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Agencies, Roles and Their Choices: Reform of the Korean Legal Profession from 1995 to 2007
Region: Asia
Theme: Domestic
Location: Korea, South
Published April 2, 2012
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Northeast Asian countries including Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan, have recently considered adopting the U.S.-style legal education as a revolutionary remedy to dissolve chronic problems of the Pre-Reform system. Especially in Korea and Japan, reform of the legal professional training system underwent a profound transformation by switching their four-year undergraduate legal education system to a three-year postgraduate – the U.S.-style law school — legal education.1 Although the legal education system itself does not guarantee an advent of a law-governed society, the U.S.-style law school system provides symbolic meaning to Asian countries moving toward the rule of law, access to justice, and globalization.2 Despite seemingly unending controversies, both Japan and Korea implemented the postgraduate law school system in 2004 and 2009 respectively. They both have conformed to the globalization pressure, the public demands of establishing a law-governed society by expanding the size of their legal education, and increasing the number of practicing lawyers.

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