law clerk

Charles Shen

law clerk

I was born in Shanghai, one of the largest cities in China and the eighth largest in the world. Shanghai is a fascinating city with a population of 23 million people. It is known to all that Shanghai is a massive metropolis and widely accepted as China's most important economic hub and financial center. But unlike other big cities, Shanghai has its unique culture and atmosphere. Everyone could have their fun in this big city. The modern skyline of Lujiazui, the financial district of Shanghai at the banks of the Huangpu River, is a must-see for visitors. Visitors can enjoy the view of these bright and modern buildings from the opposite Puxi side on the Bund, where the various style of western architecture exhibits Shanghai's history. If the east side of the Huangpu River represents the economic boost of China, then the west side of the Huangpu river reflects the traditional lifestyle and culture of Chinese people. On the west side of the river, People's Square is located at the center of the city and a high jumping-off point to visit some of Shanghai's many attractions. These include the Yu Gardens, a traditional Chinese garden surrounded by stunning ancient architecture; The Shanghai Museum, a great place to get a comprehensive look into China's fascinating past; and West Nanjing Road, China's busiest commercial street. On the east side (new Shanghai), visitors can ascend one of the tallest buildings in the world, The Shanghai World Financial Center, visit the Shanghai aquarium with its impressive Shark Tunnel, or relax in Century Park, the city’s newest and largest garden. 

I am a passionate traveler, just like my parents. We have family trips every year in summer and winter to enjoy different views and meeting different people. To me, traveling is the best way to relax and know about other cultures. I have been to many countries, and my favorite country is Japan. I always travel to Japan with my friends during summer vacations when I was a student. I also enjoy spending some quality time traveling with my parents. Thanks to them, I can stay curious to know everything about another culture.

To become a lawyer has been my dream since my senior high school. This is not an empty story, but because my father obtained a law degree and turned into a successful lawyer when he was over 30 years old. Witnessing the changes in his occupation and even his way to solve problems, I discovered my increasing interest in this realm, in going to more places, in knowing more people, and in helping people with their troubles. It was also during the period that I understood how important trust and respect from others is to human beings, especially to me, a person who enjoys the sense of achievement when reaching targets one by one.

At 19, after deciding my career goal, I started to lay a solid foundation of being a lawyer, and I deem the accumulation of experience indispensable in putting theories into practice. Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Shanghai Office, was the first law firm in which I took my internship. Legal translation exercised me to some extent, but analyzing the similarities and differences between Chinese-foreign joint ventures and Chinese-foreign cooperative ventures reminded me of my knowledge deficiency. Therefore, I utilized years of legal study to improve my ability to get familiar with law firm businesses. When I entered Wintell & Co., Shanghai to be an intern and took part in an urgent case of bank loan recovery, I was able to handle most tasks the supervisor assigned to me, working outside and dealing with the commercial disputes therein with high efficiency. It was inspiring and amazing for me to work in various kinds of law firm. I started to realize that working as a lawyer was interesting and challenging.

Soon, at 22, about half a year working in Shanghai Comon Law Firm expanded my interest in different fields of laws. One acquisition case I engaged endowed me with a complete cognition of the process and materials needed in the acquisition, and drafting Shareholders’ Agreements, Share Transfer Agreements and Share Mortgage Agreements deepened my capacity to understand the legal documents. The most impressive case demanded legal research of regulations and policies regarding Chinese companies’ acquisition of foreign companies. It was this case that further inspired me to study abroad.

Communicating with the well-known lawyers and even senior partners in law firms, I determined to harvest more advanced legal knowledge through graduate studies so that I can achieve my career goal of becoming a lawyer. At 23, I left Shanghai and went to UT Austin to get my US law degree. UT Austin has an excellent law school. I learned a lot from top-tier professors and classmates. Studying in law school is stressful, but I also made some good friends here. The education of a top American law school significantly changed my mind and lifestyle.

Living in Texas has a different feeling compared with living in Shanghai. Shanghai is always crowded and busy. Living in Shanghai, everything goes fast. But in Texas, everything goes smoothly. You could enjoy your peaceful time at weekends instead of being interrupted by numerous phone calls or noisy neighbors. It’s also quite a pleasure to have some traditional Mexican food here. I could find authentic and tasty Mexican food only in Texas. I love trying different kinds of food, which is exciting for me. Texas BBQ is also awesome.

The experience of becoming a legal assistant in an American law firm is unique to me. I want to take full advantage of this opportunity and learn how American law firms and attorneys work to solve legal issues. To me, personal injury is a new legal field that I have never worked before. Unlike those cases I worked on in China, personal injury cases require a different strategy and procedure to deal with. I am delighted that I can join a professional team and gain some working experience in this field. I hope I could help our clients solve their legal problems.