Our Students - Profiles

Kony Kim


Year: Doctorate in JSP

Email: konykim (at) gmail (dot) com


In 2010, while earning my JD/PhD at UC Berkeley, I began volunteering as a tutor/instructor at San Quentin State Prison. Over the next few years, as I learned about the personal histories, living conditions, and uncertain prospects of the men who were my students, I felt compelled to get better informed about the social/political forces underlying our prison system -- and, ultimately, to be an advocate who works with and for people caught in this system. My dissertation project and my career path have both grown out of these commitments.

Currently, I work as a staff attorney at UnCommon Law, a nonprofit law office that represents individuals serving life terms in California prisons. We work with clients to understand and address the factors that led to their incarceration, so that they can safely be released.

Website: http://www.uncommonlaw.org


Active member, State Bar of California (admitted 2015)
Ph.D., Jurisprudence and Social Policy, U.C. Berkeley (2016)
J.D., U.C. Berkeley School of Law (2012)
M.A., Theological Studies, Westminster Seminary (2006)
B.A., Philosophy, Yale University (2003)


Disciplinary field: Law and political science (public law)
Topical field: The politics and ethics of mass incarceration


U.C. Regents-Intern Fellowship
Prosser Award in International Human Rights Law
Foley & Lardner LLP Diversity Scholarship
Human Rights Center Fellowship
Berkeley Law Public Interest Fellowships
U.C. Berkeley Graduate Division Research Grant
U.C. Berkeley Dean's Normative Time Fellowship
UnCommon Law's Post-Conviction Advocate of the Year

Academic Experiences:

Instructor & Tutor (volunteer), Prison University Project (2011-2015)
Instructor & Tutor (volunteer), GED Program, San Quentin State Prison (2010-2013)
Graduate Student Instructor, U.C. Berkeley Legal Studies Program (2009-2015)
Graduate Student Researcher, U.C. Berkeley School of Law (2007-2014)
Research Consultant, Red Hook Community Justice Center (2008)
Writing Instructor, Elite Educational Institute (2004-2005)
Children's Ministry Coordinator, Jubilee PCI (2003-2006)

Employment Experiences:

Staff Attorney, UnCommon Law (2016 - present)
Staff Law Clerk, Root & Rebound (2014)
Summer Law Clerk, UnCommon Law (2013)
Advocate, East Bay Sanctuary (2007-2010)
Copy Editor, Hyphen Magazine (2007-2010)
Summer Legal Intern, Bronx Defenders (2010)
Summer Law Clerk, Human Rights Project (2009)

Dissertation Abstract:


Curriculum Vitae

Other Documents