Corinna Su: Lawyer, World Traveler, and Language Enthusiast

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Corinna Su: Lawyer, World Traveler, and Language Enthusiast

Corinna now works as a lawyer in Korea.

Corinna now works as a lawyer in Korea.

Corinna now works as a lawyer in Korea.

Corinna now works as a lawyer in Korea.

Vidushee Mishra, Staff Writer

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After graduating from Irvington in 2009, Corinna Su became a corporate lawyer after completing a three-year graduation program in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attending Columbia University’s Law School. Currently working as a freelance lawyer in Korea, she shares her schooling and professional experiences and reflects upon her time at Irvington and how it shaped her into who she is today.

Growing up, Corinna’s main influences were her family and the environment she grew up and studied in; these factors helped her form her perceptions of the world and how she handles everyday situations. She developed her desire to be a lawyer from watching her uncle, who practiced the profession, and wishing that she could also work with big-name companies and travel around the globe. At school, Ms. Lin influenced her in a lot of ways and Corinna enjoyed spending time with her and admired her optimistic and resourceful approach to life. In addition to Ms. Lin, throughout high school, Corinna’s hero was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an associate Supreme Court justice because she is the second woman on the SCOTUS and she worked very hard to be an independent thinker, something that Corinna hoped to do as well. Reminiscing about her time at Irvington, she fondly remembers eating lunch in the courtyard with all her friends because most people do not do eat lunch with all their friends after college.

Corinna believes that the main aspect of Irvington which helped develop her into who she is today is the teachers that she connected with. Ms. Lin was one of her most influential teachers because she took two classes—geometry and calculus—with her. She also took her math major in college since she enjoyed Ms. Lin’s classes, and because it was the fastest way to graduate. Another one of Corinna’s influential teachers was Mrs. Black, who helped solidify her English language skills, which are critical to Corinna’s career as a lawyer now. In addition, Madame Cayla was also an impactful teacher who made Corinna want to try to learn more languages. Before she took her class, Corinna knew Mandarin, English, and Spanish, but once she took French 3 with Madame Cayla in senior year, she got more confidence in her language skills, and even went on to take Portuguese and French in law school.

After high school, Corinna did not originally intend to move out of the United States. However, after she completed her undergraduate degree a year early, her peers encouraged her to travel instead of immediately applying to law school. Taking their advice, she applied to a language scholarship to study Mandarin and learn about Chinese culture in Shanghai and got accepted. Because of her experience in Shanghai, Corinna started to look for a job there and the company she applied to asked her if she was interested in a similar position in Abu Dhabi, UAE, so she decided to work there and then apply to law school.

Because Corinna has already lived in eight different countries over a span of six years, she is already used to the culture shock that comes from moving to a new environment in a different country. Her ability to work remotely also allows her to maintain her home life the way she likes, mitigating any drastic changes in her lifestyle from moving. Corinna’s favorite aspect of her job is that she has the opportunity to live in various interesting places, allowing her to learn more about the world and experience a plethora of different cultures.

Corinna encourages aspiring lawyers to “keep going till the finish line of law school and get good grades,” but she also reminds students that although good grades are crucial, “other skills like social skills are important too.” Her advice for high schoolers as a whole is to do the things that are right for them because other people will always try to give them advice about what to do, but only they know the most about their situation.

Corinna graduated from Irvington in 2009.