Not all attorneys are the same; each attorney has their own purpose. You can be a competent attorney who protect their clients, but you can also be an attorney with emotions and feelings that expand beyond just job responsibilities and duties. While attorneys like Attorney Jung and Min-woo have already come to the conclusion as to what type of attorney they want to be, Young-woo does some more soul-searching to discover what type of attorney she wants to be and what her legacy as an attorney will be.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo Episode 12: Case 12 – Yangtze River Dolphin
The episode starts off with Ms. Kim Hyeon-jeong seated nervously at her desk. She’s the senior manager at a life insurance company called Mir Life Insurance Company and she’s called into the office for a meeting with the head of HR, Mr. Moon Jong-cheol. Since the company is undergoing the process of merging under another company, the owner of the company will change and restructuring will be impossible. Due to that, Mr. Moon mentions about the company’s policy of voluntary resignation for female employees who are married. Given that they’re married, they have double the income which means a better stability at life. If Ms. Kim refuses to resign, her husband will be subjected to unpaid leave. Although Ms. Kim pushes back on the idea, the director urges Ms. Kim to just follow through with the company policy. It would be embarrassing if her husband was fired while she still worked. Plus, her resignation would be the better option anyways.
Ms. Kim walks out of the office lifelessly and in disbelief at the outcome of the meeting. Her co-worker, Ms. Lee, walks up to her to inquire about the meeting, but she’s soon called into Mr. Moon’s office herself. Ms. Kim meets with her husband shortly afterwards for a quick chat. He’s being pressured by Mr. Moon to urge Ms. Kim to quit; the company wishes to remove all of their female employees. Ms. Kim is flustered and frustrated with the decision. She showed dedication and commitment to the company and this is what happened to her in the end. It’s unfair.
Attorney Jung receives an unexpected visit from CEO Han in his office. She invites him to go with her to the hospital to visit another attorney named Attorney Park. He and Attorney Jung worked together on a case and defended Jang Jae-jin, the son of the chairman of construction company, Hyeonbo Construction. After being released from prison, Jae-jin went to Attorney Park’s home and swung a knife at him. Thankfully, Attorney Park isn’t too injured, but Jae-jin is still roaming out and about. He hasn’t been caught. Though CEO Han reassures Attorney Jung that she’s amped up security to keep an eye out for anyone suspicious, a man dressed all in black with a face mask on scares Attorney Jung. The two are the only ones in the elevator together and Attorney Jung is reminded about the incident involving Attorney Park. Thankfully, nothing happens in the elevator and the suspicious-looking man exits. Attorney Jung attempts to follow him, but the man is no where to be found (wow, this elevator scene felt like a horror drama for a second! I was so scared for Attorney Jung!).
Our Hanbada team meet with Mr. Moon to go over the lawsuit. They first discuss about the company policy and Young-woo at first assumes the policy seems discriminatory against men. But Soo-yeon chimes in to add that the women in the company are the ones who are silenced since they can’t complain or else their husbands will be dismissed from work. It places them at a disadvantage. After hearing from both sides, Attorney Jung suggests that Mr. Moon give them more information about Ms. Lee and Ms. Kim before they can proceed any further. Mr. Moon notes that the two were good, reliable employees, but any additional information would be helpful. Mr. Moon is also a bit concerned about the attorney representing Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee, Attorney Ryu Jae-sook. She specializes in cases that pertain to human rights, women, and labor and has a reputation for taking on cases that stir public opinion, but as Min-woo will point out, she hasn’t won many of them. Mr. Moon still seems a bit worried as Attorney Ryu can be a bit.. loud.
On the way to the pre-trial hearing, our Hanbada team learn just exactly what Mr. Moon meant when he referred to Attorney Ryu as loud. She hosts a protest outside of the court building with Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee about Mir Life’s discriminatory company policies. Young-woo and Soo-yeon also grow concerned when they learn that the presiding judge in the case is none other than Judge Ryu – the same judge back in episode 6 who cares about family names and family origins and family backgrounds. Given that Attorney Ryu has the same surname as Judge Ryu, could this potentially cause an issue?
