China Work

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Anonymous User
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China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:46 pm

Hi Everyone,

Basically, due to personal reasons, I need to find a job in mainland China (preferably Beijing) or at least Hong Kong. I'm a 2L at HYS and I have a biglaw summer associate position coming this year NYC, but it seems as though I absolutely must have some job to go to in China by the end of 3L. The firm I'm working at this summer does not have a China office. I intend on doing 3L Fall Interviews to try to get a position with a biglaw China office, but from what I've seen these are pretty hard to come by for a Westerner, and the junior positions in China offices seem to be filled almost exclusively with native Chinese. Does anyone have some advice for a job I could get other than say, an English teacher?

Thanks in advance.

brp1056
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Re: China Work

Postby brp1056 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:51 pm

I just got back from working in Beijing for three years. What exactly are you interested in? teaching law? working in IP? the non-government entity scene/ngo scene?

Anonymous User
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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:56 pm

brp1056 wrote:I just got back from working in Beijing for three years. What exactly are you interested in? teaching law? working in IP? the non-government entity scene/ngo scene?


OP here: Right now, all I know is corporate and a bit of tax, and that's what I'm going to be working on this summer. I can't do IP, and I doubt I'd do well at an NGO, but I could see myself enjoying teaching perhaps. I'd definitely be open to non-law related options that pay relatively well (i.e. consulting), but I have no idea what sort of non-law related things Westerners are getting hired for these days.

thescienceguy
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Re: China Work

Postby thescienceguy » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:43 am

A lot of US/ Magic Circle firms hire non-native JD students in China, especially in HK. I know three people starting in HK this fall and none of them speak Chinese fluently (one of them doesn't speak it at all and none of them are ethnically Chinese). The caveat is that in HK you'll mostly be doing Capital Markets + a little Corporate work. If you're cool with that, I really don't feel like you'd have a hard time finding a job in Hong Kong from HYS. I don't know too much about the Beijing legal market though, so I can't speak to that.

Anonymous User
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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:17 am

thescienceguy wrote:A lot of US/ Magic Circle firms hire non-native JD students in China, especially in HK. I know three people starting in HK this fall and none of them speak Chinese fluently (one of them doesn't speak it at all and none of them are ethnically Chinese). The caveat is that in HK you'll mostly be doing Capital Markets + a little Corporate work. If you're cool with that, I really don't feel like you'd have a hard time finding a job in Hong Kong from HYS. I don't know too much about the Beijing legal market though, so I can't speak to that.


OP here: Well that sounds somewhat promising, at least. Anyone know who the big firms in China/Hong Kong are? I hear Davis Polk is pretty strong in China, but I'm pretty unfamiliar with the Magic Circle firms in general. Keep the ideas coming, and thanks everyone for he advice thus far.

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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
thescienceguy wrote:A lot of US/ Magic Circle firms hire non-native JD students in China, especially in HK. I know three people starting in HK this fall and none of them speak Chinese fluently (one of them doesn't speak it at all and none of them are ethnically Chinese). The caveat is that in HK you'll mostly be doing Capital Markets + a little Corporate work. If you're cool with that, I really don't feel like you'd have a hard time finding a job in Hong Kong from HYS. I don't know too much about the Beijing legal market though, so I can't speak to that.


OP here: Well that sounds somewhat promising, at least. Anyone know who the big firms in China/Hong Kong are? I hear Davis Polk is pretty strong in China, but I'm pretty unfamiliar with the Magic Circle firms in general. Keep the ideas coming, and thanks everyone for he advice thus far.


Baker McKenzie, DLA, Sidley, Skadden are some that you should look at.

qwertyboard
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Re: China Work

Postby qwertyboard » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:04 pm

1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)

I'm aware you said that you MUST go after graduation but, hypothetically, wouldn't things go far better for you employment wise in China if you stay a couple of years in the US? Wouldn't they value someone with deeper expertise on US law? I've seen that most of the jobs available in Dubai require 5-10 years US experience.

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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:08 pm

qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)

I'm aware you said that you MUST go after graduation but, hypothetically, wouldn't things go far better for you employment wise in China if you stay a couple of years in the US? Wouldn't they value someone with deeper expertise on US law? I've seen that most of the jobs available in Dubai require 5-10 years US experience.


