Korea Law Blog’s Recommendation on Where to Go for English-Teacher Employment-Law Help

As any regular reader of the Marmot’s Hole knows, Brendon Carr doesn’t want to field inquiries from English teachers. But that’s not because he hates English teachers: It’s because they’re calling the wrong place for help. Today Korea Law Blog recommends a good quasi-lawyer professional whom English teachers should be calling for help. If this is your need, check it out.

  • obamafan

    Brendon Carr is now blogging about himself in the third person.

  • http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com Brian

    Brendon Carr is good at making friends.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    obamafan — Yeah, he noticed that too. It’s just that Brendon Carr also notices that guest bloggers’ contributions often get mis-attributed in the readers’ mind to Robert Koehler, and Brendon thought this short blurb read better when written in the third person. But Brendon doesn’t really prefer to write about himself in the third person, honest! (Except sometimes for the sake of irony.)

    Brian — We don’t have to be friends.

  • tbonetylr

    Is this Gerald Staruiala new to Korea, or did it take you 5 years to learn about him/Kangnam Law office? Oops, I wasn’t suppose to visit your website. I forgot about the e-mail you sent me telling me to never do so. But what the hell, you directed me there!

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    tbonetylr — Kangnam Labor Law Firm is one I’ve been aware of for at least four years, and I’d seen Mr. Bong-Soo Jung’s book for at least two years, but I didn’t notice Mr. Jung had an English-speaking paralegal until last weekend. And that made me realize he wants the English-teacher business. So I say, let him have 100% of it.

    Why didn’t I mention Mr. Jung before? It’s not because I wanted to keep all that lucrative English-teacher trade for myself.

    You may not realize this, but among the foreign lawyers resident in Seoul, the English-teacher “referral” is kind of a cruel prank, or an in-joke at best. Immediately after getting off the call, the attorney is ringing up his sniggering “friend” to ask What the fuck, dude? What did I do to you?

    Sorry to say it, but from the business lawyer’s perspective the English-teacher inquiry is one big shit sandwich. Consider your own case: After one call to my office three years ago where you found you didn’t like my honest advice about cost-benefit analysis, you’re still hectoring me about it! Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

  • http://thewilliamg.blogspot.com William George

    But that’s not because he hates English teachers: It’s because…

    He hates their lack of money. Let those sucker lawyers do the charity work!

  • Svend

    All you cowboys should leave Korea and get real jobs (ahem *careers*) back home. There is fully no reason to be treated like shit by some lower middle class Korean for 2k/month. Have you all no self respect? The White Mexicans of Asia..

  • colontos

    “…among the foreign lawyers resident in Seoul…”

    Both of them?

  • Haksaeng

    Geez, guys. Brendon tries to help people out with his post and all you do is heckle him. Give the guy a break. He’s giving good advice.

  • gbnhj

    Exactly my thoughts, Haksaeng. Some folks should really consider the value of useful information, and offer thanks instead of bile. After all, why not save the criticism for those times when it’s actually justified?

  • http://deleted SomeguyinKorea

    Well, I’ll be sure to read Mr. Bong-Soo Jung’s book. Without going into too many details, a business opportunity has presented itself to us. This will help us ensure that everything is by the book if we accept the offer.

  • http://www.jdlink.co.kr Linkd

    About 8 years ago a friend of a friend asked me to sit in a recording studio all day and read scripts into a microphone. I was supposed to get about a grand for it, and didn’t. My efforts at self-help were fruitless.

    I asked a patent lawyer friend to recommend an English-speaking lawyer, stuffed 3 su-pyos into my wallet, and walked into this high-fallutin law office on Kangnam-yeok sa-go-ri.

    I knew I was a shit sandwich for him, and told him straight-out I just wanted him to make a phone call, send a fax, whatever. Just a scare gesture, nothing that would take more than 10 minutes of his time. The whole meeting lasted only 10 minutes.

    He gave me his card, said to show it to the debtor and tell him that we’d talked, then come back in a week if I hadn’t got the money. Then I pulled out the 300 bucks. He refused to take it.

    The card worked like a charm. I got the money, and I sent the lawyer a gift basket next chusok.

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    He gave me his card, said to show it to the debtor and tell him that we’d talked, then come back in a week if I hadn’t got the money. Then I pulled out the 300 bucks. He refused to take it.

    This is how it should be. And it is indeed effective — with nearly everyone in Korea other than a scummy hagwon owner. Most of them are crazy, and all are marginal businesses. So they laugh at all of that.

  • Ryan

    Post #5..Classic!

  • http://deleted SomeguyinKorea


    Yes, that’s why one of my Korean language teachers, a lawyer, gave me his business card. He specifically told me so.

  • Obamafan

    Are they really marginal business? With the pitifully low rates paid to hagwon teachers (Korean or ‘native speaker’) and the fantastic business these days thanks to Prez Lee, I would think you would have to be criminally bad at business not to be making the proverbial sh*tload of money out of an English hagwon. Steady demand, steady supply of cheap and willing labor. Low overheads other than rent. What’s the deal?

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    Obamafan — I think you’ve nailed it. Most of the hagwon are criminally bad at business. The good ones, like CDI and YBM, sure as heck aren’t — but those are also the hagwon less likely to be screwing around with teachers.

    Rent is also usually more than you might think.