And as Team Hanbada will witness, Attorney Ryu uses her surname to her advantage. When asked by Judge Ryu about her family origin, Attorney Ryu draws a connection between the both of them. But she grows concerned when he asks her about her father’s generation name. Why isn’t he asking her about her generation name? Is it because daughters don’t carry the family’s name and are considered outsiders once they’re married? If the essence of the lawsuit is about sex discrimination, then she’s worried that Judge Ryu might not be the most fitting judge for the case. With all that said, she closes the conversation by pointing out how her family belongs in the 26th generation while Judge Ryu’s is in the 27th generation. She’s technically above him in the Ryu family generation so she assumes he’ll garner some respect for her. This silences Judge Ryu as well as the rest of the Hanbada team.
Later on that night, Young-woo has a conversation with Dad about the term “context” and how she’s not a big fan of it. But Dad switches the subject and asks her about relationships. Is she in a relationship? When Young-woo answers no, Dad grows even more frustrated and shocked. Then why was she kissing a man outside of the house? Haha. How could this man be kissing her if he hasn’t even asked her out properly? Young-woo explains that they’re merely in the process of getting to know each other better through dates, but Dad isn’t satisfied. He wants Young-woo to bring this man around and see how he is. Oooo, good luck Jun-ho. You got this!
The story about Jae-jin still continues to haunt Attorney Jung and the attorney grows paranoid while walking to his office late at night. He looks around for any signs of a suspicious person and even has a bunch of different protective items with him such as a gas gun. Attorney Jung eventually stops himself to question what he’s doing. He thinks he’s going crazy.
It’s the first day of court trial and Mr. Moon is up first on the witness stand. Attorney Ryu recounts the conversations he had with Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee in their meetings and how he suggested that they quit or else their husbands would lose their jobs. Though Mr. Moon defends that Mir Life respects women and restructured their policy to place women at an advantage, Attorney Ryu perceives it differently. How could he persuade both women to voluntary resign? Attorney Jung points out in the courtroom Attorney Ryu’s method of questioning, but Judge Ryu is pressured to disagree. He is in the 27th generation of the Ryu family after all and so he concludes that Mr. Moon was representing the company in these meetings. The comments he made were not of his own personal opinion.
A current female employee with Mir Life is brought in to testify next. When asked about her perception of Mir Life’s company policy, she admits that she didn’t think it was discriminatory. In her case, her husband chose to voluntarily resign and she remembers the parts during her meeting with Mr. Moon about the benefits that came with voluntary resignation including severance pay as well as contract work. But Ms. Kim reacts in frustration in the courtroom; the company is attempting to use the restructuring as a way to turn female employees into non-full-time employees. The witness grows frustrated; there’s already so much going on with the merging of the company and now there’s the lawsuit. The current employees at the company are exhausted.
And so it’s Attorney Ryu’s turn to question the witness. She’s quite blunt and she gets straight to the point. Her husband is ill and the witness received a full month of paid leave prior to her husband’s surgery. Could this have something to do with the reason as to why she’s testifying in court in support of Mir Life? The courtroom grows quiet and the witness remains silent. She has nothing to say.
Once the trial is over, the witness, Ms. Choi, reunites with Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee. They catch up for a few short minutes and it’s like the old times again back when they used to work together. Ms. Choi feels guilty for her testimony and she breaks down into tears upon seeing how friendly and kind both Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee still are to her. They all cry together and Attorney Ryu witnesses the bittersweet moment in the hallway.
