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Ex-prosecutor passes U.S. bar exam

A 67-year-old former South Korean prosecutor has passed a bar exam in Washington D.C., giving hope to those dreaming of becoming a lawyer in the United States.

Chu Kwang-il, who formerly headed the Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office and the state civil rights agency, was the oldest among those who passed the highly competitive exam.
Chu Kwang-il
Chu Kwang-il

He took the exam in February, and has recently been notified of his success. He is to take an oath as a lawyer at an appellate court in Washington D.C. on Monday next week.

Chu was also the youngest when he passed the local judicial exam in 1965 at the age of 22.

“When people turn 40, they tend to lose the spirit to keep challenging themselves. I wanted to show that those who are even over the age of 40 can try and study like I have done,” he told local media.

Chu indicated that he would not practice law in the states, but said that he would continue to teach students and give hope to those struggling to become lawyers in the U.S.

At the invitation of the U.S. State Department in 1974, Chu studied at Georgetown University and George Washington University. In 1979, he obtained his doctor’s degree in law from Seoul National University.

In 2006, he graduated from the law school at Northwestern University in Chicago. Since then, he has taught students at Kyunghee University and Hallym University.

“Based on what I have learned from my experience as a civil servant, I would like to serve the society for the next decade. That is my humble dream,” he said.

By Song Sang-ho (