No OP. It is more dangerous in that you usually can't lateral back if things don't work out. However, experience won't be a problem. You actually may have more experience because you are running so many capital markets deals through, and the offices staff leanly.

qwertyboard
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Re: China Work

Postby qwertyboard » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)

I'm aware you said that you MUST go after graduation but, hypothetically, wouldn't things go far better for you employment wise in China if you stay a couple of years in the US? Wouldn't they value someone with deeper expertise on US law? I've seen that most of the jobs available in Dubai require 5-10 years US experience.


No OP. It is more dangerous in that you usually can't lateral back if things don't work out. However, experience won't be a problem. You actually may have more experience because you are running so many capital markets deals through, and the offices staff leanly.


I'm not OP but thanks! Your answer is very very relevant to my situation because I would like to come back from UAE. They pay very well 250k-300k+ 5-10y experience and cost of living is not too high (except if you want to live in the center of the city then it's like NYC).

Anonymous User
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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:35 pm

qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)

I'm aware you said that you MUST go after graduation but, hypothetically, wouldn't things go far better for you employment wise in China if you stay a couple of years in the US? Wouldn't they value someone with deeper expertise on US law? I've seen that most of the jobs available in Dubai require 5-10 years US experience.


OP here: The conventional knowledge seems to be that (at least for NYC-based firms), you should stick in NY for a few years and then transfer out. As has been previously mentioned, it can sometimes be difficult to transfer back if you go directly to a foreign office and you're generally considered to be more widely marketable if you have NY experience. I would definitely start in NY if I could, but again, I have personal issues that prohibit this. I'm not 100% on the pay in HK, but I believe they pay the same as NY. Don't quote me on that though. For that matter, does anyone know of firms arranging for a VISA that would allow you to live in say, Shenzhen, and then commute to work in Hong Kong? I know many people in other careers who live in one city and work in the other, but I'm not sure if biglaw firms are cool with that.

Anonymous User
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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:42 pm

qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)



Pay in HK for US lawyers is very good. Usually NY scale + COLA (40k to 90k depending on the firm and your experience). Don't forget the ultra-low taxes in HK.

Anonymous User
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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)



Pay in HK for US lawyers is very good. Usually NY scale + COLA (40k to 90k depending on the firm and your experience). Don't forget the ultra-low taxes in HK.


Yep (I think the big firms usually pay at least 60K for cost of living adjugement, even for 1st years) so basically after taxes, it is double what you make the US. And while HK is expensive, it's not as expensive as New York. From a making-a-lot-of-money stand point, it is a pretty good gig.

SHANbangs
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Re: China Work

Postby SHANbangs » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:00 am

Not to hijack this thread, but is there a reasonable shot of getting one of these HK/Asia big law jobs as a 3L through mass mail? I am a 2L at a lower T-14, didn't manage to get a big law SA, but I did manage to get a summer job working in the general counsel's office of a major investment bank in NYC. I'll also be studying abroad in HK for the spring of 3L.

I know 3L OCI is a shit show, but are things any better for the asian offices?

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Old Gregg
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Re: China Work

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)



Pay in HK for US lawyers is very good. Usually NY scale + COLA (40k to 90k depending on the firm and your experience). Don't forget the ultra-low taxes in HK.


Yep (I think the big firms usually pay at least 60K for cost of living adjugement, even for 1st years) so basically after taxes, it is double what you make the US. And while HK is expensive, it's not as expensive as New York. From a making-a-lot-of-money stand point, it is a pretty good gig.


Except that the hours are worse than Wachtell. No bigs.

Anonymous User
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Re: China Work

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:17 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
qwertyboard wrote:1. How is the pay over there (HK)? I have always been tempted of working in Dubai after graduation. (I know it's in the UAE couple thousand miles away from China...)



Pay in HK for US lawyers is very good. Usually NY scale + COLA (40k to 90k depending on the firm and your experience). Don't forget the ultra-low taxes in HK.


Yep (I think the big firms usually pay at least 60K for cost of living adjugement, even for 1st years) so basically after taxes, it is double what you make the US. And while HK is expensive, it's not as expensive as New York. From a making-a-lot-of-money stand point, it is a pretty good gig.


Except that the hours are worse than Wachtell. No bigs.


based on my summer experience there, the claims about super long hours in HK are exaggerated. It is really no better or worse than in NY. If you work for one of the UK law firms, you actually get more vacations (4-5 weeks of REAL vacation times you can actually use) than in NY.

bubba
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Re: China Work

Postby bubba » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:34 pm

This shouldn't be hard to do at all, especially if you speak Chinese. You should re-interview as a 3L. PM me if you want more advice on which firms to try etc.




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