Visiting Professor of Law Y.S. Lee’s expertise in international trade law has allowed him to teach all over the globe, from Australia to the United Kingdom. While originally from South Korea, Lee has studied in the United States and United Kingdom and taught at leading universities, including NYU School of Law, Tulane Law School and Emory University School of Law.
In 2020, he joined the faculty at Georgia State College of Law and his appointment was recently extended for another year. He teaches Corporations, International Business Transactions, International Trade Law and Law and Economic Development.
The subject areas Lee teaches were developed out of his practice. Lee started his career as a lawyer in South Korea and would advise the government on issues of international trade.
“Korea happened to be a place where economic development was very successful, lifting the country from absolute poverty to one of the most advanced economies in the world,” Lee said. “I got fascinated by the process. The country grew through the success of international trade, and the laws and institutions have a lot to do with it.”
Lee’s interest in understanding how laws and institutions promote economic and social progress led him to researching the topic and eventually moving into academia. His recent scholarship includes research on free trade agreements, how laws and institutions affected the United States’ COVID-19 management, and racial disparity in economic and educational obtainment.
He presented on his article, The Last Call for Civil Rights: Toward Economic Equality at the 2021 Georgia State Law Review Symposium. He argues that substantial economic disparity generates social and political racism and divide in our society, which are within the ambits of law and development in the United States.
“I tried to propose ways in which the disparity in economic attainment can be remedied,” Lee said. “That includes more focus to support minority families in making sure that those parents can have stable economic lives to provide for their children. I also encourage schools and universities to retain minority students so more of them can be successfully educated.”
Although Lee has experience teaching at several law schools, he’s enjoying his time at the College of Law. From the diversity included in both the faculty and student body, and the flexibility to teach courses in his area of expertise, Lee feels welcomed by the community.
Lee is also pleased with the amount of interest in his courses. He says topics such as law and economic development and international trade law are beneficial for law students to learn even if it’s not the area of law they plan to practice in.
“Law and development is not just about developing countries but also about social and economic issues in developed countries including the United States,” Lee said. “It’s crucial for all lawyers to understand the impact of laws and institutions on economic and social issues, regardless of our specialty practice area.”
Written by Mara Thompson