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A childhood promise leads to a bright future in criminal law

Alexander Kong

Alexander Kong is an ASU Law fall MLS candidate with a focus on criminal law.

November 23, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2020 graduates.

Once an 8-year-old child who promised his mother he would go to law school, Alexander Kong is now grateful for the knowledge he gained while pursuing his Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. And he’s ambitious about the future.

“The ASU Law professors truly changed my perspective on how the world works,” said Kong, who will graduate this fall with an MLS in criminal law. “I wish I had started the MLS program a lot sooner because the curriculum was mind-blowing. I wish our education system made it mandatory for institutions to teach our young generation the fabric of our beloved Constitution.”

Kong, a U.S. military service member from Monterey Park, California, said he chose ASU Law because of his great experience as an ASU undergrad while he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in operations management. He now looks forward to completing his military service and then furthering his education in pursuit of a JD degree with the goal of becoming a criminal lawyer.

Question: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

Answer: There are so many professors to choose from but Sandra Erickson from the SDO 501: U.S. Law and Legal Analysis course really stood out. Miss Erickson was a fair but firm kind of professor. She really opened my eyes to the world of law, and I thank her for that.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Keep grinding because you will get there. It doesn't matter how long it takes as long as you finish strong.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would fund any organization that is actively pursuing effective ways to convert ocean water to potable water. There is a world water crisis where at least a billion people do not have access to safe water. Unfortunately, 3% of the Earth's water is fresh and desalination requires an abundance of electricity to turn ocean water to potable water. I hope to see an effective solution within my lifetime.

Q: What was your favorite spot for power studying?

A: I'm an online student and my favorite spot for power studying was at the bar. My friends always pressured me to go hang out with them. So I looked like a complete fool at the bar with my iPad, law books, and a book stand. They were busy having fun while I crammed away with my classes.

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