While walking back to the office, our Hanbada team is gifted by Ms. Lee with some bungeoppang (fish-shaped bread/pastry). While Min-woo finds it odd that they bought them some bread, Young-woo takes notice of Ms. Lee’s key chain on her purse. Eventually, the key chain comes back to haunt Young-woo as she sees the logo again but this time on a vehicle. Instead of heading straight back to the office, the Hanbada team takes a detour with Jun-ho in the driver’s seat. He pursues the vehicle upon Young-woo’s request and safely manages to catch up to the car (hahaha, anything for his girlfriend!). And so thanks to Jun-ho’s spectacular driving, Young-woo studies the logo more carefully and learns that it belongs to a women’s hospital that specializes in infertility treatment. Young-woo reaches another mini-eureka moment and a clip of a dolphin shows up on the screen. Oh ho ho, what did Young-woo realize this time?
While printing out a legal consultation statement document in the printer room, Min-woo is reminded of the mission that he was given by Attorney Tae: to get Young-woo to quit Hanbada. And so he treads on carefully as he visits Young-woo in her office shortly afterwards. He starts off the conversation by asking her what her experience has been like working at a major law firm like Hanbada. To Min-woo, it can sometimes be miserable because of the unfair acts they have to do sometimes like bullying the weak. Their clients are primarily those with power and wealth who can afford to pay high commission fees. As for the Mir Life restructuring policy? That was all Hanbada’s doing. They were the ones who came up with the strategy after Mir Life consulted them for legal advice. In the end, Mir Life was trying to fire all the female employees from their company and used the merging as an excuse to do so. It’s clearly sex discrimination. Min-woo hands Young-woo the legal consultation statement that Hanbada sent to Mir Life regarding the policy to read.
Soon after, Young-woo presents the statement to Attorney Jung and brings it to his attention. But the statement doesn’t faze Attorney Jung too much as he was already well aware of it. He argues that there’s nothing wrong with it; they were just merely doing their jobs of giving their opinions to Mir Life and now it’s their responsibility to protect their client. That’s what they’re supposed to do as attorneys. But the statement still doesn’t sit so well with Young-woo. In fact, she’s even hesitant on questioning Ms. Lee about her infertility treatment during their next court trial. Young-woo feels as if it wouldn’t seem fair as Mir Life was discriminating against the female employees and that isn’t going to make the world a better place. But Attorney Jung has had enough. He reminds Young-woo again (much louder this time) that it’s not their job as attorneys to make the world a better place. That’s the judge’s responsibility. They are only to defend their clients.
Young-woo and Jun-ho go on another date; this time, they hold a protest outside of an aquarium in support of dolphins. But Young-woo’s mind and heart feels heavy; she’s conflicted on the whole restructure policy and Hanbada’s involvement in it all. She’s not so sure what she should do. Should she just keep quiet like Attorney Jung suggested or should she speak up and say something? Jun-ho’s encountered many attorneys who have experienced similar emotions and thoughts such as Young-woo. There are some attorneys like Attorney Jung who has reached their conclusion while some others have left the law firm. Regardless of what decision Young-woo makes, Jun-ho will support her. Aww. We love a supportive boyfriend.
In the next court hearing, Young-woo questions Ms. Lee who’s up on the witness stand. She’s brings up the infertility treatments that Ms. Lee had been receiving since the year before and accuses her of using the voluntary resignation as an opportunity to continue receiving the treatments since she must have been preparing for pregnancy. But Ms. Lee argues that even if she did get pregnant, she would have still worked at the company. After some back and forth banter in the courtroom between Attorney Ryu and Soo-yeon, Young-woo once again reiterates her statement to Ms. Lee: didn’t she take this opportunity to get severance pay and resign in order to prepare for pregnancy instead of holding out at a company that was in crisis? The courtroom packed with reporters and members from women’s organizations all watch as the chaos unfolds.
Young-woo reunites with Attorney Ryu outside of the courtroom for a small chat. Attorney Ryu had heard of Young-woo previously as the first autistic attorney in Korea so she was quite interested in the young attorney. Instead of working for a major law firm like Hanbada, Attorney Ryu was hoping that Young-woo would have worked alongside clients like women laborers instead of major companies. Young-woo recites what Attorney Jung told her about being an attorney and how it’s her responsibility to protect her clients. But Attorney Ryu points out that there’s also a human element to it all. Attorneys are humans after all. They’re different from prosecutors or judges whose main job is to protect the law. Attorneys on the other hand? They protect people. Attorney Ryu explains,
We sit next to the client as someone they chose for protection and as fellow humans.
