On July 18, 2017, South Korea’s National Assembly followed the recommendation of Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae and approved former DR & AJU Managing Partner CHO Jae Yeon to be the Republic of Korea’s next Supreme Court Justice.
In a May 20, 2017, Korea Times article, Reporter Park Ji-Yeon cited Mr. Cho as exemplifying the best feature of the former judicial examination system. After high school, he studied law at Sungkyunkwan University Night School while working during the day. Though from humble upbringings, he was able to serve as a judge in several courts after scoring the highest marks on the judicial examination of 1980: Seoul District Civil Court (1982); Seoul District Criminal Court (1984); Chuncheon District Court, Gangneung Branch (1986); Seoul Family Court (1991). He served on the bench for 11 years, building a lasting reputation as a protector of social values, disadvantaged groups, minorities and human rights.
Mr. Cho joined DR & AJU as a partner in 2011 and served as a Managing Partner from 2013 to 2015. While in the private sector he also worked as a pro bono legal advisor to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and the Fair Trade Commission before being appointed to the National Police Agency’s Investigation Policy Committee in 2014.
Mr Cho spoke eloquently about his time at DR & AJU and the importance of his future role in his farewell address to the firm given July 19, a few hours after President Moon Jae-in officially appointed him. Here are some excerpts:
“There is an old saying, ‘one of the most important things in life is how you meet the people and what people you meet.’ It has been an honor to meet great individuals here in DR & AJU.”
“I deeply and clearly understand the meaning of each stage of this (nomination) process that I've gone through. In the middle of rapid social change, I fully recognize citizens’ expectations that the Supreme Court must reflect a wide array of voices from society. By utilizing my broad experiences from inside and outside of the court, I will try my best to fulfill our goal.”