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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

SC native Rosanne Sullivan pursues food and drug law

“I did not always know that I wanted to pursue food and drug law. I actually initially thought I wanted to do employment and labor law. However, my passion for fitness and health led to me learning about food and drug law, and then I fell in love with the topic once I was in Professor Boyd's food and drug law course,” said Rosanne Sullivan Prim, a 2016 graduate.

“I believe that there should be a fundamental right to know what is in your food, and that the major companies have largely been intentionally negligent in their representation of nutrition in their products. What we eat affects our health in so many ways (both known and as of yet unknown), and the obesity crisis in America needs to be addressed via the legal field in addition to the health field.

“I’ m really excited to try and get into some sort of food and drug law. There’ s not a whole lot of it being practiced in South Carolina, but that’ s what I’ m most interested in, so I want to bring it into the area. It can kind of go along with product liability, pharmaceuticals, and other areas that you might not consider. It brings up how all of the ‘hippie’ food in grocery stores now say ‘gluten-free’ because they’ re trying to appear healthy, but it’ s really just marketing. It’ s very intriguing, and that’ s ideally what I want to do,” Prim said.

Prim is no stranger to Columbia, having grown up here, attended Hammond private school, and USC’ s Honors College, so trying to add to and improve Columbia’ s law community comes as no surprise.

“I’ m a big advocate for Columbia because I’ ve been here my whole life, which is one of the reasons I was in charge of the Ambassadors program at the School of Law,” Prim said. “ We give tours to prospective students and we help out with alumni events.”

Law isn’ t just about a potential career for Prim, however—it’ s about passion and family.

“My great-grandfather, John Lyles Glenn, Junior, was actually a judge here in South Carolina. He was nominated by President Hoover to serve as the judge for the US District Court for the Western District of South Carolina. My father, Richard Lyles Coble Sullivan, was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and was Chairman of the Richland County Democratic Party. Both were USC School of Law alumni, so I am happy to carry on the tradition,” Prim said. “ I got a wonderful job working at a law firm during my undergraduate years, fell in love with law even more, and it just reaffirmed my decision to go to law school.”

Looking back at her law school days, Prim has some wisdom to pass onto incoming 1Ls:

“Take time for yourself. If you need to just go for a long run, and you feel too overwhelmed to go, just do it. Once I was able to get back into the routine of things and take care of myself and put my body first during my 1L year, the rest of me performed better--my grades went up, I was happier, and everything was better,” Prim said.

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