‘You weren’t wrong. I support you.’ Saying these things and showing them support are also a part of our job. To do that, we have to judge for ourselves what is right in terms of who we defend. You can’t lie to yourself.
Maybe it’s because Attorney Ryu could sense Young-woo’s hesitance and uncomfortableness earlier during Ms. Lee’s witness questioning that she gives some wise words of wisdom to the young attorney. Not too far away, Min-woo catches sight of the two attorneys together and he brings this to Attorney Jung and Soo-yeon’s attention. The three look on as Young-woo stands across from Attorney Ryu.
Min-woo has some more evil tactics up his sleeve and he prepares to sneak inside Young-woo’s office late at night. Soo-yeon catches him in the act and she grows suspicious of him. Young-woo isn’t in her office since she left work earlier that day with Jun-ho. But wait, she left work with Jun-ho? Why? Soo-yeon breaks the news to Min-woo that his roommate is seeing Young-woo. Min-woo isn’t so sure why and Soo-yeon doesn’t have a reason either. They just simply are seeing each other. Haha. With that, she walks away so Min-woo is left alone at the office. He makes his way to Young-woo’s desk, grabs the legal consultation statement that Hanbada sent to Mir Life, sticks a label on the manila envelope to be delivered to Attorney Ryu’s office, and then places one of Young-woo’s business cards inside. Oh Min-woo, I don’t know what to do with you.
Jun-ho walks Young-woo home again, but she makes sure to remain on alert this time just in case Dad is around. She notes how Dad saw them kissing each other last time which scares Jun-ho. Dad wants to meet Jun-ho even though they’re not even officially dating. But wait, they’re not dating? Jun-ho must have misunderstood. They’ve been on several dates together so far like the dolphin protest. Or what about that time when they picked up garbage at Han River? Doesn’t that mean they’re dating? And plus, the list of date ideas that Young-woo put together isn’t the most ideal nor are they fun. They went out to eat at famous restaurants and only ate gimbap. Or they went on arcade dates but only played the same game for 3 hours. So then if the dates weren’t fun, why did Jun-ho go on them with Young-woo? Jun-ho once again expresses his feelings for Young-woo. It’s because he likes her. He likes her so much that he was willing to do what she wanted on their dates. The fact that they went on all these dates and she still doesn’t think they’re dating is disappointing and frustrating to him. Oh you two, communication is key!
It’s another day of the court hearing. Attorney Ryu has new evidence she wishes to admit and present on. Min-woo assumes it’s the legal consultation statement that he sent to her office, but it’s not. It’s Mr. Moon’s work notebook that was sent in by an anonymous informant. Attorney Ryu pulls up a few scanned copies of the notebook entries on the screen and goes over them. Mr. Moon has a habit of taking notes during his phone calls and the notes on the screen in particular were from a phone call between Mr. Moon and Mir Life’s Executive Director, Mr. Choi. As seen in the notes, Mr. Choi gave Mr. Moon the order to notify the married female employees in Mir Life about the voluntary resignation.
Mr. Moon and Team Hanbada panic at the receipts on the screen; Mr. Moon himself isn’t so sure how his work notebook even got stolen. Attorney Jung attempts to appeal the evidence that was submitted; it was collected illegally as Mr. Moon never consented to it. But since the trial is a civil procedure and not a criminal one, Judge Ryu accepts Mr. Moon’s notebook as evidence. Young-woo watches as Ms. Lee gives a secret thumbs up to someone sitting in the crowd and after watching carefully, she notices that Ms. Lee was communicating to Ms. Choi. Since Ms. Choi does work at Mir Life, she was able to sneak into Mr. Moon’s office and steal his work notebook.
