June 24, 2014
Dai Gou Sung, a native of South Korea, is the Director General of the Korean Financial Services Commission. In 1998, he made the then-usual decision to come to Utah and study law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, graduating in 2001, at which time he returned to South Korea. In his current position, his duties include supervising publicly held financial companies. He credits his education at the College of Law with helping to prepare him for his current position by providing him with a broad perspective that included international law and economics. In the interview below, he describes the value of his education, recalls his early impressions of Salt Lake City, and describes his current professional responsibilities.
How did you first become interested in law?
I was a government officer of the Republic of Korea. What I did in office was to execute laws and regulations with regard to the financial sector. Furthermore, I was also assigned to draft finance-related bills. An in-depth research into foreign laws and cases was needed for preparing the bills. I regarded the S.J. Quinney College of Law as a law school providing with high-quality law education. In addition, tuitions and living expenses were very reasonable.
How was the experience different what you expected?
I received and accomplished much more than what I expected. Faculty and students were very kind and open to foreign students. The mentor system helped me very much to settle down in a new place and get myself ready for law study. I would like to take this opportunity to thank to my fellow students from the Class of 1999 and 2000 for warm hospitality and sincere advice. In addition, I appreciate very much the faculty, including Professor Matheson, Professor Dyer, Professor Anghie, and Professor Threedy.
Do you have a favorite memory?
My fellow students and I formed a study group. We studied very hard. We worked together to make outlines for each and every class we took. We traveled together to the Grand Canyon when my mother visited Salt Lake City. Thanks to this assistance in terms of language and study method, I could successfully finish studying and enjoy living in the Utah.
What have you done since graduation and what role did the JD play in your career path?
I returned to the Ministry of Finance and Economy after graduation. I was in charge of overhauling the Insurance Business Act. It took about one and half years. I fully utilized what I had learned from the JD program. Not only the philosophy of the US laws but also knowledge of specific laws such as commercial law and insurance law helped me very much.
Would you recommend the Global JD to other prospective international students? If so, why?
Korea has a small and open economy. More and more people are getting involved in international businesses. To survive international competition, they should be able to read and understand contracts written in English. The Global JD is an excellent program for this purpose.
What were you experiences like in Salt Lake City and Utah as a foreign student with a young family?
I had never heard of Salt Lake City and Utah before I joined the law school. Mormon missionaries were all I had known of Utah. When I landed in SLC, everything came to my family new and surprising. However, people in Utah and at the law school were very kind and friendly. Korean churches helped us to get over our homesickness. SLC was much safer than I expected. When it comes to travel, the Utah has a lot of wonderful places to visit -- Bryce Canyon, Arches, the Grand Canyon, etc. My family cannot forget three wonderful years in Utah.