Florida’s First Practicing Lawyer With Autism Weighs In On Everything “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” Gets Right

Here is how realistic the show really is.

Haley Moss, Florida’s first practicing lawyer with autism, gave her take on Extraordinary Attorney Woo and detailed everything she thinks the show gets right.

Park Eun Bin as Attorney Woo Young Woo | @eunbining0904/Instagram

The story follows rookie attorney Woo Young Woo (played by Park Eun Bin) as South Korea’s first autistic attorney. The K-Drama has quickly become a worldwide hit, reaching insane ratings and garnering warm praise from fans everywhere.

“Extraordinary Attorney Woo” poster | Netflix

Of course, there are some mixed feelings as well. The show has received criticism for portraying Woo Young Woo in what netizens feel is a stereotypical and infantilizing way. Yet, others have defended it by pointing out that Woo Young Woo is a good representation of people who present in the same way she does. Some argue that they are even more in need of empathetic representation.

| TikTok


Now, Florida’s first autistic lawyer, Haley Moss, is weighing in with her own take on just how realistic Extraordinary Attorney Woo is and how it’s been relatable for her.

Haley Moss | @haleymossart/Twitter

As the first (known) autistic lawyer to be signed to the Florida Bar, Haley Moss has experienced her fair share of stigma. The scene in episode 1 in which Woo Young Woo’s boss places more importance on the notice of her autism than on her qualifications, for example, rang very true for her.

Some people who have autistic kids treated me like a little kid, not as one of their colleagues. Even though I went to the same law school, passed the same bar exam and met the same qualifications for the profession, I often felt that I had to prove myself more to get the same respect and opportunity that anybody else is getting.

— Haley Moss

| @eunbining0904/Instagram

Stigma may have also led some colleagues to judge her abilities based on her struggle with sensory overload and with prioritizing different matters. Like Woo Young Woo, she is used to always walking around with noise-canceling headphones.

I’m sensitive to noise, so I always wear large noise-canceling headphones just as the attorney Woo does in the drama. Little kids’ cries and screams make me anxious. With a sensory overload, I feel like my body is trembling to fight the noise off. I keep saying to myself, ‘I have to get out of here.’ I always try to find somewhere quiet.

— Haley Moss

Due to this extreme sensitivity, she has also found Woo Young Woo relatable in her inability to eat anything other than gimbap, saying “She eats a lot of same food every day. That‘s something that I do.” And of course, her obsession with whales felt familiar as well.

Her passion for whales makes her really excited. This kind of obsessive joy is something I experienced a lot from drawing.

— Haley Moss

| Netflix

Haley Moss also finds that Extraordinary Attorney Woo reflects many of her experiences as a lawyer. While her photographic memory is a great advantage, she has also found that she is able to connect easily with clients who have similar experiences as her.

Those who have similar life experiences as me tend to have trust in me. I can relate with them better than other lawyers do. Also, I tend to break things down when talking about a case and this made some clients understand legal terms better.

— Haley Moss

Overall, Haley Moss is grateful that Extraordinary Attorney Woo is shedding light on the lived experiences of people like her, especially because it’s doing so without making Woo Young Woo a one-dimensional figurehead whose sole function is to ‘teach’ the audience about autism.

In the drama, Woo messes up, learns and grows along with others. What usually happens in media is that we focus on autistic people who don’t seem like humans with full personality and interests. We don‘t get the same opportunity.

— Haley Moss

But of course, there is always room for improvement! In the future, she would like to see more autistic people involved in the production of such shows so that they can be even more authentic. Seeing as there is reportedly an American remake of the show in the works, Haley Moss’s feedback will hopefully be taken strongly into consideration!

Read further about it here.

“Extraordinary Attorney Woo” In Talks For USA Remake

Source: The Korea Herald and Haley Moss

Extraordinary Attorney Woo