Protests and rallies about Mir Life’s restructuring policy continue to happen outside of their headquarters. Ms. Lee and Ms. Kim as well as members of women’s organizations and labor unions protest together against Mir Life. Eventually, a verdict is reached for the lawsuit and Presiding Judge Ryu announces the decision. Ms. Lee and Ms. Kim’s claims are dismissed and they are ordered to pay the litigation costs. The policy was acceptable from a socioeconomic perspective and since the policy also did not specify gender, the policy cannot be viewed as an act against gender equality. Folks in the courtroom are shocked and in disbelief at the final results. Though they lost the lawsuit, Ms. Lee, Ms. Kim, and Attorney Ryu stay united and strong. They all place their hands together in the courtroom and smile at each other. Even if the outcome wasn’t what they were hoping for, it was well worth the try.
While walking out of the courtroom, Mr. Moon and Attorney Jung have a quick chat. Though the ruling was in their favor, Mr. Moon doesn’t feel all that great about it. In fact, he feels like this was Mir Life’s plan all along. He was basically their scapegoat and his position will be given to someone new. But Mr. Moon sort of feels as if he deserved it anyways. He fired 100 employees so in a way, this is karma. With that, our Hanbada team head outside only to find Attorney Ryu, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Kim surrounded by a crowd of supporters. Not all hope is lost and the three ladies feel as if it was a good fight. Plus, they still have the second and final appeal so this isn’t the end of things. Young-woo watches on at the immense amount of support that the three ladies are surrounded by.
Although the three ladies might not have won in court, they celebrate outside of the courtroom. Soo-yeon and Young-woo are invited to a post-trial afterparty hosted by the three ladies. On the walk to the location, Young-woo compares Attorney Ryu to the Yangtze river dolphin. Although the dolphins have been declared extinct as of 2007, Young-woo hopes attorneys like Attorney Ryu won’t go extinct. Attorneys like her are rare to find at major law firms like Hanbada.
So with that, the two attorneys arrive at Attorney Ryu’s office. It’s not the biggest and prettiest office like Attorney Jung’s, but all of that doesn’t matter. Young-woo and Soo-yeon organize a board full of sticky notes written by clients or members expressing their gratitude to Attorney Ryu. It’s clear that she’s positively impacted many people’s lives. The phenomenal attorney appears herself shortly afterwards and she stays behind with Young-woo for just a bit. When it’s just the two of them, Attorney Ryu returns the legal consultation statement that was sent to her by Min-woo. Young-woo’s shocked to find the statement with Attorney Ryu since she didn’t send it, but Attorney Ryu knew better than to use it anyways. Doing so would have put Young-woo in trouble and she had alternative options as evidence. I love Attorney Ryu 🙂
Young-woo makes it out onto the rooftop where Ms. Lee, Ms. Kim, Soo-yeon, and Attorney Ryu are. She joins them and they all reconvene to chat and catch up with each other. Turns out Attorney Ryu enjoys farming on the side and the three ladies also like to recite poems. But wait, recite poems? Don’t they have an appeal to work on? Young-woo sure does work for Hanbada as Attorney Ryu isn’t so concerned. As an attorney, you can also have fun in life as well. You don’t always have to get so caught up with work. And so it’s Attorney Ryu’s time to share the poem that she’s selected. While she stands up on the table and recites the poem, Young-woo sees a Yangtze river dolphin floating right behind Attorney Ryu. Her eyes light up at the sight of the dolphin as it swims away in the air.
Attorney Jung has another late night of work. While in the elevator on the way to his office, he’s once again stuck inside with a man dressed in black with a face mask on. He panics upon seeing the man with a screwdriver so he exits the elevator a few floors early and rushes to his office using the stairs. The man trails after him so Attorney Jung runs to his office. But the man isn’t a danger at all; he’s just a repairman who got off the wrong floor and he answers a phone call from his boss asking for his whereabouts.
Attorney Jung eventually makes it into his office safely and he’s petrified. It’s only when he receives a text message notifying him that Jae-jin has been caught that he manages to catch his breath. But while trying to catch his breath, he coughs out some blood onto his hands (oh noooo). Could he be potentially sick? Attorney Jung stands in his office, worried and confused and amused at the whole situation. What is going on?
