By the time Keya Koul graduated from high school, she'd already lived in three different states and one foreign country (India), thanks to her father's position as a consultant in the steel industry. "It made me easily adaptable to pretty much any situation," Koul. "I had to kind of hit the ground running wherever we ended up." While a pre-med at Smith College, Koul found herself drawn to advocacy work. For example, she would volunteer at hospitals, often serving as translator between Spanish-speaking patients and the doctors. After graduation, she taught Spanish to elementary schoolers and ESL to foreign business professionals in Boston.
Koul then headed west to UCLA to get a masters degree in Medieval Spanish Literature. Opting to stay in Los Angeles, she spent the next five years managing the editorial team for PR Newswire, a financial wire service that disseminates press releases for publicly traded companies and entertainment studios. Eager to pursue a more altruistic career, she decided to attend law school. "I thought that law school would afford me the opportunity to really advocate in a way that would affect people's lives in a more sustainable way," she says. "And give me the tools to help people successfully."
She says she was drawn to Southwestern's "tight-knit community," as well as the school's unique resources such as the Biederman Institute. Since arriving on campus, Koul has taken on more than her share of benevolent extracurricular activities. "I'm on the Public Interest Law Committee, I volunteered at the Katrina clinic, I went down with the General Relief Advocacy Program to help homeless individuals get their public services and food stamps." She's also a member of OUTlaw and Law Students for Choice, and was admitted into the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. "I enjoy keeping busy," she says. "That has been the best part of law school - really getting involved with all these organizations."
Koul is exploring her interests in entertainment and labor law through an internship with the Screen Actors Guild as she considers her professional path. Whatever her next step, Koul says law school has been richly rewarding. "Southwestern has lived up to everything that I hoped it would," she says. "Everyone from the faculty to the staff to the students has been extremely kind and helpful. My classmates and I have developed a great rapport. I'm really enjoying myself."