The following interview is with Sojin Park. Sojin is currently working as an intern in the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Center.
Describe your background
I am a Seoulite, born and raised in Seoul, a city of great charm and the capital of South Korea. My parents have always been very supportive of what my sister and I do, so we have both followed our dreams. I always dreamed about being a lawyer and I finally achieved my goal. Although I am now a transactional lawyer, I was inspired by Jim Garrison, the district attorney who investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and wrote a book titled On the Trail of the Assassins (1988). Leaving the controversial stories about him aside, I was blown away by his tireless and consistent effort as a district attorney to discover the truth. His book led me on the path to becoming a lawyer.
I received a Bachelor of Laws from Ewha Womans University School of Law in Seoul in 2004. After graduation, I passed the Korean bar exam in 2005. I then completed my two-year mandatory training at the Judicial Research & Training Institute (JRTI) from March 2006 to January 2008. In those two years, I learned a lot about being a lawyer and met my lifelong mate. As a fully qualified lawyer, I worked as an in-house attorney in an investment company until I came to the U.S. in July 2012 to pursue a Master of Laws in international business and economic law at Georgetown University Law Center. As a general counsel at the biggest fund management company in Korea, I reviewed and negotiated all contracts for the company, including agreements related to funds as well as capital market and merger and acquisition deals. I have been interested in international matters since I was a law student and have worked in international transactions ever since I became an attorney. Through studying at Georgetown Law, I have been able to sharpen my knowledge and add it to my practical experience.
How would you describe your job to other people?
As a foreign law intern, I assist Senior Foreign Law Specialist Sayuri Umeda in responding to Korean law research requests. I am currently involved in a project that aims to examine legal restrictions on genetically modified organisms (GMO). I am researching and writing a report on the Korean GMO regime under Ms. Umeda’s supervision. It is a very exciting job in the sense that we cover leading edge issues and I am expecting more interesting work to come.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
It is a privilege and a unique experience to work in an institution that serves the U.S. Congress, especially for a lawyer from a foreign jurisdiction. In addition, doing research on a range of legal issues is something different from what I have done so far as an attorney. What is most interesting about being a researcher is looking into different legal issues with which I am not familiar. It is challenging and at the same time it inspires me to think about lots of issues that I haven’t thought about before. I strongly believe that this experience will nourish my legal career and strengthen my research and writing skills.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
The Global Legal Research Center is full of foreign law specialists from all over the world and is a real gem in the Law Library of Congress. I believe that law is one of the fields that is developed and advanced by lessons from the experiences of others. In this respect, it is very impressive that the Law Library of Congress has the Global Legal Research Center that conducts active research on other countries’ laws and legal issues as a part of the institution.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I was a member of the marching band at Langley High School right across the Potomac River. I played percussion. I like every kind of music and enjoy playing musical instruments. Our main theme for the half-time show was “Mission Impossible” and we all danced to the music!