Discovery with Jean Y. Rhee

Jean Rhee says “OK, USA!” to dance, surf and candy corn

Published in 2018 Southern California Rising Stars magazine

By Jean Y. Rhee on June 7, 2018


My nickname is … Bot, because I love efficiency and don’t appear to need as much rest, food or water as the average bear. I’ve also been called Bean, the character from Ender’s Shadow, because I’m small and scrappy.

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … the ability to see the forest for the trees.

My career high point (so far) has been … getting to first-chair and winning a jury trial in a case involving a breach of oral contract—to split fees for developing a competition to invent a hand-held medical diagnostic and treatment device like the tricorder used in Star Trek.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a dancer. I dance in my office all the time. Once while I was clerking, my judge rolled into my office as I was breaking it on down and said, “Can you come look at this email?” with a perfectly straight face.

My courtroom walkup music would be … “Remember the Name” – Fort Minor.

My real life hero is … Ronald M. Gould, the judge I was privileged to clerk for. He taught me through example what hard work, perseverance and integrity look like.

I can’t believe more people haven’t read … On Writing by Stephen King. It’ll make you tear up and laugh out loud; and it’ll teach even those who pride themselves on their writing a thing or two. 

On weekends I … try my darnedest to get outside to surf and hike and play tourist in my hometown.

My favorite meal is … just about anything Korean, especially if it’s spicy.

My motto is … “Life is short, live it well.”

The movie line I quote most often is … “OK, USA!” from Bloodsport, one of my all-time favorite movies. I use it in lieu of a plain “OK.”

The book I just don’t get is … The Catcher in the Rye. I like to defend this statement by explaining that I didn’t grow up in the States.

Nothing cheers me up like … the ocean. I’ve been in LA for well over a decade, and that first glimpse of the ocean as you turn onto PCH still makes my face light up.

My guilty pleasure is … champagne gummy bears from Sugarfina. And Brach’s candy corn. I may or may not have once eaten an entire bag of candy corn in one sitting. Yes, I have a sweet tooth. And yes, I know no one else over the age of 6 likes candy corn.

My favorite word is … honor. I have it tattooed on my body.

My least-favorite word is … DENIED. Unless, of course, I was opposing.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … At this point, I don’t think anything would surprise them.

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