Promoting social justice through legal education
Accommodating ever-changing modern society, the College of Law has been fostering competent legal professionals through superb scholarly training and the cultivation of ethics to fulfill the mission of the legal profession. As a result, the College of Law has produced numerous graduates, who are carrying out vigorous activities in a wide range of areas in academia, the legal profession and government posts. Recent years, the College of Law has attained a remarkable records in the number of students who pass the Korean bar exam, positioning itself as one of the major law schools in Korea.
Gileun Lee, Graduate Student Editor
Our society operates on legal principles. Therefore, the legal system influences almost every aspect of the society. In fact, all the minor acts we do in everyday life, even crossing the street, purchasing products or taking out the garbage, are regulated on a legal system. Accordingly, the principles of law have been around since the creation of humankind. The study of law has a long history and dates back to ancient the Greek and Roman empires. Let’s take a look at the College of Law at Hanyang University.
The College of Law at Hanyang University aims to cultivate students to be professionals with a solid liberal arts education. It seeks to develop professionalism in legal practice through various in-depth legal education curriculums and trains legal professionals with a global perspective and a profound understanding of the prevailing international legal theories and trends. As a result of corresponding with the educational objectives, the College of Law has produced over 1000 jurists since its foundation in 1959 (initially called “Department of Law” affiliated in Political Science and Economics). A number of alumni have been highly active not only in the legal field but also in the educational, political, administrative, business and financial fields as well.
At the center of the distinguished achievement is the Preparation Class for the Bar Exam with a 30 year history. The class, equipped with excellent faculty, offers special lectures on the subjects included in the bar exam, and supports students financially by offering benefits such as free dormitory and diverse scholarships to students who pass the preliminary exam. In addition, a lot of students are involved in the LEET (Legal Education Eligibility Test) class for School of Law or a class for the Public Administration Exam.
The students in the College of Law take part in academic societies and activities such as the judiciary society, labor law society, religion, music and there are a variety of activities within the college. In order to provide students with a real world experience there is a mock trial held annually. Students simulate the existing trial and seek their own answers. Also, outside of the college, they participate in various debates or contests for college students in Korea.
The College of Law at Hanyang University operates the following research organizations: the Institute for Legal Studies, the Center for International Litigation, the Center for Interest & Human Rights, the Center for Safety Law, the Center for Intellectual Property & Information Law, and the Legal Clinic. In particular, the Institute for Legal Studies takes charge in developing law textbook, counseling students on legal matters, researching international legal issues, and lecturing for national exams. Also, anyone in the university can consult on legal matters in the Legal Clinic for free from this month.
By Jaehoon Kim, Student Reporter
Photo by Sungil Jung, Student Photographer
Internet Hanyang met the dean and administration team manager of the College of Law.
Q. Would you introduce the College of Law and yourself?
A. The history of the College of Law at Hanyang University (HYU) began in 1959, when it was initially founded as the Department of Law affiliated with the College of Political Science and Economics. It produced its first alumni in 1963 and became independent as the College of Law in 1982. We are no longer admitting freshmen since 2009 with the advent of the law school system.
As for me, I received a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree from the Department of Law at Seoul National University. I spent my research years at universities in Germany and the United States, and have American state certification. I have taught in HYU since 2003.
Q. Compared to other universities, what do you think are some distinctive features of the College of Law at HYU?
A. The HYU College of Law is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious colleges of law in Korea, producing top level law professionals. In line with HYU’s emphasis on pragmatic education, we focus on providing students with practical field education. Since the study of law itself involves a high degree of practicality, I believe that our focus on pragmatic education has played a crucial role in fostering qualified individuals with practical talent who stand out in the field.
Q. In 2012, HYU produced 41 successful applicants who passed the bar exam, putting the university in fourth place in the country. What is the driving force behind the remarkable achievement, despite the fact that the bar exam is to be abolished in 2017?
A. I think one of the major factors that led to the success is the outstanding quality of education that the college provides to its students. We have put constant effort into nurturing students with high quality education, regardless of the policy change that brought forward the advent of the law school system. The ratio of successful applicants from HYU to the entire successful applicants has even increased since the introduction of the law school system. Another reason is the excellent program for the preparation of the bar exam. With specialized professors, teaching assistants, and faculty, the program offers useful know-how for tackling the exam.
Q. Can you introduce some of the labs in the College of Law?
A. Every single professor in the college is a member of the law research lab. Accordingly, the size of the lab is inevitably big. The lab is publishing 41 law comments and producing high quality journals. We also hold global seminars. Additionally, we are running an exchange program with University of Konstanz, Germany. Unlike many other superficial exchanges, we actually exchange the research results and papers. We are also holding an international seminar with Kansai University.
