In-House Legal Specialist, Google, Singapore
Professional Track LL.M. Class of 2020
I was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. I majored in law in university. When I graduated, the pass rate for the bar exam in Korea was very low and people could study for years and still not pass. So I decided instead to start my career as a paralegal in a law firm. I worked in the IP department and managed clients’ trademarks and domain names. After five years I joined the in-house legal team at Google in Seoul.
I spent next four years happily working on various matters including procurement deals and supporting advisory work. I was becoming comfortable in my role and wanted to push myself. So I decided to apply for a position at Google’s Asia Pacific headquarters, located in Singapore. I’d never lived abroad on my own or worked in an English dominant environment. But I wanted to specialize in commercial contracts work in a more international, diverse environment covering multiple countries.
Now, in Google Asia Pacific legal team, I support business teams through negotiating, reviewing and drafting commercial contracts. Some of my work is on hardware partnership, where I work on contracts with telcos, distributors, and retailers. I also support travel partnership deals where I work on contracts with airlines and hotels. I support Google marketing teams too, especially when they engage external agencies for their marketing campaigns.
I like contract work because I get to be a part of a business by helping the business teams to seal their deals with a contract. I also get to see how Google as a company interact with various parties to make the business run. I like helping the business team reach their goals.
I decided to pursue the LL.M. degree in Berkeley because I wanted to study U.S. law in California. California law is a big part of my everyday life, working in an in-house legal team of a tech company based in Silicon Valley.
Further, I chose Berkeley because the professional track allowed me to enjoy a nice balance between work, study, and networking. Studying and connecting with fellow LL.M. students and professors full time for three months, and being able to keep my career up for the rest of the year, is a very attractive arrangement as a professional.
I knew that Berkeley Law would offer me sophisticated and high quality education. Currently I am pursuing a business certificate and focusing on the bar courses, and I am thoroughly enjoying every lecture. Classes are small and allow easy interaction with all students and professors. Professors are always open to students’ questions and discussions. I know it will make me more confident in my work when I return home.