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Tougher Bar Exam Interview: Seven Applicants Fail

Posted November. 29, 2006 06:44,   


In the third in-depth interview of the 48th National Bar Examination, seven of 26 applicants who passed the second round ended up failing as they were classified as “unqualified candidates.”

Only one person failed in the interview out of the successful second trial applicants over the past decade, so such a high failure rate is unprecedented.

The number of those who made the final cut was confirmed to be 994 except for one who did not apply for the interview out of 1,002 who passed the second round and the seven people who failed in the third trial.

In the bar examination, in which the competition ratio was one to 21 among 21,210 applicants, the number of successful female candidates was 375, or 37.73 percent, an increase of 52 people from the record high from last year (323 people, or 32.27 percent).

The highest scorer was Park Jeong-eun (female, 26), a law major who graduated from Seoul National University, with 62.07 points in the second trial.

The highest number of successful applicants came from Seoul National University with 335, followed by Korea University (143), Yonsei University (121), Sungkyunkwan University (72), Han Yang University (59), and Ewha Womans University (52). Forty-three universities had more than one student who passed the exam.

The Ministry of Justice made an announcement on the final successful applicants of the 48th National Bar Examination of 2006 and the aforementioned on November 28.

The youngest admitted applicant was Choi Seung-ho (21), a law major at Yonsei University, while the oldest one was Kim Jae-yong who turns 46 this year (a graduate of Chonnam National University, majoring in philosophy).

The Ministry of Justice explained that one of the seven who failed in the in-depth interview which was adopted for the first time had a comparatively high score in the written exam, ranking in the top 200.

Reportedly, one applicant who answered “The primary enemy is the U.S.” in the first interview had his answer referred to the third in-depth interview, and ended up passing it by explaining, “I just said so based on what I’ve heard around me, which I have come to believe is wrong.”

One applicant is reported to have answered to a question, “How would you react if you are hit for no reason?” saying, “I will fight back. My fists are nearer to me than justice.”

Some in the legal professions argue that such a question was asked to test applicants’ ideology in the name of asking one’s mindset about the nation in the in-depth interview.