NOOOO, not Attorney Jung. Please don’t take Attorney Jung away from us. After giving Soo-yeon some time in the spotlight, it seems as if the focus has now shifted onto Attorney Jung so we might see more of him in future episodes. Along with his health, it seems as if his past came back to haunt him in this episode with the whole Jae-jin scare. Not too sure where this came from or why the drama decided to bring it up other than to give some more time to focus on Attorney Jung. He wasn’t necessarily a character who was neglected as he was always somewhat present in pretty much every episode in some capacity, but it’ll be nice to see more of Attorney Jung beyond just his office or the courtroom.
Moving onto the episode itself, man oh man! This episode probably has to be number two on my list of favorite episodes so far. Episode 5 still remains my favorite, but episode 12 doesn’t fall too far behind (and the more I think about it, the more I really really really like this episode. Definitely a re-watchable episode for me). This episode felt so bittersweet primarily due to the case. It was bitter in the way that Attorney Ryu, Ms. Kim, and Ms. Lee lost the trial, but also sweet in the way that they stayed strong and united throughout the whole thing. They remained hopeful and positive, they never wavered, they fought, they stood for their beliefs, and they continued to fight until the very end. They put their foot on the ground and displayed characteristics of strength, resilience, empowerment, and sisterhood. The three ladies and their relationship together was so wholesome.
Again, the drama continues to exemplify the realistic aspect of things and this episode was no exception. In any other universe, Attorney Ryu, Ms. Kim, and Ms. Lee would have won the case and all would have gone well and things would have been wrapped up neatly with a perfect bow tie. But that’s not how reality works; that’s not how it is in real life. Gender equality and sex discrimination in the workplace is a real thing. It’s a real issue. It happens all the time everywhere. It’s still happening. So much work still has to be done in order for there to be progress. In that aspect, I’m glad that the drama stayed true to itself and to reality. It was a wake-up call and a slap to the face for viewers. It seemed all along as if Attorney Ryu was winning. Along with using her name to be on Judge Ryu’s good side, she had strong arguments and evidence with every court hearing. It seemed like she was winning. It seemed like she was supposed to win. And then in the end, she lost.
Just like Min-woo pointed out in their initial meeting with Mr. Moon, Attorney Ryu takes on cases that stir up public opinion and seems to be a bit too powerful for her. But she accepts the challenge and takes it on anyways. Because she’s fighting for what she believes in. Because she cares. Because being an attorney means so much more to her than just protecting her client. And I liked that the drama demonstrated all of this. It was a hard watch and there were times where I wanted to shout in frustration. Whether it was the earlier meetings with Mr. Moon or Ms. Kim’s quick chat with her husband or all the questioning scenes or the hug that Ms. Kim, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Choi shared, it was challenging and frustrating and heart-breaking to watch. But change doesn’t happen overnight. Attorney Ryu knows she’ll have to continue to fight and fight she will. Whether up against a major law firm like Hanbada or someone else, she won’t back down.
It was so easy to root for Attorney Ryu and she probably has to be the most memorable character so far in the drama for me. She was memorable not only in the way that she inspired Young-woo, but also in the way that she carried herself in and out of the courtroom. She was so strong, so fierce, and so powerful. It can be discouraging to work as an attorney knowing that you’re going up against powerful law firms like Hanbada and will most likely lose. But you do it anyways because there’s still a chance. A chance that this trial could be different. That this trial could be the one to cause some change – as small as that change might be. That this next trial that you take on might just be the one that makes the whole difference. Attorney Ryu was so inspirational and we see the impact that she’s had on many people throughout her career as an attorney. Some people might perceive Attorney Ryu as one who’s taking the route that is less taken, but to her, she sees it as creating new paths where up and coming attorneys will join alongside her. One can only hope that there are more attorneys like Attorney Ryu because it’s needed. It’s essential. It’s important.
