Deborah Oh ’20

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: USC 2013
Affiliations: BHSA, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Asian American Law Journal

English wasn’t my first language. I was raised by my grandparents who spoke Korean. So I joined debate in high school to try to be more confident and it helped me become empowered to speak in class. That’s one of the reasons I decided to go to law school. The idea of helping people who are struggling with language confidence… I wanted to give that voice to others who didn’t have the training and good education that I had to overcome that obstacle.

I decided to run for 1L BHSA rep because I saw the position as a student support role. There are 300 of us in the first year class, and no matter how hard the staff and administration tries, there is no way for them to know every student’s needs and interests. As the 1L rep, by virtue of going through the same experience as my classmates, I can see what students need and what they are feeling. So I thought I could make a difference in this role by making people feel like they had the chance to be heard. Ideally every student will feel like Berkeley Law is their home and they can grow and thrive here. Helping them do that is why I was really passionate about the position.

If I wasn’t a BHSA rep I probably would have stuck with my core group of friends and been much more solitary in my studies. Because of this position I have to interact with students I barely know, and constantly think about how to better the 1L class and better the school. I hope every student has the chance to have a role that gives them a sense of investment in the school, whether it’s through a journal or student government or whatever, it has enriched my experience a lot.