Seowoo Jang, LL.M. ’20: South Korean Law Grad Seeks to Deepen Common Law Knowledge
Seowoo Jang, LL.M. ’20, hails from South Korea, where she studied some aspects of American law and developed an interest in it. She also tutored immigrant children and their parents, providing them with legal assistance.
You received your bachelor’s degree from Kookmin University in Seoul. Could you describe what work or educational experiences there motivated you to come to the U.S. for an LL.M.?
Kookmin University College of Law requires students to take several American Law courses taught in English to ensure their graduation. I took classes such as Comparative Law, Anglo-American Law, and American Law Cases. Through the courses, I found it interesting to discover the differences between civil law and common law systems and how those systems affect societies. Learning the basic legal systems of different countries stimulated my curiosity and aspirations to learn more about the field. One of my college professors recommended that I apply for an LL.M since participating in the LL.M program would grant me the best opportunity to experience not only the U.S. legal system, but also those of other societies by studying with people from diverse countries.
You worked for the American Law Research Institute and volunteered with Korea Youth Development to provide legal assistance to immigrant women. Could you discuss those experiences in a little more detail?
In the American Law Research Institute, I worked as a Legal Research Assistant under Professor Young Kee Kim. I spent most of the time researching legal cases and preparing for Socratic-method based classes. Volunteering in Korea Youth Development was one of the most valuable opportunities in my life. I tutored immigrant children ages 6-15 in both English and Korean. Moreover, I also counseled and tutored immigrant women (the mothers of those children), and provided legal information necessary for their daily lives.
Why did you choose Minnesota Law?
I chose Minnesota Law because when I researched programs that seemed appealing to me, I found out that Minnesota Law provides various activities for LL.M. students, such as LL.M. judicial observation, a mentorship program and optional concentrations. Besides taking classes, I thought these activities would help me expand my U.S. legal knowledge.
What do you hope to get out of your LL.M experience?
I want to explore the American legal system as much as I can. I am going to take law classes in various fields and participate in legal events that will be held in the law school and the city.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I’m still at a crossroads. But for now, I’m considering applying for a J.D. or S.J.D next year to study the common law system more, and want to be an expert in the field of comparative law in the future.
What are three words describe you best?
Optimistic, open-minded, and enthusiastic
Any hobbies or interests that you would like to share?
I really love running outside. I go out for a run along the river almost every day. So I’m already scared of this coming winter.
Anything else you’d like to tell the Minnesota Law community about yourself?
For me, one year seems too short for studying, but enough to be friends with people. I hope we can make good memories together for this year and become close friends, too!