PUBLISHED:February 27, 2017

5 Questions for Young Ri Lee LLM '17

Lee Young Ri LLM '17

Young Ri Lee came to Duke Law from Seoul, South Korea for the finance-related curriculum and to become more competitive in the finance industry.


1. Where is home?  What is it famous for?

Home for me is Seoul, South Korea, where I am originally from. My country is famous for its variety of delicious and healthy food. Also, Seoul is not only a historic city that has been the capital for 600 years, but it is also one of the most modernized cities in the world. I encourage many young foreign friends I meet at Duke to visit Seoul.

2. Why did you choose Duke Law School?

I chose Duke because the curriculum is very well-related to my background. In particular, the finance-related classes such as banking regulations and structured finance captured my interest. The systemically structured curriculum and world-renowned professors were attractive as well. For 12 years, I have been working in the field of international finance at a government-run bank in South Korea. One day while working, I recognized that I could not go much further with the set of knowledge I gained from field experience. I realized that I need an academic and fundamental understanding of my work to advance the next steps. In fact, the classes in Duke are designed to provide students like me a systematic understanding of the U.S. law. For these reasons, I chose Duke Law School.

3. What do you like most about Duke so far?

My favorite thing about Duke is that I have the flexibility to take classes without distinction between LL.M classes and JD classes. Because Duke has a smaller class size, I made friends with JD students in JD class and had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the U.S. law. Although it may be hard to compete with JD students in the same class, I enjoy the exposure because I know this is my last chance to be a student.

4. Has your LLM degree had an impact on your career plans?  If so, how?

After completing the LL.M program, I will return to South Korea and work in the field of international finance. Having studied at Duke will be a very significant change in my career because the valuable experiences from Duke allowed me to make progress. The exposure at Duke will also make me a more confident person. The reason being that the finance industry in South Korea is very competitive and unfortunately, there is still a glass ceiling for women. However, with what I have gained from Duke, I will be able to work more confidently as a woman and come closer to my goal of becoming a core asset to the financial community of my country.

5. Aside from the academics and scholarship, what can you say about Duke and its surroundings.

One of the greatest things about Duke is that the school shows interest to each student. This is my first time studying outside of my country, so everything was strange and new at first, but I quickly adjusted and became comfortable. This was possible because of the friendly professors and international office. By this point, I was impressed by Duke. Also, the Duke campus and its surroundings are so beautiful and relaxing. Durham as well as the Research Triangle Area seems like it will be the best choice for students with families.