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“You're part of a team and making a real contribution”

October 2021: Garcia Yuan is a legal consultant in our Shanghai office. Educated in the People's Republic of China and previously a paralegal in Hong Kong, she explains why White & Case is a great place to start your career or grow as an international lawyer.

"I was born and raised in Shanghai and studied at the East China University of Political Science and Law, then I went to the University of Hong Kong for my Master of Common Law postgraduate degree," Garcia explains. 

Before moving to Hong Kong, she worked as an intern in White & Case's Shanghai office, and says that working in a close-knit team was a real advantage: "The Shanghai office consists of two partners and approximately ten lawyers. This means that interns get significant exposure to deals and work directly with the entire team. You really feel like you're part of a team and making a real contribution."

Garcia adds that, "Interning is a great investment of your time because the lawyers give you a lot of insight and knowledge, teaching you important skills. They're patient and communicate well. When I moved to Hong Kong, I stayed in touch with the team at White & Case."

Returning to Shanghai and rejoining White & Case

She reflects on what her experience as a Capital Markets paralegal in Hong Kong taught her: "I realized that I would prefer to practice in the field of Mergers & Acquisitions. I feel it is more creative and better matches my personality." This insight led her back to White & Case. "It's one of the most prestigious firms in this area of law, so there was no doubt that White & Case would be the best place to start my legal career."

The positive experience of her internship also helped her confirm why the Firm was right for her: "I was particularly impressed by the high-quality work products and professional capacity of the White & Case lawyers. I dream of being a lawyer like them!"

Learning on the job, mentorship and support

Garcia tells us about her daily work as a legal consultant: "I work directly with associates and partners; assisting with translating, drafting, research and due diligence." What's the first task of the day? "The first thing is to look in my inbox and list out the matters that need to be completed in the order of priority."
 
She says that the learning curve has been steep, but values the support that has been available. "At the start, it was stressful and the assignments were really challenging. However, the associates are willing to discuss with me and give me feedback. This all helped me grow as a junior team member and develop my legal skills. In particular, Senior Legal Consultant Amy Yang told me that diligence and devotion to work are crucial in the first stage of a legal career. She has been a mentor to me."

An enjoyable and professional working environment

How would you describe the culture of the Shanghai office? "The people here are interested in not only creating a professional legal team, but also in making sure everyone enjoys their job and work environment. Everyone is friendly and willing to offer help. The support team organizes various activities to promote team cohesion, such as health and wellness courses and fun afternoon teas."