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Michelle Kwon

Kwon in Machu Pichu

Kwon at Machu Picchu.

Michelle Kwon is an associate professor in the College of Law.

A first-generation college student, Kwon dreamed of attending a university.

“I’m thankful for dedicated public school teachers who encouraged and mentored me,” she said.

She received her law degree from Texas Tech University’s School of Law and went on to work as an associate, and eventually a partner, at a law firm in Dallas where she concentrated on corporate tax planning.

Before arriving at UT in 2011, Kwon was a senior attorney in the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel for two years.

A few of Kwon’s law colleagues who had left the practice to pursue academia suggested she try academia too.

Why this field?

Even as an undergraduate studying accounting at the University of Texas, Kwon knew she wanted to become a lawyer.

Kwon attributes her interest in the field to pop culture. Growing up, her family used to have dinner around the television every Sunday night to watch 60 Minutes. She said they would debate the stories, “so many of which had compelling legal, political, or public policy implications.”

But I never imagined I’d be a tax lawyer. I don’t think anyone grows up wanting to be a tax lawyer.”

Outside interests

An avid traveler, Kwon has experienced the beauty of Machu Picchu, the heat of the Galapagos Islands, and the peace and serenity of Japan.

This summer she’s planning to go “glamping” (glamour camping) on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval Spanish pilgrimage route.

I’ll be walking about 12 to 15 miles a day, but of course I’m doing it through a tour company, where a van follows you and carries your water.

In the summer of 2020, she plans to take a river cruise through Europe.

Kwon has been to almost every continent. She still needs to check Australia off her list but has no interest in ticking off Antarctica.

What’s still on her bucket list? A high-end safari in Africa.

If she didn’t do this . . .

Kwon actually thought about becoming a journalist while she was practicing law.

“One of the things I love is writing,” she said. While doing law research is a creative endeavor, “reporting the facts in an understandable way by telling stories to people would be kind of fun.”

Favorite spot on campus

She looks forward to finding a new favorite spot at the newly opened Student Union, which is just across the street from the College of Law.