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Off the Beaten Path: From Lawyer to Reality TV Competition Winner

Becoming a lawyer is not the only path you can take after graduating from law school. Every Monday we bring you the story of a former lawyer or law student who has taken an unusual or unique career path.

Did you know that a former People magazine Sexiest Man Alive and the winner of the reality TV show “Survivor: Cook Islands” is a Yale Law School graduate and former editor of the Yale Law Journal? Does the name Yul Kwon ring any bells? Kwon was a contestant on “Survivor: Cook Islands,” a season of the popular reality TV show that began with racial controversy over participants being separated into “tribes” based on their ethnicities. However, Kwon decided to look past the controversy, because of the opportunity the show provided to become a positive role model for the Asian-American community—something Kwon had long prided himself on. Kwon attended Stanford University as an undergraduate and is a national spokesperson for the bone marrow donor program for Asian Americans. After Yale Law, he practiced law at two firms, served a judicial clerkship on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. He is now deputy chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau for the Federal Communications Commission.

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