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January 29, 2009


Sean T

- Do you have any recommendations on how a law student can get a summer job in Korea?

- Are there better approaches to contacting firms aside from simply applying out of the blue?

- Are there any firms/companies you can recommend for summer positions?

Christine Ngo

Hi Sean,

In general, it's quite easy to apply for an internship in South Korea since they're very fond of US law students and often found us helpful. I mentioned two methods in the blog entry because I know they both work. One is to utilize your alumni network. With this, you need to find out who are the alums that are currently working or having connections with South Korea and ask the alums for referrals (in a nice way, of course). The second option is to send out cold letters. For this approach, if you haven't seen it working, you probably haven't tried hard enough. I recently found a summer internship with a Swiss law firm in Geneva this summer through this route.

However, to answer your question, there is one more option that was recommended by my career counselor, which I have never tried. But I was told that it worked in the past for the counselor himself years ago. It is to call the firm directly. Here were the instructions.

1. Pick up the name of a partner who works on legal field that you're interested in and give him or her a call. The advice was to call at the hours that you're almost certain that he or she won't be there to pick up the call so that you can simply leave a voice message.
2. In the message introduce yourself, your school and inquire about the possibility to intern for the firm. You also should mention that you will send a resume and cover letter by email to follow up on your inquiry.
3. Sometimes you will have to go through the receptionist or a generic phone number before they could connect you. Do insist to leave a message for the partner by all means.
4. After the voice message, email him or her your resume and cover letter and ask to follow up by another phone call within a week. This will induce a response from the firm within the time frame if they can't offer you an internship.
5. Follow up if you don't hear from them and reaffirm your interest.

Like I said, I was told that this approach is much more personal since they could hear your voice and may call you back for a phone interview. I have never tried this approach since cold letters have been working for me, but it seems worth trying especially with those firms that you have special interest.

I do have a list of the Korean firms that I approached last year. I will send it you separately.

Best of luck!



you said you found your internship in late july. how long did it last?

Christine Ngo

Hi Kay,

It was a one month internship.



Christine McBain

Hi Christine,

I'm a Canadian law student, attending Dalhousie Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I just completed my first year of study, and am very interested in gaining international experience.

Would it be possible for you to direct me to the names of firms in South Korea that are receptive to North American students? Also, do you have any tips for things to include in a cover letter, or, more generally, on how to approach the firms with the idea of an internship?

Thanks for your input.


Hello Christine,

I am also a Canadian first year Law student but at the University of Victoria. I sent out quite a few cold letters to big firms in Korea nevertheless have not received any interested replies.

I was wondering if it is possible for you to send me the list of firms that you approached so I can expand my search for a summer internship.



personal injury lawyer dude

South Korea sounds like an awesome place to go. At least that's what I would have said like a year ago. Now with all of this intimidation coming from the north and the rockets flying, it may be a good idea to look for an internship somewhere else. You know, a place where communist dictators aren't shooting rockets at you.

summer jobs abroad

Gaining international experience on any aspects is really great. I would love to have that too. Since then I was interested in traveling around the world. I want to save to reach that vision. Smart post. Thanks for sharing some thoughts.

Jack Kingsley, DUI attorney.

@Christine: I can't give you the names of the firms in South Korea, but generally things you want to include in a cover letter is both A) the amount of research you've done into the subject and B) your own personal experiences. People always like people they can relate to, even when it comes to businesses.


Hi Christine,

I'm an Australian law student and googled internship at a korean law firm and it directed me to your site. I have the same request as the writer above me, and I was wondering whether it might be at all possible for you to direct me to a list of firms in South Korea, possibly including the one where you were offered the internship?

I'm not really all that familiar with the Korean firms, although I have some idea. So any input from you would be really helpful!



Gary Neal

Cool post! I want to be involved in Utah corporate law someday, and I've been considering doing a study abroad in China. Do you still have access to those contacts in Japan?

Lina Diaz

Hi Christine,

I'm a Chilean attorney attending the ILSP LL.M program at American University Washington College of Law. I'm very interested in getting a summer internship in South Korea so while I was looking on internet I found this site. I would really appreciate if you can help me by giving me some names of firms there or any other tip that you think is important.
Thank you in advance.

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