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PLP’s Decade of Impact: Kelley Lowe’s Journey from JEP to Netflix

ByKathrin Rising

In the dynamic landscape of JEP’s diverse programs, the Pre-Law Project (PLP) stands out as a cornerstone for USC students aspiring to enter the field of law. Recently, PLP celebrated its 10th anniversary and hosted a special virtual coffee chat for this semester’s participants featuring Kelley Lowe Au, the program’s founder and a testament to the enduring impact of JEP’s initiatives.

Kelley’s journey with JEP is a story of dedication, innovation, and passion for empowering pre-law students. From her initial roles as a JEP Program Assistant and Program Assistant Coordinator during her undergraduate years, to returning in 2013 to establish the Pre-Law Project during her time in the USC Gould School of Lawl, Kelley has worn multiple hats at JEP. Her experience spans seven years at USC, where she played pivotal roles in various capacities.

As the founder of PLP, Kelley aimed to create an opportunity similar to JEP’s Trojan Health Volunteers program for pre-health students, tailored for those interested in the law. Her vision materialized in Spring 2013 when JEP ran a pilot program, placing 20 undergrads at public interest law firms to assist with real legal needs. This initiative provided pre-law students with direct and meaningful legal experiences, allowing them to work alongside seasoned attorneys and gain valuable insights into the inner workings of law firms. Given the success of the pilot, the program became a permanent part of JEP’s offerings in the Fall of 2013. 

During the virtual coffee chat, Kelley shared insights and experiences from her journey after USC, including her current role on the employment team at Netflix. Beginning with work in child labor laws and diligence, she now focuses on immigration law, ensuring legal compliance in the workforce. PLP students eagerly sought her advice on the differences between boutique and larger law firms, transitioning into an in-house role, and navigating work-life balance as a female attorney. Kelley, who was nearing the end of her maternity leave, offered valuable perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for women in the legal field.

The students expressed gratitude for the program Kelley brought to life, highlighting how PLP has enriched their studies and shifted their perspectives. Keyara Ahmadi emphasized the hands-on experience, noting its transformative impact on her outlook, even though public interest law wasn’t initially on her radar. Megan Sullivan underscored the importance of having a boss who shares her passions and understands her learning goals.

As PLP begins its second decade, the virtual coffee chat serves as a moment to reflect on the past and inspire future generations of pre-law students. Kelley’s commitment to creating opportunities for young aspiring attorneys continues to be a guiding light for PLP and reinforces JEP’s mission to provide enriching experiences that extend beyond the classroom.


To read more articles that were featured in the Fall 2023 Edition of “What’s new at the JEP House?” please click here: What’s New at the JEP House? – Fall 2023 – USC Joint Educational Project