Determined Advocate For Law Students Pledges To Lead, Mentor Her Peers

Aly Kim becomes president of LSA in her final year of law school

Brea Elford - 21 September 2018

Twelve hours. That's how long Aly Kim - then a 13-year-old student in the professional ballet program at Canada's National Ballet School - practised each day leading up to the opening night of Swan Lake.

A year before, she had completed another rigorous role, playing Clara, the female lead in The Nutcracker, as a dancer for the Alberta Ballet.

Now, as a third-year law student at UAlberta Law, Kim has even more on her plate. But she is mentally prepared for what comes.

"I just keep reminding myself that everything I've done up until this point has brought me here, and I just have to trust myself and go for it," she said.

During her time at UAlberta Law, Kim has been involved with the Faculty in many different capacities; its Faculty council, articling committees, and several student groups including OUTlaw.

This year, Kim is the Law Student Association's president, a role she says is the natural next step, because of how invested she is in UAlberta Law.

"The LSA is well-established and I think all of my predecessors have been amazing in showing really good leadership and mentorship," she said. "I think that the Faculty thrives on the idea of collegiality and open-door policies - I'm really hoping to continue that."

It was during her dance career that Kim first showed interest in law. As a professional dancer - eventually dancing with the New York City Ballet - Kim found herself often negotiating contracts as she navigated the world of dance companies, auditions and performances.

After an injury prematurely ended her dance career, she decided to pursue law school.

Kim spent last summer working in Toronto at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and will article there after 3L. The mentorship at the firm has been invaluable as she approaches convocation and a legal career.

"It's been great to surround myself with these really established lawyers because I'm able to see what my life could look like in five or 10 years from now, and it's been incredibly motivating coming into 3L," she said.

While entering her last year at UAlberta Law feels bittersweet, she knows that all of her training stands her in good stead.

"There are a lot of parallels to dance in law school," she said. "Dance has taught me perseverance and determination, and I think that translates really well into the legal realm, whether it be mooting, interviews or simple tasks at work."

Kim's goal is to work at a full-service firm as a corporate lawyer because the adrenaline rush of business law appeals to her. But she's happy to keep her options open.

"One of the great things about U of A is they have such a wide range of base-level understanding of so many different things, so I know if I do change my mind in the future, I'll be well-positioned to succeed," she said.