SEJONG, Sept. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – In order to evaluate applicants with transparency and fairness, law schools in Korea have banned applicants from including personal details of their family members and relatives in their cover letters.
The decision is the latest countermeasure to a string of law school admission controversies, in which students who specified their parents or relatives’ professions (often high-ranking officials) in their cover letters were allegedly given favors in the admission process.
According to the Korean Association of Law Schools (KALS), which represent 25 law schools across Korea, applicants that include personal details of their family members will be disadvantaged in the application process. The ban will include the names and occupations (including the position) of family members, the association said.
Seoul National University, the University of Seoul, and Sungkyunkwan University will either disqualify applicants or revoke admissions offers if students include the banned details, whereas Yonsei University will impose penalty points to applicants that either include family member professions or indirectly imply influential positions held by their family members.
Other law schools will only allow a simple mention of occupation if deemed necessary from the context of the cover letter.
“We’ll continue our best efforts to provide unbiased, transparent, and predictable admission screening to law school applicants,” said a KALS official.
The nationwide inspection over admission controversies began in December 2015, after which it revealed that 24 students admitted to law schools included personal information about their parents or relatives in their cover letters.
Based on the findings, the ministry said in May that all 25 South Korean law schools would have to stipulate in their regulations that it is prohibited to specify information related to the employment of family members in cover letters.
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)