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"Great Sailing for Wonderful Careers” Season One on Legal Career Choices
Last Modified:  2013-04-01 14:20:01
The lecture series about “Great Sailing for Wonderful Careers” season one—lecture by Dr. Zhang Xingxiang, the Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance in Yingda International Leasing Co., Ltd. officially started in warm applauses at 14:00 on 27 March, in Room 305 Mingfa Building participated by more than one hundred students from 2011 and 2012 intake. The lecture was presided over by Co-Dean Prof. Liu Fei and Dr. Zhang Xingxiang conducted in-depth exchanges and discussions about the theme “legal career choices” with the students.

From the beginning of the lecture, everyone’s interests have been aroused by Dr. Zhang’s humorous and vivid introduction of his colorful life experiences, which indirectly illustrated the diversity of career choices and the unpredictability of results. Dr. Zhang has been engaged in legal professions for a long period. With his LLM from Yale Law School and his master degree and Ph.D. from China University of Political Science and Law, Dr. Zhang is currently the Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance in Yingda International Leasing Co., Ltd. However, it is the Department of History of Anhui Normal University that Dr. Zhang obtained his bachelor degree from. Therefore, choosing to pursue an Administrative Law Master in China University of Political Science and Law is one of the turning points of his life. Two decades since then, he has been engaging with law. After graduating from China University of Political Science and Law with his master degree, Dr. Zhang’s career path has not been easy. In order to get into his favorite central state organs, he had knocked all the doors of the ministries and commissions of the State Council. Although he had suffered repeated defeats, his courage and fortitude had eventually won him the olive branch from the Legislative Affairs Office which is his first job. In addition to his extraordinary determination, the most impressive thing is that Dr. Zhang has clear goals in different stages of his life and fights for them. Instead of accustoming to the civil servants’ life routine as many others, he decided to resign and study abroad after seven years of working to increase his knowledge. However, the road to happiness is always full of hardships. Before Dr. Zhang was admitted, with unremitting efforts and high TOEFL score, by one of the world’s top law schools Yale Law School, he was once rejected by Columbia Law School. Moreover, his eligibility of taking New York bar exam and the final acquisition of New York lawyer’s license is the result of a successful appeal against the decision of New York State Bar Examination Audit Committee which found his Chinese law degree unrecognizable and he was not eligible to New York bar exam. Because of his sound legal knowledge and language advantage, during his study in U.S., Dr. Zhang was employed as the visiting legal consultant and the law and policy consultant by GE (China) Co., Ltd. Six years later, opportunity came again. Because of his familiarity of Chinese and US laws and public relations, he started working in the Yingda International Leasing Co., Ltd, a joint venture established by State Grid Corporation and GE.

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Dr. Zhang Xingxiang Student

Subsequently, Dr. Zhang Xingxiang conducted in-depth analysis about legal careers. He focused on the responsibilities of company’s legal advisers, comparing it with lawyers, depicting their advantages and disadvantages respectively and clearly pointing out that both company’s legal advisers and lawyers should have some basic knowledge of modern finance, taxation and trade fields, ect. In addition, Dr. Zhang analyzed several important issues in the development of legal profession, such as how to choose from different legal careers, how to plan a career in different stages and the essence of a good legal profession. For students who are about to enter the workplace, Dr. Zhang suggested that first it was necessary to give full play of personal initiative and fully mobilize recourses; second choose the job that suited your own long-term development taking into consideration of personal interests and occupational characteristics. He also warned the students that if you want to learn poems, you need to learn many things other than poem first. Full understanding of the law was the basis of good practice of legal profession but not the whole of it. Practitioners needed to combine legal knowledge with understanding of social problems, both of which jointly promoted the solution of practical problems.

In the question and answer session, students were very active and raised questions about study and employment. And the answers from Dr. Zhang were also directly to the point although in plain language. To the questions about how to find internships and how to use alumni resources raised by some students, Dr. Zhang recommended students to find internships through normal channels, impressing the employers by real capabilities. He said that chances are for those who are prepared. Any outstanding candidates would eventually get the favor of employers. Moreover, some students thought their study burden was too overwhelming so that they lacked enough internship experiences. Dr. Zhang answered that a solid foundation of basic knowledge and skills was essential and this was in fact a way of improving ourselves. Dr. Zhang also encouraged students to seize opportunities to demonstrate their abilities in order to get better opportunities for development. After the lecture, students were still excited either giving speech or lively discussing in small groups. From their words, it is obvious that they have begun to have an initial understanding of the legal profession and have enhanced their capability of career planning.

At the end of the lecture, Prof. Liu Fei expressed his sincere gratitude to Dr. Zhang Xingxing for his coming. He also expounded his CESL dream and hoped the CESL students could help him to realize it after a few years by becoming outstanding people like Dr. Zhang. Dr. Zhang also expressed his wishes and expectations to the students. Prof. Liu said that the lecture series will continue to be organized in the future. CESL would try its best by taking varieties of measures to provide assistance and convince for the employment of the students.