I completed my first of three terms at Oxford, where I am completing a master’s in Socio-Legal Research.
My studies focus on how nonlawyers can help litigants unable to afford attorneys resolve their legal matters. My research falls under Rotary’s “Peace and Conflict Resolution” area of focus. Over the term, I’ve learned about how conflicts are transformed into legal claims, the gap within the lawyer-client relationship, and about the potential of advice workers who are not lawyers to make the law more accessible for indigent litigants. I have explored these topics in Law and Society seminars about lawyers as translators and litigant experiences, learned about the breadth and depth of Socio-Legal Studies in weekly presentations by scholars in the field, and built on research ideas via discussions with my supervisors and peers.
Access to justice is an issue of utmost importance in both the US and UK, especially as litigants experience economic hardships brought by the pandemic. In January 2021, I will begin supplementing my academic understanding of the role of nonlawyers in access to justice with concrete experience as a volunteer with Citizens Advice, the largest legal advice network in the UK.
Much of my learning has also happened beyond the classroom. One of the best things about being at Oxford has been the opportunity to engage with a vast community of students from all over the world, including countries like Germany, Canada, Iceland, Turkmenistan, Taiwan, and Chile. Conversations with peers have expanded both my knowledge of different places, people, and cultures and my bucket list of places to visit.
I also spend my time attending virtual meetings with my host Rotary club of Eynsham. I have enjoyed discovering different clubs’ quirks. For example, at Eynsham we begin our meetings with a toast to the Queen; at Arcadia, we begin with patriotic songs and the Pledge of Allegiance. Despite having different rituals, each club beams with their commitment to service in the community and around the world. We are in the works of organizing a joint Arcadia-Eynsham club meeting and I am thrilled about the prospect of bridging the two clubs across the pond.
In addition to participating in virtual trivia games with the Eynsham club members, I have been bonding with other Global Grant Scholars. There are dozens of us in the UK, most of which I have only been able to meet virtually, but there are a few scholars in my residential college. One of my closest friends at Oxford is a Rotary Scholar who is from Canada and is studying Environmental Change and Management.
All in all, it has been an incredible past few months. I am grateful to the Arcadia and Eynsham Rotary Clubs, District 1090 and 5300, and Rotary International for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I look forward to the amazing experiences that will follow in the coming terms!
Wearing “sub fusc” on Matriculation day! Sub fusc is the traditional academic dress that students wear for important occasions such as the Matriculation, graduation, and for certain examinations.
The Arcadia Rotary Club is so thrilled to share this new video with you from our Rotary Global Grant Scholarship Recipient, Kelsea Jeon.
No surprise that Kelsea is settling in nicely in her new environment, making new connections with her peers and teachers, and continuing to achieve her goals.
Thank you, Kelsea, so great to hear from you and thank you for being such a great ambassador!