Timothy T. Kim ’16
Counsel for the Plaintiff-Appellant
Timothy T. Kim ’16 received some early preparation for the oral argument portion of the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court while teaching workshops to family court litigants in Los Angeles after graduating from UCLA. But it wasn’t until he arrived at Columbia Law School that Kim received the detailed critiques he credits with bolstering his brief writing skills.
“The Legal Writing Program at Columbia is an invaluable opportunity,” Kim says. “You’re getting constant feedback from an instructor whose main purpose is to provide feedback and improve your writing.”
Kim further honed his research and writing skills through a variety of other Law School experiences. He served as a research assistant to James Tierney, a lecturer in law and director of the National State Attorneys General Program; interned in the solicitor’s office of the U.S. Department of Labor; and, through an externship, worked in the labor bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
After participating in the first-year Foundation Moot Court, Kim chose to return the following year as a student editor. Working with other students on their writing provided him with insight into how judges approach a brief and assess oral arguments. Kim also admits he realized he was too long-winded in his own writing. “You don’t want to be too simplistic,” he says, “but you definitely want to make the issues you’re grappling with as palpable as possible. It’s our job to educate [the judges] about the issues.”
Kim has focused his studies on labor and employment law, but has made a point to take courses in foreign affairs and international law, such as Professor Philip C. Bobbitt’s Terror and Consent class. As a Korean-American, Kim says he particularly relished the opportunity to take two seminars with Lecturer in Law Jeong-Ho Roh ’88—Korean Legal System in the Global Economy and Geopolitics of Law and Conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
For Kim, making it to the Stone Moot Court finals has proved bittersweet. It means working without another valued source of feedback: Melanie Grindle ’16, one of 20 semi-finalists in this year’s competition. On opposing sides in Foundation Moot Court, Grindle and Kim bonded over their “love for appellate advocacy,” and worked together as student editors the following year. “I’m almost certain I never would have made it this far without her,” Kim says.
Next fall, Kim will join the L.A. office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton as a labor and employment litigation associate.