At Columbia Law School, Jantira Supawong ’10 has been captivated by a broad array of courses and public interest opportunities—sampling as many fields of law as possible, while maintaining a focus on philanthropy. Supawong wasted little time; just a few months into her first year of law school, she found herself sitting in a New Jersey jail, interviewing detained illegal immigrants with attorneys from the Legal Aid Society.
Supawong weathered cat calls and chaos to help the Legal Aid lawyers identify asylum-eligible clients, and her commitment to those in need did not stop there. Supawong took part in the Law School’s Tenants’ Rights Project and the Domestic Violence Project, as well as the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, which gave her the opportunity to work with Professor Suzanne Goldberg. “It’s no secret she is a great lawyer and a great teacher, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to learn from her,” Supawong says. She also completed an externship with 2nd Circuit Court Judge Robert Sack ’64. “It was such an amazing experience,” she recalls, “to see up close how judicial decisions are made.”
Supawong feels strongly that service should be an integral part of life outside the Law School and believes in the importance of blending career goals with philanthropy. And her aim is to do just that as a practicing attorney. In the fall, Supawong will join the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where she plans to explore different practice areas while working on pro bono projects. Supawong is excited about the challenge, and more importantly, she’s prepared: “I have learned the most useful and practical lawyering skills to carry me into the future.”