Alumna’s Academic Pursuits Land Her in Court
School of Management Grad Earns Prestigious Internship with Federal Judge
May 5, 2009
Kim Allen wasn’t thinking about a law career when she enrolled in the UT Dallas School of Management. But her UT Dallas experience propelled her to follow her dreams, which four years later opened the door to Georgetown University and one of the most prestigious internships available for first-year law students.
After finishing her first year at Georgetown Law in May, Allen will begin a summer internship for Judge Sandra Ikuta of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. She sent about 200 résumés to small and large law firms and federal district and circuit courts from coast to coast; however, she received rejection letters every day.
But bright and tenacious, Allen is not one to give up easily. She sent yet more letters, and her résumé finally found receptive eyes in the chambers of Judge Ikuta, a 2006 appointee to the 9th Circuit Court.
“And that’s how I got my job – one part luck, nine parts sheer determination,” Allen said. A clerk for the federal judge called her one night in February, just 20 minutes after her phone interview, to give her the news.
“After they called to give me my internship offer, I felt absolutely euphoric. I spent half the night trying to fall asleep. It was too good to be true. I was so thrilled. I still am, though I can sleep now,” she said.
Allen graduated in May 2008 with a major in business administration and minor in psychology. Originally, she had planned to follow in her father’s footsteps and study accounting, but a business law course she took as part of her degree plan steered her interest to law.
While at the School of Management, Allen set an impressive pace. She was a student ambassador, a prestigious Archer Fellow, a campus housing advisory committee member, a writer and editor for the alternative UT Dallas student publication A Modest Proposal, and a two-time recipient of the Management Honors Program scholarship.
“Kim is one of those special students who jumps at every opportunity for personal development that comes her way. She is truly a well-rounded student and is capable of anything she puts her mind to,” said Tracey Rockett, director of the Management Honors Program.
The Dallas native says she plans to work at a large law firm and practice corporate law, mergers and acquisitions or international trade after graduation. She may eventually use her legal experience to go into management.
“My life story could be summed up with one statement: ‘You never know until you try.’ That’s particularly true of the past two years. A big part of my success comes from not selling myself short, from taking on new challenges and giving it my best shot. At UT Dallas, I had the opportunity to know some amazing professors who sincerely care about and believe in their students,” Allen said.
“I hope to be able to do something I love and no matter where I end up to always maintain a healthy work-life balance. I hope to be able to pass on the help that has been given to me, to make a difference for other people,” she said.