Jerry Wang - Vice-President

How has being on the committee of the Law Society benefited you? What was the most enjoyable part of the experience?

Being on the committee has benefited me in a multitude of ways, most of all having the opportunity to work with a group of like-minded and amazing people. Prior to entering the workforce, it is rare for us students to be able to work with a team of equals striving towards a common goal over a relatively long period of time. I think the lessons I learned about myself within that context have been vital in allowing me to contribute more effectively in the work environments I've found myself in since. It also really helps to get you into said work environments - certainly doesn't hurt the CV and allows you to demonstrate your value to employers in interviews.

The most enjoyable aspect of the experience for me was serving the student community. I look back with some regret for not being as effective as I would like at times, but the moments of success, where I felt like an event had gone well and the students that attended had gained something out of it, are some of the sweetest memories I have of my time at SOAS.

What advice would you give to current Law students?

I would advise current law students, especially those looking to get into commercial law, not to get sucked into the idea that you have to be a certain kind of lawyer, or that you even have to be one. Fully explore all available opportunities and interests you have, inside and outside of the legal profession, before committing to pursue a certain path. There is certainly pressure to commit early (e.g. create a CV that shows an absolute passion for commercial law), especially for highly competitive TCs at Magic Circle firms, but don't fixate on the money or prestige (as wonderful as those are!). Really think about what kind of work would make you happy and fulfilled, and find out what you might be getting yourself into. Anecdotally, the number of lawyers I've met who truly enjoy their work can be counted on one hand. Those attrition rates are real. Attend career fairs, ask dumb questions, find good mentors and be honest with yourself. At the same time, don't worry about it too much. Life tends to figure itself out with time. Prioritise your health and enjoy uni life (it only happens once!)

What is life after SOAS like for you?

I'm currently taking a gap year before starting my LPC in September and subsequent TC with Trowers & Hamlins in Manchester. It's important to me to maximise time with my family before I enter the workforce. but I've also been gaining further work experience. Just completed a 3 month internship in Beijing and may soon have another in Hong Kong. In the meantime, I'm attempting to learn more about machine learning and its potential impact on the legal industry.