Connie Young Min, Class of 2001, is a former intelligence analyst for the CIA turned television star. After graduating from law school, she worked in private practice for a few years before transitioning into intelligence; an experience she says she wouldn't discount as it was invaluable. As a former CIA analyst, she pinpointed targets and outfoxed threats against U.S. citizens all over the world. Working at the federal, state and local levels of law enforcement, she's tracked drug traffickers and provided analytical support to undercover enforcement teams. She most recently starred as an Intelligence Analyst on CBS's hit show Hunted. We talked to Min about her greatest accomplishments, her biggest challenges, and how Mercer Law impacted her career path and what left a lasting impression.
Q & A
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments?
A: This is going to sound so cliché, but I'm going to say it anyway – my family. The jury is still out my success as my boys are still young, but hopefully I'm raising them to be kind, empathetic, thoughtful, and open-minded individuals.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your current career position?
A: There are two things that I really love about being an intelligence analyst. One is the nature of the work – it can be dramatic, intense, collaborative, and dynamic all at the same time. From day to day, any number of things can change or be discovered; you never really have the same day twice. The second thing, and perhaps the more important reason that drew me to intelligence is the fact that the work has a much greater impact than just to the immediate parties involved. It doesn't get recognized very often, but it matters a great deal.
Q: In what ways has your law school experience impact your career and who you are today?
A: I use the skills and information I learned in law school every day, both in my personal life and at work. If you think about it, we all negotiate, gather information, draft e-mails, enter into agreements or contracts, and solve problems, large or small, on a daily basis. I can even say I have a general understanding of our tax code thanks to the class I took at Mercer!
From a career perspective, I find there are many similarities between being an attorney and an intelligence analyst. Both require a tremendous attention to detail, data and evidence mining, and the ability to step back and form as complete a picture as you can from bits of information that come from various sources. My training and experience in private practice allowed me to hone those skills; as a result, I began my work as an analyst on a whole different level. My career has since taken me to places I've never dreamed I would be – I've collaborated with and learned from amazingly talented and dedicated professionals at CIA and in law enforcement. I most recently filmed a show for a major television network (Hunted on CBS). If you had told me all of this would be in store when I walked across the stage to collect my law degree, I would've laughed.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges in your career? Did your experiences at the law school help you to overcome obstacles you've faced?
A: Finding a work-life balance has been my greatest challenge, especially with two kids and a husband who has a demanding career of his own. However, having a law degree and great work experience gave me the flexibility and the option to hop on a completely different career path.
Q: What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?
A: Thoroughly research your options and network with people who have been in the field for advice. There are many career paths for those with law degrees at the local, state, and federal levels as attorneys, analysts, linguists, or operators. Don't discount actually practicing law for a few years either. Having to be responsible for my own cases, navigating a complex and often stressful work environment, and prioritizing tasks – I found that experience to be invaluable.
Q: What was the best activity you did at the law school? Do you have a favorite professor? How did they influence what you are today?
A: Professor Anthony Baldwin is my favorite professor at Mercer Law. Not only is he an engaging speaker and fantastic teacher, but the personal interest he took in his students' lives and education and his spirit of mentorship and guidance had a tremendous impact on me. I'm certain there are hundreds of his former students who would say the same.
One of my favorite law school memories was coaching a moot court team that Professor Baldwin oversaw. The competition was held in NYC in February of 2001, and as a New York native, Professor Baldwin somehow knew there would only be one sunny day during the trip. He insisted that the team go up to the top of the World Trade Center that day after practice. I will always be thankful for that experience because just nine months later those towers came down, and that was the event that ultimately spurred my career change.
Q: Do you have a favorite or funny story about your time at the law school?
A: I have so many funny memories of law school, I can't pick just one. It might have been the delirium brought on by late-night studying, but I think I laughed my way through those three years.
Q: What would you say to a prospective student and their family who are considering attending Mercer University School of Law?
A: Mercer is a close-knit family of fellow students and faculty. I met some of my best friends on day one of orientation. I received a great education that prepared me well for a career in law and beyond.