Divorce Attorney Shin season 1 episode 1 recap & review

The first episode of Divorce Attorney Shin introduces Shin Sung-han, a divorce attorney who takes the case of a DJ, even though the chances of winning the case are low. The episode is now streaming on Netflix.


The episode begins with Shin Sung-han easily winning a case and helping his client reach a settlement. Attorney Shin’s office seems shabby, and he has Hyeong-geun, as well as Sae-bom, working for him. 

His tenant, Jeong-sik, claims that he does not have enough money to pay the rent, but he somehow has the money to buy luxuries like expensive cars.

Sung-han passed the bar in two years, which takes four years on average, and yet he sticks to divorce cases, even though he has never been married himself. 

Hyeong-geun informs Sung-han that his favorite DJ, Lee Seo-jin, left her radio show. Moments later, Seo-jin walks into Sung-han’s office and asks him to represent her. She needs his help, as her husband wants a divorce.

Initially, Sung-han refuses to take the case because she is not in an ideal position for a good divorce, which according to him means getting the client what they want. She had an affair with a man who worked at a restaurant, and then her sex tape got leaked.

When Seo-jin tells him that she only wants custody of her son, Hyeon-u, and nothing more, Sung-han agrees to represent her.

After the scandal, Seo-jin had to leave her job. People stare and whisper about her wherever she goes. Following Sung-han’s advice, she moves back into the house with her husband and her son.

Her husband, Mr. Kang, is abusive and obsessive. He keeps track of all her activities and personal belongings at all times; he went as far as to install cameras everywhere in their house, including the dressing room.  

She has to send him pictures constantly when she is out with anyone other than him. Due to this, she either avoids going out or is not invited by her friends, making her extremely lonely.

During the divorce mediation, when her husband’s lawyer shames her, Sung-han reveals this. He even shows numerous humiliating notes her husband leaves for her everywhere. 

When Mr. Kang’s lawyer argues that Seo-jin should be denied custody because her sex tape got leaked, Sung-han points out that this is secondary victimization, effectively turning the argument in her favor.  

Her video was taken down by the police, but her husband claims that it is still out there on the internet. Sung-han sends Hyeong-geun to get to the root of it, but the police reassure them that it was taken down, confusing him further.

At his psychotherapy evaluation, Hyeon-u draws as he is told by his controlling father to get the results he wants. Sung-han then pays him a visit, and while Hyeon-u does not reveal much to him, he does say that he has seen things that he would like to forget.

The day Seo-jin failed to show up at Hyeon-u’s school, he got injured and was taken to the hospital. Seo-jin was with her lover, who made the sex tape and leaked it without her consent. An upset Hyeon-u tells Sung-han that Mr. Kang eventually came to pick him up.

Soon after, Hyeon-u is taken to the hospital because he throws a fit at night. He keeps snatching and throwing Mr. Kang’s phone when he tries to get help. 

Seo-jin tells Sung-han that she wishes to stop the divorce mediation, as it is affecting her son too much, but Sung-han confidently tells her that it will be a trial now and that they will win.


  • Despite being the first episode, the show manages to get the viewers invested within minutes. It introduces various characters and, at the same time, keeps the viewers entertained.
  • Attorney Shin is certainly an unusual attorney. He is not an imposing alpha male figure as one might expect the protagonist of a courtroom drama to be. He is a talented, confident but quirky figure, which makes him realistic and human.
  • This episode depicts how victims are blamed for the crimes committed against them and how society keeps punishing them for it in various ways. It is not depicted in an overly dramatic or emotional fashion but in a subtle yet effective manner.
Divorce Attorney Shin episode 1
Divorce Attorney Shin season 1 episode 1 recap & review 1

Lee Jae-hun, Yu Young-a

Date Created:
2023-03-04 22:50

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