Name: Shu Shu Wong
Job Title(s): Associate, Haynes & Boone LLP
Backstory: I grew up in Hong Kong and moved to London in 2007 to study international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. More than a decade later, I’m happy to call London my home away from home.
Who or what influenced you to train as a lawyer? During my final year at university, I studied a couple of international law modules and really enjoyed it. I decided then that I wanted to pursue a Masters in international law and started looking into law conversion courses and a possible career as a solicitor.
And why energy? Because of its strategic importance and the often international nature of the projects.
If you didn’t pursue a legal career what would you be doing now? I probably would be a teacher, as I have always really enjoyed teaching; it is incredibly rewarding and meaningful to be able to help to nurture and influence our future generation in a positive way.
You’ve had such a varied career, which aspects have you enjoyed the most and why? The travel opportunities! It has been so exciting to be able to travel to where the projects I’m working on are located and to meet with clients and other parties in person. In the past, I have had the pleasure of travelling to China, Kenya, Bulgaria, Greece and Ukraine, to name a few.
What would you say is a common misconception or misunderstanding aspiring or junior lawyers have about the legal profession? A common misconception may perhaps be the underestimation of how important client care is to being a lawyer – whilst the substantive law is important, a major part of our job is to make our clients’ lives as easy as possible, whether it be in terms of the analysis/presentation of complex legal matters or the simplification of more administrative/procedural matters.
What does success mean to you? Being able to add value to a project, acting in the best interests of our clients – and being able to balance work and family time.
Imagine a time when you felt like giving up. What helped you bounce back? There was a time at the start of my career when I questioned my decision to become a lawyer. For me, it was very helpful to speak to colleagues, especially more senior ones, to understand why they chose to become a lawyer (and why they decided to specialise in a particular area). At the time, I also attended a programme organised by the Advocates for International Development which was sponsored by the law firm I was training with – the programme helped me to understand the wider impact that the work of lawyers can/may have, and this to a certain extent helped me to refocus on my career.
What careers advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t focus on the short-term, law is all about the long game!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about life and / or work outside of a formal education setting or away from the office? A genuine interest and passion for the work you do will lay the foundation to a long-lasting and fulfilling career.
If there was one skill you could’ve excelled at during your formative years as a lawyer what would that be? Attention to detail.