Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Visitors from Yeungnam University Law School

This summer, the School of Law is pleased to welcome three visitors from Yeungnam University Law School in Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea.

Law Professor Sae Jin Kim and law students Doo Hee Lee and Sang Chul Shin arrived bleary eyed and exhausted after a sixteen hour trip that began with a train ride from Daegu to Seoul and ended when they landed at XNA international airport in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Professor Kim served as a high ranking Judge for twenty-plus years before accepting a teaching position at Yeungnam University. YU is in a rural area of Korea, a sharp contrast from the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Seoul, and Professor Kim has found that he prefers the quiet of the country. Both Lee and Shin just completed their first year as law students at YU, having already completed their undergraduate degrees. They will have two more years of law school before obtaining their LL.B. This is their first trip to the United States, but they have already discovered many of NW Arkansas' gems, including Beaver LakeDevils Den State ParkWilson ParkDickson Street, and the Fayetteville Farmers Market.

The first week of any new international experience is always the hardest. English is taught in the Korean system from the time students enter primary school and continues through secondary school, but because the focus is on reading, and because English is not widely spoken in Korea, adjusting to a world of English speakers can be challenging and exhausting. Then there are the practical issues such as parking, navigating the UA bus system, and getting to the grocery store. Contrasting the U.S. legal system with the Korean legal system and adjusting to the U.S. classroom and it's unique culture are the educational tasks going forward. I am happy to report that our guests are up for the many challenges.

Our visitors toured the campus with the kind assistance of the UA admissions office and the invaluable interpreting skills of Dr. Geeboo Song, a Professor in the Political Science department, who came on short notice to assist. Dean Don Judges, Associate Dean of Graduate and Experiential Learning and E.J. Ball Professor of Law delivered guest welcome baskets to our visitor's hotel and took them to lunch. With the kind permission of our faculty, our visitors have been able to observe a number of courses including Professional Responsibility taught by Professor Howard Brill, Vincent Foster University Professor of Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility, and Constitutional Law taught by Professor Mark Killenbeck, Wylie H. Davis Distinguished Professor of Law.

Our guests will be with us for much of the rest of the summer before returning to Korea. Professor Kim will be returning to the School of Law in 2014 to spend his sabbatical year with us researching Civil Litigation Discovery, a concept that is unfamiliar in the Korean legal system. He will bring with him his wife and thirteen year old daughter to join in the experience.

It has been a pleasure getting to know our guests. Their quick laughter and easy going attitude, coupled with their sincere and earnest focus on making the most of their time at the Law School have endeared them to our community. We hope that they will enjoy their time with us as much as we have enjoyed their presence and look forward to getting to know them better as the summer progresses.

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