Susan Lee immigrated with her family from Korea to Canada and then to the United States. Her parents own a gas station in Oakland.
Lee, 20, wants to be a lawyer.
She's heading into her senior year at UC Davis and is determined to go to law school. She said she may become an immigration lawyer to help others like her family.
"Immigration's been a huge part of my life," she said in a soft-spoken but confident voice.
To reach her goals, Lee will face hurdle after hurdle, from the torturous Law School Admission Test to the grueling first year of law school.
It will take preparation, hard work and familiarity with the system.
That's where the King Hall Outreach Program comes in.
Now in its 10th year, the program at UC Davis School of Law prepares first-generation college students and economically disadvantaged students to get into law school and succeed.
Commonly called by its acronym KHOP it runs for four weeks during July and August at no cost to participants. There are currently 32 students from six California universities enrolled.
The University of California, Davis, is alone among public law schools in California in offering an intensive residential experience spread over two summers, said Assistant Dean for Admissions Sharon Pinkney, a program founder.
The program was started in the wake of Proposition 209, which barred race-based preferential treatment in public education.
UC Davis officials sought other ways to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds win admission to law school. They used public funds and private donations to shape the program.
"Our hope was to provide a program to help students gain skills in test-taking and writing to compete in admissions," said UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson.
"The LSAT is an impediment to admission. If you don't have the money, you can't take a course to prepare for it," he said.
Writing classes help improve undergraduate grades and law school essays, he said.
Lee said she is enjoying the challenges of writing about difficult subjects with little time a task similar to law school exams.
"It trains me to get used to writing a lot and within a limited time frame," she said. "The cases can be pretty dense."
Some classes mimic the intense learning pace of the first year of law school.
Earlier this week, Laurie Kubicek, a professor at California State University, Sacramento, led students through a crash course on cases involving fetal murder, abortion and privacy law. The way lawyers frame issues can influence court decisions, she told them.
"The use of language is critically important," Kubicek said.
Law students provide tutoring in the evenings. Prominent lawyers and judges visit at lunchtime to give talks and answer questions.
Students live, work and eat together.
The program had 140 participants from 2001 to 2010, 34 of whom later enrolled in law schools at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Hastings and others.
Che Salinas, 32, is a lawyer at the Sacramento office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, a Los Angeles-based firm with hundreds of lawyers. He's a 2006 graduate of UC Davis School of Law.
Salinas said he grew up as the son of farmworkers who moved to the Bay Area to improve their lot.
As a first-generation college student at California State University, Sacramento, Salinas attended the KHOP program at UC Davis.
"I had no idea what it took to get into law school, he said.
He said he learned how to fill out applications, write a personal statement and study harder for the LSAT.
"It opened my horizons," he said.