Professor Aubrey Baldwin Receives Warm Welcome at Kangwon Law School in Korea
Aubrey Baldwin, clinical professor of law and staff attorney at the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC), spent three weeks in Korea this summer teaching Comparative Environmental Law at Kangwon National University School of Law in the city of Chuncheon (about an hour from Seoul). Kangwon is one of a limited number of schools in Korea which offer a three year, post graduate law degree. Dean Robert Klonoff visited the school in 2010 and 2011, creating a relationship which led to the invitation for Lewis and Clark to send a professor this summer. Baldwin leapt at the opportunity to combine her love of travel and teaching in a country she had never visited.
Baldwin’s three hour course focused on environmental law and policy in the United States. Her goal was for students to understand and think critically about the role of law in addressing environmental problems. Moreover, she wanted students to understand how businesses and individuals in the United States approach environmental protection. Korea has its own complex body of statutes addressing environmental quality, making policy comparisons interesting and enlightening.
The class consisted of both law students and professors interested in hearing from the American law professor. The challenge for Baldwin was that she does not speak Korean and some of the students were not comfortable conversing in English. While a smile can go a long way in any country, she needed to convey complex information in a cross cultural setting. Using power point, case summaries, and daily reviews in Korean at the end of class by a Kangwon professor, Professor Baldwin’s course was a success. By the end of the three week course, the students were asking questions and offering their thoughts in class.
In addition to the daily classroom experience, Professor Baldwin was embraced by the entire school community. “The professors and students took me to the most amazing local restaurants and cultural sites. Our class field trip to Soyang Lake was a definite highlight!” Baldwin and Lewis and Clark will have an opportunity to return their hospitality next February. Kangwon is sending a contingent of students and faculty for additional environmental law training and to visit Portland. By then we could all learn to say Hwan-yŏng-ham-ni-da!