Jiang on Norton Rose
Tell us a little bit about yourself, John! What is your background, what are some of your interests, and why did you choose U of C Law School?
I was originally from Wuhan, China, and I came to Calgary around 12 years ago. It took me a while to learn English and adjust to the new environment, but I quickly fell in love with Alberta’s natural scenery and its people. Not only that, I was exposed to many new things here. Upon discovering rock music, I picked up a cheap guitar and subjected my parents to many hours of poorly formed power chords with too much distortion. I still love playing guitar, but I also enjoy reading and building computers.
I completed my undergraduate degree in business with a concentration in Accounting at the University of Calgary. I decided to apply to law school because I felt that it was a natural transition to build on top of the business skills that I had acquired. I chose U of C because of its commitment to providing the students with the guidance to begin their legal careers. As well, I wanted to work in Calgary because of its collegial business community.
Why did you decide to pursue 1L recruit, and how did you find the process?
I planned on participating in the 1L recruit at the start of law school. I was excited for the professional work experience because it is an excellent opportunity for learning and personal growth. As well, I felt that it is a great way to start my legal career and to find a focus for the rest of law school. The process was unlike anything I have done before, so it was stressful and challenging, but also refreshing at the same time.
Why did you decide to apply to Norton Rose Fulbright?
I applied to Norton Rose because as one of the largest firms in Calgary, it fields a wide range of practice areas that take on high-level and complex work. This appealed to me as a student because I wanted to explore all the opportunities law has to offer. But more importantly, during the net-working events and the recruitment week, I immediately felt a level of comfort and ease in my interactions with the people at Norton Rose. They came across as genuine, interested and interesting, which was the decisive factor for me.
What was your experience at Norton Rose Fulbright as a Summer Student?
I had a fantastic summer at Norton Rose, both in terms of the people I met and the work I was exposed to. There was an immediate chemistry among all the summer students, so we became good friends quickly. This made every aspect of the summer even more enjoyable. There were many fun social events for students to attend and great opportunities to meet all the lawyers and staff. As well, every student was assigned two lawyers as mentors, who were always available to chat and give advice.
Norton Rose doesn’t have rotations through practice groups, so we freely explored many practice areas. The lawyers were very approachable, so finding work was often a pleasant and social process. In fact, some lawyers actively invested time and set-aside work to give us exposure to our interested practice areas. Personally, I was able to take part in the closing of a significant merger. I worked very closely with a group of lawyers and gained first-hand insight into the preparation and execution of a complex transaction. It was an exhilarating and memorable experience.
Can you provide some advice for students considering 1L recruit, and students considering other recruitment opportunities in the future?
The U of C law career office helped me tremendously with their advice and newsletters. The information they provide is refined through experience and many recruitment cycles. I think it is important to leverage this resource and be attentive to what they have to say. Outside of that, I think it is important to be genuine and be interested in the people you meet during recruitment week. Take the time to get a good sense of who they are, because they are all potential future colleagues. Building that working relationship is a two-way street and it starts during that week.