Law Student of the Day

Who is the real spy? Ilan Grapel (left) or Austin Powers?

As we mentioned yesterday, a student at Emory Law School by the name of Ilan Chaim Grapel was arrested in Egypt on Sunday, and ordered held for 15 days. The Egyptians allege that Grapel is a “highly trained” spy, working for the state of Israel.

Ilan Grapel is a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen. And he did serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) prior to law school, as a paratrooper (which sounds pretty awesome bad-ass).

But does that make Ilan Grapel a spy? Some observers, including classmates of Ilan’s from Emory Law, find the allegation highly dubious….

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Is this law student a spy?

At this year’s Emory Law School commencement, Professor Sara Stadler urged graduates to think outside the box with respect to their career options: “You might not be able to land that [top-choice] job…. You might have to move to Nebraska.… You might have to join a small firm where they don’t make the big bucks.”

Or you might have to… become a spy in the Middle East? Emory law student Ilan Grapel has been detained in Egypt, by authorities who allege that he is a “highly trained” spy working for Israel.

Ilan Grapel is… pretty cute. Is he a spy?

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Would you trade in being a pop star to be a legal rockstar? Last week, we wrote about So-eun Lee, a South Korean pop star who left behind her music career to attend Northwestern Law.

We emailed with the now-2L to find out how she achieved pop stardom back in Seoul and whether it seems easier to break into the music industry than the legal industry these days. We also found out she goes by Nikki Lee here in the States.

ATL: How did you break into the music industry in South Korea?

I participated in a national song writing contest when I was thirteen, and it was broadcast on television. I got calls from various recording companies after that went on air, and that was the beginning.

ATL: Why did you decide to leave your music career for the law? Are you glad you decided to go to law school?

I am glad, although I have to admit that sometimes during the last year I wondered why I ever decided to come. I did music for a long time, for eleven years, and I felt and knew that I wanted a change in direction. I was a spokesperson for a couple of organizations as an artist, and I wanted to be able to know and participate in the substantive issues instead of just being the “face” of something, and a legal education seemed like the right path.

So what substantive issues is she diving into this summer?

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Hello, what have we here?

Based on the approximately ten billion emails we’ve received about this into tips@abovethelaw.com in the last few hours, it seems a lot of you already know that the “Star Wars kid” has decided to attend law school. We think the first Kamino-like flood of emails linked to the story on TechCrunch:

It was eight years ago that Ghyslain Raza slashed his way into our hearts with his Star Wars Kid video. Sadly, Raza suffered from severe bullying and abuse for his video and eventually ended up in a psychiatric ward for children…

He and his family sued the kids who leaked the video for $250,000, settled, and that seemed to be the end of it. Now, however, Ghyslain just became the president of the Patrimoine Trois-Rivières, a heritage society dedicated to conserving his hometown in Quebec. He’s also working on law degree at McGill in Montreal.

I have a bad feeling about this. But clearly escape from McGill is not his plan. Raza must face his demons, alone.

In case you don’t remember Star Wars kid: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

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We occasionally write about famous law school students here at Above the Law, such as Georgetown rising-3Ls Kaavya Viswanathan (aka the alleged Harvard plagiarist) and Top Model Sara Hallmark, and Southwestern 1L Jerry O’Connell (now on sabbatical).

Sometimes, a law school is graced by the presence of a famous classmate and fellow students are completely unaware of their good luck — if, for example, that law student is huge overseas but little-known on this shore.

When Lee So-eun got into Northwestern Law School, it was national news in South Korea. From the Chosun in June 2009:

Singer Lee So-eun has been accepted at a number of law schools in the United States. Lee’s management on Wednesday said the singer, who debuted as a high schooler in 1998, received offers from Northwestern, Cornell, Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Lee had been preparing for U.S. law school since she graduated with a degree in English Literature from Korea University in 2007. She has chosen Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. “I plan to leave for the U.S. in July, and want to focus on international and human rights law,” she said.

So what did she give up to go to law school?

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