Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Student Profile

Vivian Bodey

Full-Time Day Program

Vivian Bodey enjoys taxes. No, really. In fact, the third-year day student likes one of life's only certainties so much that she has already accepted a position with the IRS, Office of the Chief Counsel as a tax attorney after she graduates from Southwestern. She is also the only law student working on a treatise for corporate attorneys through the ABA Section on Business Law, Committee on Tax, titled, "Taxation of Corporate Transactions: A Handbook for Business Lawyers." She has authored a chapter and is creating checklists and diagrams for the publication.

Scholarship is very important to Bodey, who wants to eventually teach tax law at Southwestern. She already has two articles being published: one on Fast Food Products Liability for Trinity Law Review and another on Interspousal Contracts for Southwestern University Law Review, where she currently serves as an associate editor. She has also contributed a few articles for a Forensic Evidence book.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Bodey came to the United States with her family when she was 5 years old and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. The daughter of a cancer researcher father and psychologist mother, Bodey attended Reseda High School's Medical Magnet program and majored in economics at Whittier College. "I knew since I was a little girl that I wanted to be a lawyer," she said. "I watched Perry Mason and said, 'That's what I want to do.' But my mom panicked because she thought I meant that I wanted to be an actress. She was relieved to find out that I wanted to be in the courtroom."

Southwestern was an easy choice for Bodey as she sought to stay in Los Angeles. "I wanted diversity, an urban setting and an opportunity to interact one-on-one with faculty, which I knew I would get at Southwestern," she said. "I love the student body and the faculty at Southwestern. No other schools compare."

And she has parlayed her affection for Southwestern, tax law and scholarship into a bevy of extracurricular work, including participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which helps qualifying individuals file tax returns every Saturday through tax season. During the Fall 2007 semester she externed for the Hon. Arthur L. Alarcón, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, and participated in LLSA's Hoover Toy Drive. She also works part time for local law and accounting firms. And in her free time she's happy to help students study, including her brother, Bela, a second-year evening student. In addition to working for the IRS after graduation, Bodey will likely attend Loyola Law School part time to earn an LL.M. "Tax law is a guiding light behind any corporate transaction," she said. "It's very interesting and challenging.