South Korea is one of the first immigration options due to its strong economy, great tourist attractions, friendly people, and the demand for skilled workers. You learn how to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer through this Visa Library article.
Requirements to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer
You need these requirements to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer:
A valid law degree
You need a law degree from an approved university or law school. It can be in Korea, your home country, or a foreign one. But it must be valid in that country and approved by Korean officials.
If you study in a foreign country, you must pass the recognition process. You can learn more about it in the below section.
Korean language fluency
You need Korean language fluency to pass the Bar Exam with the Korean Bar Association. Also, you need to be Korean to learn the Korean law system and study it. You might have to pass an interview with the Korean officials, and it is in Korean.
Passing the Korea Bar Exam
One of the stages you must pass is the Korean Bar Exam to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer. It evaluates your knowledge of the Korean law system. You must pass it to become a lawyer there.
Getting a license from Korean Bar Association
You need a license from the Korean Bar Association to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer. After passing the recognition process, the KBA grants the license. Every foreign person who wants to work as a lawyer in Korea needs this certificate.
You might have to fulfill a few requirements to get this license after the Bar Exam.
Required certificate to immigrate and work in Korea as a lawyer
You need a license from the Korea Bar Association to immigrate there as a lawyer. To get it, you must pass the Bar Exam. Also, you need a Korean language fluency certificate. You need to pass the Bar Exam and handle the interview with the Korean officials.
Also, you need a valid law degree for the first step. It must be valid in the country you get it and approved by Korean officials.
All in all, you need these certificates to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer:
- A license from Korean officials.
- A valid law degree
- Korea language fluency
- A work permit
How to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer?
You must pass a few steps to immigrate to South Korea as a lawyer. This section brings you these steps. You’d better read the entire section at least once to know the requirements and whether you can fulfill them. Remember that you might face details and other requirements by your nationality and conditions in each stage.
Step 1. Are you eligible?
There are eligibility principles and requirements to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer. You’d better know them and determine whether you can fulfill them. Korean Bar Association (KBA) has set these rules, requirements, and eligibility principles. For instance, you must have a valid law degree from an approved university or law school and Korean language fluency.
You’d better read the entire eligibility and requirements to know whether you can fulfill them.
Step 2. Pass the Law Qualification Exam
Every foreign person who wants to immigrate and work in Korea as a lawyer must pass the Korean Bar Exam. KBA has administered this exam which consists of a written and oral part. It evaluates your knowledge of Korean law. Passing it can be hard, and the passing score can be low.
Step 3. Pass the Legal Training
You have to pass a training period called “judicial research and training” after completing the Bar Exam. You must do it with a designated training institution. Its duration is not clear, and the decision is with the Korean officials. But it is expected to last for a few months. Its purpose is to provide practical experience and further knowledge of Korean law.
Step 4. Apply for a license
After completing the training period, you must apply for a license to the Korean Bar Association. The KBA evaluates your application and decides about it. You might have to pass an interview with the KBA, and the decision is with them.
If they agree and grant the license, you can work as a lawyer in Korea.
Step 5. Apply for a work permit and a visa
Every foreign person who wants to work in Korea needs a work permit. It’s the Korean employer who can apply for a work permit. So you must find a job offer from a Korean employer.
You can learn about the ways to find a job in Korea in the below section.
You’d better consult with the KBA and know the requirements and process by your nationality.
Is law a good career in Korea?
The answer depends on your preferences and purpose. You should define what you want and why you want to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer.
But Korea is a good option for immigration and working as a lawyer. There is a shortage of human resources, and they need skilled workers. Its economy is developing, but skilled workers are needed.
Private companies need lawyers to handle legal issues. You will have a huge employment opportunity as a lawyer there.
Additionally, lawyers are among the high-paid occupations in Korea. A good lawyer will decide the survival of an organization. So companies are willing to pay them high enough to win the legal issues and hire the best and most experienced lawyers. Besides the salary, they get benefits and bonuses.
Korea exports and imports to and from many countries. The strong economy, international companies, and so many businesses there provide a lot of job opportunities.
Can foreigners be lawyers in South Korea?
Yes, you can immigrate and work in Korea as a foreign person. You have two options; one is to study for a law degree in Korea and then complete the stages after graduation to work as a lawyer there, or study for a degree abroad and pass the recognition process.
Each way has its pros and cons. You should determine which one is appropriate for you and why.
You need Korean language fluency both ways unless you are studying a law degree in English, but you need Korean language fluency to pass the Bar Exam.
How much do top lawyers make in Korea?
The average salary of a lawyer in Korea is about 100 million to 200 million Korean won (approximately $88,000 to $176,000). But it’s up to various factors;
- Work experience
- Tasks and responisbilites
- How big the case is
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a lawyer in Korea is about ₩122M in Seol, but the average salary is about ₩105,619,228 per year.
