CalSouthern Graduate and Labor/HR Lawyer Returns to South Korea to Pursue Career as Law Professor
On Friday, August 12, 2011, 2005 graduate Ha Ya Park visited CalSouthern's Irvine, California facility before returning to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea, where she hopes to become a law professor.
For the past several years, Park—who passed the California bar exam in 2008—has maintained a successful practice as an associate with a firm in Los Angeles. Park worked primarily with large, Korean companies doing business in the U.S., helping her clients implement employment, human resources, and sexual harassment law training programs and seminars. She also provided litigation support, helping her clients with discovery requests, responses to pleadings, and a wide variety of other litigation matters.
Although Park greatly enjoyed her practice, a job opportunity for her husband and the chance to pursue her ultimate career goal—to become a law professor—led her to decide to return to Seoul. With more and more Koreans interested in practicing law in America—entirely or in part—Park hopes to specialize in preparing them to pass the California bar exam.
“Over the past few years, the Korean legal market has opened up dramatically. Not only are more British and American attorneys practicing in Korea, increasingly, Koreans are seeking licensure to practice law in the States,” says Park. “I hope to work with established Korean attorneys to give them the tools they need to pass the California bar.”
Park should be ideal in such a role, having successfully navigating the bar herself, overcoming a daunting language barrier in doing so. “The language issue was quite challenging,” admits Park. “It just took me longer to work through and synthesize all the material. Having already done that, I think I can present the material to my students in a more condensed manner, hopefully streamlining the process for them and increasing their chances for success.”
Park thinks CalSouthern is a terrific option for Korean law students and hopes to maintain a relationship with her alma mater—visiting annually—and referring learners to the School of Law.