For The Record

When Su-Jin Hong left South Korea for law school at Penn State, the culture shock was stronger than she expected. It was challenging to read cases at the pace of her American classmates. The lecture-style courses she was accustomed to were replaced by the Socratic method. Even the change in weather affected her mood and academic performance.

She’s now helping international students at Richmond Law navigate similar experiences as the school’s first director of international programs.

“These students are away from their home country, their friends and family members,” Hong said. “They are very ambitious, but they are lonely. I understand where they are emotionally as well as academically.”

Hong started working at Richmond in January, but she’s already designing courses to give international students the language skills and legal context they need for law school. For example, a two-week pre-semester course introduces U.S. legal culture, government structure, the judicial structure, and common law analysis.

She’s also working to build the Richmond brand abroad in hopes of recruiting more international students.

“Richmond Law isn’t as well known in foreign countries,” she said. “By visiting countries and having strategic partnerships with universities, law firms, and courts, I can show the special and good-quality education we’re providing.”