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Cecily Couture


Undergraduate Degree
  • Class of 2006
  • IDP Minor(s): ┬╗Middle Eastern and North African Studies Minor
  • Additional Major(s): Political Science
  • Additional Doctoral Degree(s): JD, Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School, 2013
  • While At UCLA

    I worked for UCLA Housing to help support myself in school. After graduating, I participated in the UC/DC program and interned with Juvenile Probation in Washington, D.C. It was an incredible experience! That experience drew me back to DC a few years later--I even lived two doors down from the UC/DC Center! I loved it there and would highly recommend that program to anyone.

    After UCLA

    A year after graduating from UCLA, I served as a volunteer missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Thailand, where I grew to deeply love the Thai people, language, and culture.

    After returning from Thailand, I spent some time in Washington D.C. working for law firms while I applied to law school. I attended Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School, graduating cum laude in April 2013.

    While at BYU Law, I worked as a volunteer for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies' annual International Law and Religion Symposium, eventually serving as the Chair of the Student Executive Committee in 2012. The summer following my first year of law school, I was a fellow at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and interned at the Area Legal Counsel Office for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong, China. In my second year, I interned at the Office United States' Attorneys in Salt Lake City. In my second year, I was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the Department of Education for the study of Thai and Thai culture. Some of my research while in law school included Thai lesse majeste laws, public burqua bans in European nations, and the uses of estate planning instruments for legal immigrants and undocumented immigrants. For a short time, I was also a volunteer researcher for the Women Stats Project. As a law student, I was involved with BYU Women in the Law, serving as its president in my third year. I also belonged to the International Law Students' Association.

    I believe my studies at UCLA as well as my experiences in Thailand influenced my decision to attend law school, as well as the activities and research I chose to involve myself with during my graduate education. I intend to use my law degree to serve underprivileged populations. My goal is to work with nonprofit organizations that aid refugees. I am also interested in local government.

    I currently live in Portland, OR with my husband and son.

    Fondest Memory of UCLA

    My fondest memories of UCLA involve my dormmates. We are still close to this day! I also very fondly remember our graduation party thrown for us by the International Institute. At that time, we were their largest graduating class--and there were maybe 10 of us! There was a lovely cake, great food, good music, and friends.

    Advice for Current International Institute IDP Students

    Take all the classes you can! Don't just do the bare minimum to graduate. There is such a wealth of knowledge there that you can draw on in your future endeavors! Go to office hours when you can. Spend your time trying to come up with questions to ask your professors--it's worth it!