South Korea is set to become the next frontier for US law firms, as the country’s traditionally insular legal industry liberalizes as The Foreign Legal Consultant Act takes effect in September, allowing certain foreign law firms to operate ‘foreign legal consultancy’ businesses in Korea. Meanwhile, the next frontier in US legal education opens next month, as the conspicuously innovative UC-Irvine law school begins its inaugural semester.
Interestingly, these frontiers intersect in the form of a Korea Law Center, a joint project between the Irvine law and business schools, in partnership with two Korean law schools, which will offer “legal education, certifications, mediation, expert witnesses, consulting, research and public policy studies, as well as a clinical program that primarily will provide legal advice to Koreans who want to do business in Orange County, Calif., where Irvine is located.”
Every admitted applicant to Irvine Law’s first-ever class received a personal call from Dean Erwin Chemerinsky—the frequent U.S. Supreme Court advocate and the most-cited scholar in all of legal academia. Chemerinsky is a bit of polarizing figure: he was hired and fired and hired again before the school was ever opened for business.
Check out this video, where he talks about his “next big thing”: the attempt to create the first top-tier American law school to be founded in more than 50 years and the "constant tension to be sufficiently traditional to be credible and sufficiently innovative to justify why we exist and take advantage of the blank slate we have."
-posted by brian
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