This episode was also such a rewarding watch with the way that it contributed to Young-woo’s overall growth and development as an attorney. Young-woo continues to get tested on a constant basis in and out of the courtroom walls and she was once again tested with this specific case. It helped her realize the diversity and variety in attorneys and the different types of attorneys there are. She’s only worked at Hanbada Law Firm – one of the top two major law firms – so she doesn’t know all that much. She hasn’t seen what other types of attorneys are out there to no fault of her own. Young-woo has seen what types of attorneys exist within the Hanbada walls (and which type of attorney she doesn’t want to be *cough* Min-woo *cough*) so in a way, I’m glad that Young-woo heard and learned it directly from Attorney Ryu herself about the different sides to being an attorney. There couldn’t have been a better example, role model, and leader to learn from.
As we learned in the episode, Attorney Ryu isn’t your conventional attorney. She’s basically a one-woman show and she takes on cases about subjects that she’s passionate about: human rights, labor, and women. When you work with clients who you care about and are passionate towards, it might not even feel like work. Even if Attorney Ryu doesn’t have much institutional support and resources (like a law firm or employees to work under her), she doesn’t back down. In many of the cases that she’s in, she could be perceived as the “weaker” one. The one who is underestimated. The one people might not take as seriously just because she’s not from a large law firm or just because she doesn’t have the prettiest and biggest office. But all of that stuff doesn’t matter to Attorney Ryu. Because she’s not your typical attorney. She is her own attorney and Young-woo witnessed that plenty of times while working on this case.
Young-woo was taught by Attorney Jung the hidden rules of being an attorney: don’t speak up if you see anything and it’s ultimately your end goal to protect your clients. Things like making the world a better place is up to other people like judges, not the attorney. But through Attorney Ryu’s interactions with Ms. Lee and Ms. Kim as well as their supporters, I think it’s safe to say that Young-woo begged to differ by the end of the episode. She saw a different perspective to being an attorney. She saw that it’s not such a bad thing to let your emotions get involved. She saw that it’s okay to not always devote yourself to work. She saw that it’s okay to take a break; that you can still enjoy life and have fun in the midst of fighting for your clients. Young-woo saw that you can make the world a better place as an attorney.
And the process to making the world a better place is not going to happen right away. The results might not always be obvious. It might take years and years until things actually change. But for every Attorney Jung or Min-woo out there, hopefully there will also be an Attorney Ryu. There is no one formula or method to being an attorney. Just like Attorney Jung has reached his conclusion as to what it means to be an attorney, Attorney Ryu also reached her decision in her own way and she demonstrated that in and out of the courtroom. There’s no right or wrong way of being an attorney, but there are two opposite ends to the spectrum. I’m glad that Young-woo got to see those two ends through Attorney Jung and Attorney Ryu. Hopefully, it’ll inspire her to reach her own conclusion as to what type of attorney she aspires to be (am I a bad person for kind of wanting Young-woo to work with Attorney Ryu? Can you just imagine how powerful the two would be?? It’ll be fun for sure).
And I think this is why episode 12 is up there on my list of favorite episodes. Episode 5 and episode 12 do a phenomenal job in putting together stories and messages that are a little bit more cohesive and obvious. There’s a clear big picture as to what the episode wants you to learn and is trying to teach you; there’s intentions behind the case, and more importantly, the case’s impact on Young-woo. Thanks to Attorney Ryu, Young-woo’s mind is opened to what the diverse world of attorneys look like. In the episode, Young-woo mentioned to Soo-yeon how she hopes that attorneys like Attorney Ryu don’t go extinct. It’s rare to encounter attorneys like her in major law firms like Hanbada. But a part of me hopes that Young-woo has learned from Attorney Ryu. And maybe, just maybe, Young-woo can grow to become an attorney like Attorney Ryu. Not through imitation but in her own special way and with her own little spin to it. Young-woo will continue to protect her clients as someone working at Hanbada, but she’ll also add in the human element to it. As Young-woo learned, attorneys are humans after all and they can indeed make the world a better place.