advantage of the many ways the law school offers to get involved in the community. I've made new friends with students from many other countries, and that's been a nice surprise."