Thursday, July 1, 2010


Today was my first day at Kim & Chang, where I'll be interning for one month. During the morning orientation session, the new interns were presented with a stack of forms explaining the companies intern policies, most of which have to do with what we're not allowed to do. Among the biggest no-nos is any transfer of case-related information outside the office: basically, we're never to speak about cases or relevant research outside the office, even in the elevator. And all materials are to be shredded when no longer needed. Intern email accounts are for intra-office use only, and any attempt to email confidential files on any network computer will apparently be blocked automatically (and result in a complicated series of undesirable letters and meetings). Kind of like the Great Firewall of China, except that Kim & Chang's policies actually work and have a purpose. (There go my chances of getting a second visa to Zhongguo.)

Before this morning, I hadn't fully understood the scope of this law firm. Kim & Chang, founded in 1973, has become the largest law firm in Korea, with over 700 practicing professionals and an extensive network of support staff. According to their website, these professionals, many of whom were formerly practicing lawyers abroad, are qualified to advise in the laws of the U.S., Japan, China, Germany, France, and the Netherlands as well as of the laws of Korea. Kim & Chang's offices comprise five towers throughout Seoul, including the entirety of the 11-story Seyang Building headquarters in Gwanghwamun (conveniently located across the street, literally, from DW/James/my apartment).

After lunch, we were shown to our work stations. I'll be working in a conference room with four other interns—two from Seoul National University, one from Penn, and another from Princeton (who graduated from Exeter, but let's not hold it against him). Incidentally, the firm was thoughtful to set up my station and computer in English.

Until the end of the month, I am CC050, extension #5137.