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April 5, 2013

‘Law Duck’ Sungho Bae teaches law in South Korea

Although it’s a popular belief that all law school students go into private practice after graduating, many students, such as University of Oregon School of Law alumnus Sungho Bae ’10, choose to follow a different path. Bae works as an assistant professor at the College of International Trade and Commerce at Hoseo University in Cheonan, South Korea, (Bae’s home country) where he teaches international law, business English, alternative dispute resolution and international trade law, focusing on the World Trade Organization legal principles. 

Bae chose to attend Oregon Law for its open and inviting atmosphere. After being accepted to several law schools, Bae flew from South Korea to the United States to take tour of every school to which he’d been admitted. Out of all the schools, according to Bae, Oregon Law was the only one to give him enough time to talk one-on-one with professors. Bae can still remember Professor Susan Gary's warm welcome during his campus tour. Through her friendly introduction to the law school, he “could clearly feel the passion that professors had for the students.”

“Staff members and students were willing to share their experience with the law school,” said Bae. “Such a sincere welcome from the Oregon Law people helped me choose to join the Law Ducks.”

Bae’s experiences at Oregon Law influenced his future career decisions. During his second and third years at Oregon Law, Bae developed a strong interest in international business transaction law, international trade law and alternative dispute resolution. As an international student from South Korea, where many lectures are given in what Bae describes as “traditional form,” meaning the professors do the vast majority of talking during class, he was fascinated by the varying teaching methods employed by Oregon Law professors. He appreciated not only the legal lessons he was absorbing in his classes, but also the way the courses were organized by the professors. This led him to discover his passion for teaching.

“I was amazed by the professors' ability to make complicated subjects so interesting and enjoyable,” said Bae. “I admired them and wanted to be like them.”

Upon graduation, Bae began lecturing on law at other schools. In spring of 2012 Bae joined Hoseo on tenure track as an assistant professor. To Bae, teaching and learning go hand in hand. He is constantly studying, updating his teaching materials, conducting educational research and writing papers to provide the best education for his students. Five of Bae’s papers have been published in journals covered by the Korea Citation Index, an index covering research in South Korea.

“The happiest moment of teaching is when I see my students enjoying my lectures and finding themselves in the next level of maturity,” Bae said.

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