Q. We heard that students are actively participating in academic societies and club activities. Can you tell us about some of them?
A. Currently, there are seven academic societies and nine clubs. Each society such as the judiciary society, intellectual property rights society, and labor rights society, holds its own mock trial on an annual basis, which students actively participate in. Meanwhile, we help students to maintain a balance between studying and playing by providing them some outlets, like sports clubs, where they can relieve their stress. In addition to sports clubs, we have a variety of music clubs that play diverse genres from rock music to Korean traditional music. Students find mental relief through these kinds of extracurricular activities, especially when they are exhausted with the bar exam and other kinds of study.
Q. Can you tell us about the labs in the College of Law?
A. Technically speaking, there is one research laboratory, called the law research laboratory. Under the lab, there are three subsidiary research centers, which are namely the international legal procedure law center, the minority human rights center, and the intellectual property rights and information law center. The law research lab publishes a journal of law on an annual basis and each of the subsidiary centers also produces two academic journals a year. In addition to the journals, they also hold symposiums and have research contracts with many firms, thereby maintaining a firm position as the top research centers in terms of both quality and quantity.
Q. What are some of the major career paths that students usually take after graduation?
A. Since the first alumni graduated in 1963, the college has produced around 8,000 graduates in 50 years. About 1,200 of them passed the bar exam so far, the number of incumbent judges currently being 91, prosecutors being 113. The rest of the graduates normally take careers that are similar to those of liberal arts majors, such as corporate, public institutions, and so on. Since the law school system was adopted, students who enroll in law school after graduation amount to roughly 20 percent of the total graduates.
Q. Do you have any words of advice for the students in the College of Law?
A. It seems that many students feel a sense of loss as the Law School was established, believing that the status of the College of Law would be eclipsed. However, we will put our utmost effort in providing high quality education until every student receives the education they want and successfully enter into society. Don’t worry, and just study hard as usual.
By JaeHyun Lee, Student Reporter
Q. Can you tell us about the College of Law’s Administration Team?
A. The College of Law’s Administration Team is composed of nine faculty members. We deal with the undergraduate law course, the law school, and the graduate course of law in the Graduate School. The number of tasks we have to manage goes way beyond the number of faculty member within the team. Nonetheless, all individuals help and encourage each other to fulfill our duty as a team.
Q. What is the strength of the administration team?
A. The purpose of our existence is to provide the best service to help the students to achieve their dreams. I believe that serving the purpose faithfully will eventually become the strength of our team. For this, we are providing students with the best environment to study. More specifically, we are giving out various unprecedented scholarships to the students within the college; we have prepared dormitory and study rooms for each individual; state-of-the-art library and lecture rooms and most importantly, scientific and efficient student guidance so that students do not have to worry about anything else other than studying. As a result, for the past 30 years, our college has produced more than 1000 competent jurists and stayed as one of the top Colleges of Law in Korea. This all shows the strength of not only the administration team, but also Hanyang University’s College of Law as a whole.
Q. How do you stay close with the students?
A. There is this old saying, “You can sound water ten fathoms deep, but you cannot sound the human heart a single fathom.” Dealing with the students of their own distinct colors, we are seeking to find various ways to admit and understand the differences, so we can better communicate and respect the students. We are having a regular meeting with the student body to check their needs and obtain the new issues through an open board. We are also communicating with students online. In other words, we are trying to create ideal communication channels between faculties, professors and students.
Q. Is there a special memory working in the administration team?
A. There was a student with the brightest smile and sincere attitude. He had difficulty in paying tuition, so he earned the tuition himself through part time jobs. However, a semester before his graduation, he came to the office to have a semester break due to the tuition. Then, I looked for a welfare scholarship for students in a low-income family, but the deadline for the application had already passed. Despite the fact that I am quite straightforward when it comes to the principle and rules, I asked for an operational assistance from the related department so he could graduate with no delay. On graduation day, the student and the parents came to say “thank you”. After the continuous gratitude, I even felt sorry and, at the same time, felt my work worthwhile and happy. His brightest smile just comes to remembrance today.
Q. Is there a message you would like to deliver to the students?
A. The students in the College of Law are the precious men who will work at the core of the society in all different areas. I hope to therefore encourage students to experience the precious meaning of sweat and tears in our living site under the blazing sun, rather than obtaining theoretic knowledge in the air-conditioned high- tech lecture room.