Berkeley Law launched the Korea Law Center to capitalize on a special relationship of five decades. Each year, the law school hosts dozens of Korean lawyers, judges and government officials, and enrolls students in its LL.M, J.S.D., and J.D. programs. The center will hold public conferences and symposia, and offer new courses and research on a nation with one of the world’s most dynamic economies and deep political and security ties to the U.S.

To celebrate its opening, the center held an inaugural conference on current U.S. and Korean legal issues on April 18, 2014 at Chevron Auditorium, International House on the UC Berkeley Campus. Leading figures from the U.S. and Korean legal communities participated, including Hwang-Sik Kim, the former Prime Minister of Korea; Chang Soo Yang, senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Korea; distinguished deans and scholars from Korea’s leading universities; and leaders from the U.S. and Korean high-tech communities.

Topics included: intellectual property law, U.S. and Korean high-tech collaborations, the U.S.—Korea Free Trade Agreement, and developments in Korean public and private law. The conference included keynote speeches and a closing reception to bring together Korean scholars and legal experts, faculty and students, and the Bay Area Korean community.

The center published the conference proceedings in a unique volume, co-edited by Professors John Yoo and Laurent Mayali. Volume 1 of “Berkeley Studies in Korean Law” included a series of papers authored by Berkeley Law alumni in Korea, a foreword by the recently retired president of the Korean Constitutional Court, and a conference keynote address by one of the Justices of the Korean Supreme Court. The volume is the first in a series on Korean law and its relationship with the U.S.