Working with
Legal Support for Children and Women
(LSCW) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this past summer has been a great learning experience. I always had a passion to fight human trafficking, but felt like I couldn’t offer much to help. However, my coworkers during the two months in Cambodia changed my mindset and really challenged me not only in the legal profession, but also in my character as well.

When I first arrived at LSCW, I was shocked at the workload that each person had. Not only were the lawyers completely swamped with cases, but so were the paralegals, volunteers and staff members. LSCW people worked so hard, but also had great fellowship during our breaks. The lawyers were very professional and humble, and also fun to be around. They were constantly trying to improve their craft through workshops and reading.

The workload was very challenging, both legally and emotionally. Many cases were about young women trafficked to Malaysia as “maids.” Having to learn international anti-trafficking laws while simultaneously working on actual cases was difficult, but it was very helpful to have a paralegal assigned to assist me as I edited briefs and arguments. Emotionally, the client interviews and counseling sessions were the most difficult – the women did not believe they would win or that their perpetrator needed to be punished.

The opportunity to participate in this internship was definitely a blessing. While it was difficult at times, being so far from home for two whole months, it was also filled with many interesting and humbling experiences. I would strongly encourage students who are interested international law and in human rights’ issues to jump into this program.

Chanel Kim participated in the unique
Fowler School of Law International Law Program
that sends law students internationally to work as summer interns for human rights organizations. She was
one of four Fowler Law students selected
for 2014 summer internships in Cambodia.

About the author

Chanel Kim is a second year student at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. She is an extern at the Tax Appeals Assistance Program with the California State Board of Equalization. Chanel serves as the secretary for the Fowler School of Law Christian Law Student Society. She received a B.A. in English literature from University of California, Los Angeles. In the future, Chanel would like to pursue a career of service to victims of trafficking.