According to Salary Explorer, the average monthly income is about 8,170,000 KRW. It says that while the lowest salary is about 4,250,000 KRW, the highest is about 12,500,000 KRW.
According to Economic Research Institute, the average salary is about KRW 104,354,754 per year.
The World Salaries says that the average annual salary of a lawyer in Korea is about 98,039,900 KRW. It says while the lowest annual salary is about 50,998,800 KRW, the highest annual salary is about 149,999,200 KRW.
But lawyers might get higher. It’s up to various factors. There might be no record of the top lawyers’ income as these matters remain confidential.
The top income varies case by case, and top lawyers can get hundreds of millions for some legal disputes.
Which is the best university of law in Korea?
There are famous law schools and universities in Korea. They provide excellent educational content. The professors, courses, teaching method, and academic area are perfect, and you will have a great experience there.
The answer to the question of the best university of law in Korea is up to you. These are some of the most famous universities of law in Korea:
- Seoul National University (SNU) School of Law
- Ewha Womans University Law School
- Hanyang University Law Schoo
- Yonsei University Law School
- Korea University Law School
It’s you who should determine which university is better for you. Might read about this one that is the best, but you can not fulfill the admission requirements. You should consider some other factors;
- Cost of living
- Type of degree
- General jobs for students
- Living conditions
When you pick the university, you should consider the above items and then decide on the best university of law in Korea.
One of the ways to immigrate to Korea is to study for a law degree there. If you are looking for a university, the above items will help you make a better decision.
How long does it take to immigrate and work in Korea as a lawyer?
Which way have you picked to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer? If you study abroad, you must pass the recognition process. But it’s up to your individual circumstances and the stages you must follow.
First, you must get your law degree recognized by Korean officials. You must gather the documents and send them for recognition. The processing time is with the Korean officials and how busy they are. It could take a few months.
You also need Korean language fluency. It takes time to master it, and it depends on your skills, abilities, and fluency level to reach the required score.
The next stage is to pass the Korean Bar Exam It is held once a year, and if you do not pass it this year, you must wait a whole year, study, and pass it. You should also consider the preparation time for the exam. You might have to spend a few months to a year to prepare yourself.
Then comes the legal training. You must pass a training period with a verified lawyer in Korea. It takes a few months, and you must pass it, as there is no other way to skip it.
After that, you must apply for a license which could take a few months. This process could take 1-3 years, and it’s up to your conditions to complete them.
After getting your license, you should find a job, and the employer should apply for a work permit as you need it to work in Korea as a foreign person. It’s up to your skills and the demand to find a job. The work permit processing time can take a few months and then you can apply for a visa to enter Korea.
All in all, you can expect from a few months to a few years to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer.
Related jobs for lawyers in Korea
Korea is open to skilled workers and foreign lawyers. But as explained in this article, you must be qualified to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer. After you get your license and can work legally in Korea, there are various positions for you. It’s up to a few items which one you will get:
- Work experience
- Personal skills
- Hard/soft skills
- The demand for lawyers
These are some sample positions for lawyers in Korea. You might end up working in one of them or see them in your job research. You’d better prepare yourself and gather as much knowledge and qualifications to be able to get one of them.
If you are particularly interested in one of them, you should prepare yourself for it. The job market in Korea is tough, and qualified applicants compete with each other. You have to prepare yourself for this battlefield and survive.
- Legal Researcher
- Public Sector
- Legal Consultant/Advisor
- Legal Consultant
- Corporate Counsel
- In-House Counsel
- Legal Researcher/Writer
- Legal Compliance Officer
- Government Lawyer
- Arbitrator or Mediator
- Policy Analyst/Advisor
The above list is just a sample and you can find other job positions. Keep looking and be determined in your efforts, as hard work pays off.
Where can you work as a lawyer in Korea?
It depends on a few factors where you will end up working as a lawyer in Korea. You’d better be determined and keep looking for a job offer, as you need a work permit to work in Korea as a lawyer.
These factors are some of the items that determine the place you will work:
- Work experience
- The demand
- Language fluency
- Negotiation skills
- Hard/soft skills
These are some of the places you can work as a lawyer in Korea:
- The law department of companies
- Arbitration and Mediation Centers
- International Organizations and NGOs
- Legal Aid Organizations
- Judicial System
- Government Agencies
- Law Firms
- In-House Legal Departments
Are lawyers in demand in Korea?
Yes, lawyers are needed in Korea and particularly in some special areas.
The point is that Korea’s legal services market has expanded in recent years. There has been a demand for lawyers due to the following:
Lawyers are in demand in South Korea, particularly in certain practice areas and sectors. Here are some factors contributing to the demand for lawyers in Korea:
- economic development,
- International trade
Lawyers are needed for contract drafting, dispute resolution, intellectual property protection, corporate law, and compliance.
The second reason is that Korea has a complex legal system. It’s true for domestic and international law. People need experts to guide them and avoid legal issues and conflicts.
