Student serves as president of APALSA at Wayne State

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

With an interest in American politics, international relations, and the law, Jacqueline Yee earned her undergrad degree in political science from Oakland University, where she was president of the UNICEF chapter and vice president of the award-winning Model United Nations Club, editor of the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, a member of the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha, and a member of the Honors College.

“Studying political science gave me a broad understanding of our political system and how it’s influenced by the law,” she says.

Yee spent the summer of 2014 interning for Sen. Carl Levin and Congressman Sander Levin in the nation’s capital, observing congressional hearings, conducting legislative research, and interacting with constituents from Michigan.

During undergrad, she also got a taste of the legal world by working as a legal secretary and as a legal clerk. The experiences helped her understand the operations of a law firm and the responsibilities of attorneys—and affirmed her desire to attend law school. She is now in her 3L year at Wayne State University Law School.

“As a Chinese-American woman, I’ve always been passionate about promoting a diverse and inclusive society,” she says. “I recognized attending law school would provide me with the knowledge and influence to direct positive change, which inspired me to pursue a career in law.”

Yee served on the executive board of the Women’s Law Caucus, and was an assistant editor on the Law Review last year, serving this year as Executive Note & Comment Editor.

“Law Review has helped me further develop my legal research and writing skills and the Women’s Law Caucus has provided me with the support and environment to advocate for women’s rights in society and the legal field,” she says. “I enjoy working alongside my peers and being active in the Wayne Law community.” 

Serving as president of the law school’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) allows her to engage with the Wayne Law and Metro Detroit communities and serve the interests of Asian Pacific Americans. With a goal of promoting a legal community as diverse as the people it serves, the APALSA works closely with the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, an affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Yee appreciates the opportunities offered by Wayne Law, and the faculty mentors committed to student success.

“Professor Blanche Cook has been instrumental during my time at Wayne Law—she goes above and beyond to help students like myself reach their goals,” she notes.

Last summer, Yee interned for Judge Marianne O. Battani in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, observing various court proceedings, including motion hearings, trials, and conferences.

“It was a memorable experience,” she says. “Everyone in Judge Battani’s chambers was very welcoming. I enjoyed enhancing my legal research and writing skills and working alongside Judge Battani and her clerks.”

Yee has been clerking since May at Garan Lucow Miller in Detroit, where her responsibilities include conducting legal research, writing legal memorandums, and preparing drafts of motions, case evaluation summaries, and affidavits.

“All the attorneys and staff are extremely kind and encouraging,” she says. “I’m grateful to work at a place with such exceptional mentors and respected members of the legal community.”

After graduation, Yee plans to practice in the Metro Detroit area.

“I aim to use my legal education and skills to help advocate for the rights of women, minority groups, and underserved populations,” she says.  

A native of Rochester Hills and a graduate of Rochester High School, Yee enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and spending time with her family, friends, and Japanese Chin dog, Panda.
 

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