  • http://www.chiamattt.com chiamattt

    Obamafan. Are you seriously saying that owning an English hagwon doesn’t take a lot of money? Haha, that’s fresh.

  • Obamafan

    Chiamattt: I was trying to suggest that owning a hagwon *should* mean making some serious coin. Brendon suggested that hagwon-owning is a “marginal business” and I was questioning whether this was correct. Perhaps I was clumsy in my wording.

  • Obamafan

    To further clarify: I am very much aware that the SETUP costs to start a hagwon are very great, largely because of the cost required to secure a premises large enough to qualify legally for a hagwon licence (I forget said pyeong/square meter size, but it is sizeable) and to equip such premises with walls, rooms, desks etc to comply with education ministry standards. My point was that if a hagwon were well run once it had been set up, it should be able to make some good money.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    As a former partial-owner of what once was the very best English hagwon in the lovely City of Chuncheon, Province of Gangwon — i can tell you that it’s a pretty hard business. There are ways to illegitimately profiteer at a high rate for a short time by screwing your students and their parents over, but you end up with a bad reputation of course.

    Some of our competitors went by this path; we did not, played it straight and did it the way it should be done, on-the-level with everyone including the Korean and foreign teachers we hired. It was profitable every month, but not all that much — margins were thin and competition (including from religious groups that used volunteer missionaries from overseas as teachers, thus enabling them to offer cheaper classes) was stiff. Then came the 97-98 financial crisis, and we were wiped out along with most everyone else…

  • tbonetylr

    # 5
    Awe, is the swell fella whining? I was looking for a different law office when for whatever reason you were located there. You told me you didn’t represent employees so I was on my way out your door, you called me back because you wanted to hear my story as my case was already through the 1st stage. What gift, the only thing I remember you telling me is to “forget it and go bang chicks in Japan or China.” Is that your kind of professional advice? And, I think you have me confused with someone else!

  • Ryan

    “forget it and go bang chicks in Japan or China.” …
    Classic!!!!! Another Classic!!!!

  • http://www.ghosttreemedia.com hoju_saram


  • Kujo

    #22 – “forget it and go bang chicks in Japan or China.”

    I think this is boiler-plate language for every client letter going out to Fortune 500 companies.

  • tbonetylr

    #9 AND #10

    Have you tried calling the number? Why don’t you and then get back with on just how much the swell fella helps! I hope the hospital phone number he gave sues his ass. The swell fella is a complete ASSWIPE!!!

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    Ah yes. The predictable reward for trying to do the English teachers a favor…

    tbonetylr — Thanks for pointing out the transcription error on the phone number, albeit in your own initimably insane and self-entitled way. It’s fixed on my website entry now.

    I’m curious why you’re calling the number. Given the charm you display here, it’s so surprising that you would still have problems with an employer.

  • gbnhj


    I respect that you feel upset and, although not present during the time you spoke with Carr three years ago, I really believe you see that conversation as having been extremely dissatisfying. It’s clear, I think to all of us, that you’re upset and that you anger is directed to the person you feel instilled it.

    Now, three years later and on a separate topic, Carr is providing information that may be of general use to a rather large group of people. Add to that his typographical error (I doubt many here think he was willfully trying to dupe the public into calling a hospital), if you like.

    For my part, I’ve disagreed with Carr on topics, and I dislike how he will sometimes use his blog access and t00ls to rewrite his comments on various threads, when the rest of us have to live with our warts-and-all first drafts.

    Nevertheless, if he (or anyone else, for that matter) has information that folks can use, then I really welcome that. I’m not trying to yank your chain, tbonetylr, but I really believe that, in life, we can learn from anyone, even poeple we may dislike.

    In other words, Brendon may indeed have been a jerk to you that day (though only you and he will know for certain), but his post here is certainly not representative of that. Rather, the information he offers can be of great help to those in need of it. So, in what way is he being anything less than helpful to folks here?

    Again, while I understand that you are upset from your conversation three years ago, why not save the criticism for times when it’s merited? After all, if he’s the prick you believe him to be, then you shouldn’t have to wait long, and we can all get at the process of widening the base of knowledge.

    Anyhow, just a thought…

  • tbonetylr

    # 28

    Did Carr eventually respond to your e-mail, is that why you are kissing butt?

    # 27
    “still have problems with an employer”

    Actually, I know your comment was sarcastic. Now, I’ll kill your curiosity…If ya wanna help me with a recent case pro bono, just let me know. Your office could help set a precedent against a crime(s) that hundreds of public schools routinely commit. I’ll soon finish my 4th one year contract so I’m not a difficult person to work with. You must have felt the warmth, why else would you have called me back into your office when I was walking out your door?

  • http://www.korealawblog.com Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    If ya wanna help me with a recent case pro bono, just let me know.

    This is rich. The answer, tbonetylr, is more than just “No.” But I’ll leave it there for the sake of comity.

  • gbnhj

    #29 That’s it – you got me. I was really kissing butt, as you say, and suggesting that he might be a jerk or a prick, or mentioning that I dislike his actions at times…well, that was all just smoke I was blowing to mask my real opinion of him.

    But you caught that anyway, didn’t you, tbonetylr? In the end, that’s all that matters.

  • jeffable

    Times up for us with these stupid gooks .The won has tanked . Let’s all clear out of this shithole Korea and go to a civilized country with a strong currency .