Additionally, there are so many multinational corporations and subsidiaries there. Korea has an extensive level of trade with so many countries. Lawyers with the following expertise are needed:
- international law,
- cross-border transactions,
- trade regulations
This expertise is needed to demand the job market.
Lawyers are needed to guide people after the legal reforms and compliances by the Korean government. These changes have been implemented in various areas like;
- labor law,
- corporate governance,
- intellectual property
As economic activities, trade, and international interaction grow, the possibility of disputes expands. Lawyers who specialize in solving these issues are needed.
The demand grows, but you should know that the legal profession is highly competitive in Korea. You must work hard and try different ways to find a job and seize an opportunity when it comes.
Law degree types in Korea
The other way to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer is to study for a law degree there. You must find a law school or university that offers a degree to international students, fulfill the requirements and get admission to it. Then you must apply for a Korean student visa. You can learn more about the Korea student visa from the Visa Library article or watch its video on our YouTube channel.
- Master of Laws
- Bachelor of Laws
- Master of Legal Studies
- Doctor of Judicial Science
- Master of Dispute Resolution
- Juris Doctor
If you are determined to study for one of the above degrees, you should do research to know what job opportunities they provide. You’d better know all the requirements and limitations.
If you want to work in particular job positions, you’d better determine whether this degree lets you work in it. If you can not find enough information, you can contact the Korean Bar Association for detailed information.
Best cities to work as a lawyer in Korea
The demand for lawyers in Korea is up to various factors. You can find a job in different cities or a city that you have never heard about.
These are the large cities in Korea. There are always better job opportunities in large cities as large companies tend to locate there. International and foreign companies tend to stay in large cities so foreign lawyers can find a job in them better.
You should keep looking to know where you can find a job.
The other list you are better to know is the popular Korean cities. When you want to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer, you should know a few points about the country, culture, cities, etc. These are the popular cities in Korea, and you might be able to find a job in them:
- Jeju City
As these cities are popular, companies tend to stay in them. So you might have a chance with them.
How to find a job in Korea as a lawyer?
It’s up to you to find a job in Korea as a lawyer. When you want to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer, finding a job is essential as you need a work permit, and the Korean employer can apply for it. So finding a job is essential.
You want to work in Korea, after all. So you must find a job. The way to find a job is up to your conditions, but you will learn a few of them in this section.
The first way is to look for a position through the websites that advertise job positions in Korea. This is a list of them:
- Job Korea(잡코리아)
- Saramin (사람인)
- Incruit (인크루트)
- Career (커리어)
- Kotra Job Fair (코트라 글로벌일자리사업단)
- Alba cheonguk (알바천국)
- Seoul Global Center
- Worknet (워크넷)
- Work Plus (교용복지플러스세터)
The other way is to ask for help from employment agencies or recruiters. These are the companies that match employees and employees. This is a list of these companies:
- Ajeets South Korea
- KOISRA UP
- Bengal Crewing
- UNICO SEARCH INC.
- INITIATIVE CO. Ltd
- WOOIL MARINE CO. Ltd
- ACE NETWORK SERVICES
- AMROP INTERNATIONAL
You can use other ways to find a job in Korea. For instance, you can move to the country and visit law firms or companies that need a lawyer.
Also, you can ask friends or co-workers to introduce or inform you of the available job positions.
Korea Visa options for lawyers
Korea offers a wide and different range of visas for foreigners, and you should pick the right one that suits your conditions.
The first one is the work visa. Every foreign person who wants to work in Korea needs a work visa. You need a work permit before applying for a work visa, so you must find an employer willing to hire you.
Also, if you want to study for a law degree in Korea, you need a Korean student visa. You must determine the university’s requirements and fulfill them. Then you must get an admission letter and apply for a student visa.
Language fluency to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer
You need Korean language fluency to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer. Although English is common and there are so many international people working, you need Korean.
First, you need Korean fluency to understand to pass the licensing exam. You must read Korean law texts and passages to master the Korean law system. Also, you will work with Korean co-workers and people who speak its language. So you need language fluency.
How to become a lawyer in Korea
There are two ways to become a lawyer in Korea. First, you get your degree from a foreign country. In this case, you must pass the recognition process. You have to pass the licensing exam, which is in Korean, then pass the training period. After that, you can apply for a license from the Korean Bar Association.
The second way is to study for a law degree in Korea. You must get admission to a law university and get a Korea student visa.
Let’s sum up…
You learned how to immigrate to Korea as a lawyer through this Visa Library page. This article covered the requirements, the process, and salary and answered all of your FAQs. if you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them.
Frequently asked questions about immigration to Korea as a lawyer
How long does it take to become a lawyer in Korea?
The recognition process could take from 1 to 3 years, and a law degree takes about 4 years in Korea.
Is law a good career for me in Korea?
Yes, lawyers are highly paid, and they are needed.
How much do I get as a foreign lawyer in Korea?
The average salary is about KRW 104,230,535 a year but look at the article for more details.