“It’s different, I’m going off of zoom from last year, it feels so different,” current Chief Justice Brian Kang explained as he looked around the hotel lobby. “Seeing everyone, seeing people argue, not seeing people on the screen.” After the virtual meetings and conferences due to COVID-19, Kang looks forward to seeing faces that aren’t on a screen, and remembering the experiences he had just a few years ago in the same hotel. He was introduced to the Youth and Government program through an alumni in his school. He is part of a law program at his school, and was encouraged by a previous Chief Justice to join the club. Kang chose to join the trial court as an attorney in the appellate section, and was nervous for what would lie ahead.
As a freshman, Kang was surrounded by polished and experienced upperclassmen in trial court. He recalls his first day in district conference: “I think after the first day I met up with my people, I started crying, and I was overwhelmed with a lot of stuff.” He felt the pressure to be just as good, if not better, than the people around him.” At that point in time, I realized that I had a lot of room for improvement,” and that pushed him to become the Chief Justice he is today. His trial court in his freshman year also helped him grow the skills he needed, preparing him and encouraging him to do his best at state. Ultimately, he hopes that his experience in the Youth and Government program will fuel his future career as a lawyer.
This year, Kang has had the chance to see his brother participate in the same position he had as a freshman. “It’s weird to see him grow up,” he admits. “I don’t know what he wants to do in the future, if he’ll do this next year. But I support him in what he does.” Overall, he is proud of all the freshman teams. “I feel like with COVID-19, a lot of people took the time to really prepare.” And with this year’s state conference being delayed, people had more time to polish their skills. In the long run, Kang appreciates what he has learned from this program, and, most importantly, the people he has met. “I think this conference is really about the people that we’re with and the connections that we build, instead of what the program actually offers,” he fondly asserted.
Written by: Alanis Rodriguez