SNU revokes admission for law school applicant

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SNU revokes admission for law school applicant

In an unprecedented move, Seoul National University (SNU) Law School last December decided to cancel admission for one of its applicants after determining that she had submitted falsified documents.

The applicant, 24, who received her bachelor’s degree from SNU, was notified of the cancellation in mid-December, a week after she received her letter of admission, according to an official from the law school.

The applicant was reportedly untruthful about aspects of her work experience on her resume, despite the fact that the law school’s regulations stipulate that “admission may be canceled if applicants fabricate any part of the written application or documents for submission or if items are found to have been purposely omitted.”

“After notifying her about her admission, we found that she had falsified an item that should have been clarified [in the application],” an SNU Law School official said. “Her admission was canceled because the school judged it was a falsely written entry.”

According to the official, the school discovered her transgression when verifying her information with a company for which she had previously worked. The deans of the law school held several meetings to determine how to proceed.

This is the first time the law school has reversed an applicant’s admission since it opened in 2009.

School officials were also advised by the panel of the SNU Law Research Institute when considering the cancellation.

After having her admission revoked, the applicant complained to the school. “I don’t want to bring [the cancellation] up again,” she told the JoongAng Ilbo. “I’m not taking steps because it will be of no use against the school, which has ultimate authority.”

SNU Law School has toughened its applicant screening following a series of recent ethical breaches involving law students and legal professionals.

In November 2012, a 32-year-old prosecutor from the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office, a graduate of Hanyang University’s School of Law, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a female suspect in a court case. And in another case in December, a 25-year-old Yonsei University law student was caught hacking into his professor’s computer to steal examination questions.

As other law schools consider measures to prevent such incidents, SNU Law School has said it will prioritize the personalities and ethical conduct of its applicants above all.

Similarly, Yonsei University Law School is debating the extension of required credits for legal ethics courses, while Hanyang University has set up a series of regular lectures led by legal professionals.

“[Law schools] need to thoroughly verify applicants’ ethical standards in the application process and strengthen ethics education for their students,” said Choi Jin-nyoung, the spokesman of the Korean Bar Association.


BY KOO HYE-JIN [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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