Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dehai Zhang '00 Shares His Journey to Law School

In a new Alumni Spotlight featured on the Touro Law website, alumnus Dehai Zhang discusses his law school experience and shares words of advice for current students.

As a native of China, Dehai Zhang’s earliest desires to become an attorney began with watching American movies about lawyers and realizing that he wanted to become more educated about the American legal system. Ultimately, it was his desire to make a difference in people’s lives that pushed him to apply to law school. He attributes the decision to select Touro Law specifically in part to Dr. Susan Thompson, Touro Law Center Director of Enrollment, whom he met at a Law School Forum in Boston in 1996. Dehai recalls, “she gave a very persuasive and warm-hearted introduction about Touro Law Center. She is very knowledgeable, super-friendly.” He decision to apply was reaffirmed by his discovery that Touro Law Center offers first class legal education with convenient access to comprehensive court systems just across the street.

The decision to attend law school signaled a drastic career change and did not come easy to Dehai. He was teaching English in a college in China before obtaining his Master’s degree in Theological Studies. He states, “I now realize that those experiences laid a necessary foundation for me to study law and I would readily take the same journey again. I believe that when one loses passion for his or her current career path, it is time for a change.” Legal practice requires a tremendous amount of rational and passion but he finds it wholly rewarding in terms of being able to make a difference in people’s lives. He first felt the satisfaction of being able to help others while working as a teaching assistant in Contracts as part of Touro Law’s Legal Education Access Program (LEAP). The experience gave him the opportunity to utilize what he had learned in class to help other minority students academically.

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