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An Interview with Younkyung (Regina) Eum, Foreign Law Intern

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Today’s interview is with Younkyung (Regina) Eum, a foreign law intern working with Foreign Law Specialist Sayuri Umeda in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress.

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Masan, a small city in southern South Korea. Sadly, Masan has been integrated with the nearby city Changwon and no longer exists. When I was 18, I left my hometown and moved to Yongin, a city located in the northern part of South Korea, to attend university. I stayed in Yongin for about nine years, then came to the United States to study abroad in the winter of 2020.

Younkyung (Regina) Eum. Photo taken by Youngji Choi. Used with permission.

What is your academic/professional history?

I graduated from Dankook University with a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws from the university’s IT-Law joint graduate program concentrating on regulation of financial technology (fin-tech).

I was interested in Robo-advisors, which can offer investment advice and manage assets to consumers based on  artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. I analyzed the related regulations and wrote articles during my master’s coursework. Based on this research, I extended my legal analysis in my master’s thesis by suggesting the direction of improvement of the legal system to minimize damage to Robo-advisor consumers in Korea. I completed the Ph.D. coursework at Dankook University and published an article questioning the direction of the revision of the Electronic Financial Transaction Act and suggesting ways to improve regulation. By participating in industry-university cooperation reports regarding the use of virtual assets for the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy task, I was able to engage with relevant experts and learn about the process and measure of the establishment of realistic legislation.

After completing the doctoral coursework, I graduated from the LL.M. program at the University of Wisconsin law school to deepen my knowledge of the law by adding an international perspective.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I research major court decisions, legislation, and legal issues in Korea and write articles and blog posts about them for the Law Library. Laws and regulations are the foundation that support our countries. Each country has a different legal system according to its own cultural and historical traditions.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

My ultimate goal is to become a legal researcher who can contribute to South Korea’s regulatory process. For this, I thought that an international and comparative perspective was needed to deepen my understanding of the law. I realized that doing a legal research internship is precisely the kind of position I want to begin my career. At the Law Library of Congress, I can develop myself as a legal researcher by learning from experts how to analyze and interpret laws and present my finding in writing.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

I thought researching and collecting Korean materials would be difficult since South Korea uses the Korean alphabet, Hangul, and English materials are not common. To my surprise, I discovered that the Law Library of Congress’ collections contained many legal resources. The Library of Congress’ general collections also contains many titles, including the Tale of Hong Gildong, the first Korean novel.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

I came to Washington D.C. in September 2018 to do a training as a graduate student. At that time, I made up my mind to study and start my career in the United States.

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