Globetrotter: Law student previously traveled the world in the cruise industry


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News­

The globetrotting bug bit Kory Steen at a young age, and he picked hospitality management for his undergrad degree from Griffith University in Australia, as a career path offering travel opportunities.

But after several years in the industry, including management positions at two restaurants in Windsor, Ontario, he wanted a career he felt would be more intellectually challenging. Recalling a law course he took during undergrad, and with an interest in solving problems for people, he set his sights on the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, across the river from his home in Belle River outside Windsor.

“What I enjoy most are the students and staff,” he says. “The professors and administrators have made my law school experience much more manageable, and their support has meant everything to me. Students are competitive, yet always willing to help and support others.”

With a strong interest in litigation—and a goal of becoming a litigator in Detroit—Steen’s favorite law school experiences revolve around Moot Court.
“I enjoy the legal research and writing that goes into a brief and also enjoy oral advocacy,” he says.

Together with fellow 2L student Yafeez Fatabhoy, Steen volunteered to help 1Ls by running review sessions and articulating legal principles for the rookies.

“It’s been an enjoyable experience and I believe has improved my oral advocacy skills and made me even more comfortable with public speaking,” he says.

In his 1L year, he served as a Student Bar Association day class vice president, working to solve issues or general concerns his classmates brought to his attention. He continues representing classmates as the 2L SBA day class treasurer. Steen also enjoyed playing on the law school’s hockey team.

“It was a great experience because it helped me keep a healthy balance between school work and physical activity,” he says.

In his leisure time, he enjoys playing sports, camping, playing music, and spending time with his fiancée and friends.

A native of Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Steen moved to Windsor in childhood, and makes his home there now.

“I plan to stay in Windsor because my traveling days are behind me,” he says.

But he still has amazing memories of his travels, including seven months as a bar manager on the Japanese Asuka II cruise line.

“My experience was almost unbelievable,” he says. “When I first started, I didn’t speak Japanese and had to learn to adapt to a new language and culture very fast.”

He was onboard during the annual “world cruise” from Japan, around Africa, up to Europe and Iceland, across to New York, down and through the Panama Canal, up to Hawaii, and back to Japan. Before departure, Japan was hit with a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

“Even on the water, we could feel the power of that earthquake, and it shook the ship,” he says. “We gave some assistance to victims of that crisis before departing, and it was a terrifying experience I’ll never forget.”