“The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.”
Master Po (Kung Fu, Episode 7)
I constantly receive emails and phone calls from college students, law students, and young lawyers seeking information on how to advance their China legal careers. Nearly all of them ask some variant of “what’s the most important thing for me to do ….” My answers usually are as follows:
College Students: Learn to read Chinese. This will give you a huge edge in seeking your first legal (or non legal) position. Have spent at least a year overseas.
Law Students: Learn to read Chinese and/or graduate in the top 10% of your class at a good law school. This will give you a huge edge over your job seeking competition. You should have spent at least a year overseas, preferably in China.
Young Lawyers outside China: Work on as many China legal matters as possible. Build your own network. Learn to read Chinese. You should have spent at least a year overseas, preferably in China. Love your work.
Young Lawyers in China at Chinese firms: Work on as many projects for foreign companies as possible. Build your own network. Learn to read Chinese. Love your work.
Young Lawyers in China at foreign firms. Build your own network. Learn to read Chinese. Love your work.
Last week, a reader emailed me with a podcast interview with Al Clark at the Davis Wright Tremaine law firm here in Seattle, telling me “it’s good, you should listen to it.” I tried, but could not get the audio to work on my laptop ( a fairly common occurrence with podcasts for me). According to the written summary, the interview will answer questions on the following:
1. The hiring environment for young legal professionals in China.
2. The difficulty in hiring “the best and the brightest.”
3. Wage trending and which “backgrounds demand different salary levels.”
4. The challenges of talent retention and turnover.
5. Specific figures for salary increase percentages.
6. “Factors contributing to wage inflation based on ideal candidate credentials of the Chinese legal candidates.”
7. The “process steps most common in candidate searches, screening, and hiring.”
8. Who to “maintain good contacts with on an ongoing basis.”
9. The need for background checks
10. Second and third tier cities.
11. The difficulty in sourcing.
12. Cultivating contacts with head-hunting firms.
I have known and thought highly of Al Clark for years and, based on that (along with the reader recommendation), I am just going to assume this is a good/helpful interview. Please let me know what you think.
For more on practicing law in China, check out the following:
— CLB, “So You Want To Practice China Law?
— Transnational Law Blog, “The Allure of Working in China
— Asia Business Intelligence, “How Do I Get to China?
— China Hearsays’ just out post, “So You Want to Be a China Lawyer?