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My story so far
Hong Kong associate Rebecca Ling

October 2023: Rebecca Ling is a senior associate in the White & Case Investment Funds team in Hong Kong. She joined the Firm as a trainee in London and looks back on her career journey to date, and where she wants to go next.

I didn't originally plan to be a lawyer
I studied a non-vocational degree at university (English and Latin), but I thought that being a lawyer would be interesting. So, I did the post-graduate GDL and LPC qualifications before getting a training contract at White & Case. I qualified into Corporate/M&A in London before moving over to Hong Kong at two years PQE. I am currently a senior associate in the Investment Funds team in Hong Kong.

How I approached my work as a junior was appreciated
I had a positive attitude to work and socializing with the team, which helped to bring value to my role, even as a junior. I didn't set the same work-life boundaries for myself as I do now, but that worked for me at the time and suited how I wanted to approach my career.

I benefited from opportunities to work overseas
I did my training secondment in Hong Kong and ended up permanently joining the Funds team here. I've now been in Hong Kong more than seven years, so I'm a big advocate for experiencing White & Case offices in other locations. I can feel the White & Case identity in both offices—in terms of people and approach to work.

The life of a lawyer and career path can be up and down
I've managed to reach a point where I value my job and can do it alongside my other interests. I achieved that by finding a way to operate that was truly sustainable for me. I'd recommend each person tries to find their way of working to achieve their own version of balance in life.

I'm definitely a people person
I really enjoy personal interactions with clients and colleagues and feeling like I'm bringing value to somebody's day, both in terms of work product but also on a social level. For me, "Making your mark" is found in the impact you have on others. Law can be an intense industry to work in, and so I consciously try and alleviate stress for others. Of course, if there is an urgent deadline or a demanding client, then that needs to be dealt with.

Enjoy the professional high points, but appreciate the day-to-day too
A recent professional highlight for me has been getting a deal done that the client (and everyone else!) thought was impossible. But I've learned that being a lawyer is not how it seems in the movies. I love the size of the Hong Kong office and the team environment it fosters. I think it's the people that make the job, and working on a slightly smaller scale helps to establish those connections and build a positive workplace culture.

Find a firm that's the right fit for you
Everyone has different priorities and focuses for their career, so making sure that the firm has the right ethos and atmosphere is a key driver when choosing which firm to join. You will spend every day with your colleagues, after all.