Home to large international companies like Samsung, LG and Hyundai, the South Korean capital city of Seoul has transformed economically in just a few years. Indeed, South Korea has risen rapidly to become one of Asia’s most advanced economies.
Seoul is a fashion forward city with cutting edge technology and an effortless destination for tourists. Here’s a quick guide to help lawyers and legal professionals more effectively navigate Seoul during their visit.
Getting around Seoul
Getting around Seoul is very easy and inexpensive with its world class public transportation system. Here are some of the preferred options of getting around the city:
Trains and Subway: Trains and subways are some of the primary modes of getting around both within as well as outside the city. There are many free apps available that can help you figure the quickest routes and fares.
Taxis: Taxis are very inexpensive in Seoul, however the base rate depends on the type of taxi you are hiring.
- Regular Taxi – These are the most common and cheapest taxis available in Seoul. They are mostly in orange but can be found in any color.
- Deluxe Taxi – These are luxurious taxis in black with orange stripes, found at most tourist destinations and hotels. They have higher charges but provide great and safe service.
- Jumbo Taxi – If you are traveling in a group you may consider taking a jumbo taxi which can accommodate upto 8 passengers and costs same as deluxe taxis.
- International Taxi – These are meant for foreign tourists and have international written on their doors. Drivers of these taxis speak English, Japanese or Mandarin/Cantonese which is indicated on the side of the vehicle.
Buses: City bus system of Seoul is as extensive as the subway and the most common and inexpensive way of getting around the city. It may, however, not be the most ideal mode of transportation for foreigners as the maps and announcements are generally in Korean.
Prepaid Cards: T-Money card is a prepaid touch and go card that can be used to pay for all transportation services including subways, buses, taxis, as well as for shopping at select locations.
Bicycle: If you would like to explore the city at your own pace, you may also rent a bicycle . It is a great and eco-friendly alternative to buses, taxis and subways.
Data SIM Card: South Korea has one of the world’s most advanced mobile network systems with lightning fast data speed. We advise you to get a SIM in advance to avoid any inconvenience on arrival. You may also get a SIM with unlimited data plan and use apps like Skype or Whatsapp for voice calls and messages.
Phone Rental: Not all mobiles are compatible to South Korea’s GSM frequencies. Make sure you check if your device supports it. If not, you can rent a cell phone at Incheon and Gimpo international Airports.
Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping and Entertainment
From ancient temples, palaces and traditional tea houses to the upscale and modern streets of Gangnam, with luxurious hotels, unlimited shopping, dining and entertainment options, Seoul can cater to the tastes and preferences of all.
While this futuristic city is full of technological marvels, if you only have a day and would like to get a glimpse of the traditional Korean culture, here’s our recommendation for you –
Gyeongbokgung Palace – The grandest palace of Korea
Bongeunsa Temple – An ancient Buddhist temple
Suyeonsanbang – A traditional Korean tea house
Bukchon Hanok Village – A traditional village with 600 year old (approx) houses
Korea House – Offers authentic Korean cuisine and cultural performances.
Seoul Legal Resources
Seoul Bar Association
The legal profession in Korea was established in 1905. Seoul’s first bar association, Hansung Bar Association, which is also the parent of present Seoul Bar Association was established in 1907. Several bar associations were formed since then and were all merged in 1980 and later renamed Seoul Bar Association.
Korean Bar Association
The Korean Bar Association was established in 1952. It is responsible for the admission of attorneys to practice law in Korea and their continuing legal education. It’s also is responsible for the registration of Foreign Legal Consultants, Foreign Legal Offices, and Joint Venture Law Firms in Korea.
International Bar Association
The International Bar Association opened its Asia office in Seoul in 2012. Its objective is to bring together legal experts on a regional and international basis. The office works closely with bar associations to host quality conferences and events that meet the demands of its global community of members.
Seoul Legal Hackers
If you are interested in exploring innovations in legal tech, and developing creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues at the intersection of law and technology you may join Seoul Legal Hackers.
They meet up to share information and ideas related to technology that can transform the practice of law.
Top Law Firms in South Korea
South Korea has a well-established legal market, which is dominated by the following “Big Five” Korean firms.
- Kim & Chang
- Bae, Kim & Lee
- Lee & Ko
- Shin & Kim
Other Leading Firms are:
- Yoon & Yang
- KL Partners
- Cho & Partners
Legal Events in Seoul
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