The Legal Cheek View
Back in 1986 Jones Day became one of the first US law firms to open an office in Hong Kong. An office in Taiwan followed in 1990, Shanghai over a decade later in 1999, and Beijing in 2003, making up the Ohio-based global giant’s presence in Greater China. There are now almost 100 lawyers working across these four offices.
Jones Day has considerable strengths in a range of practice areas. The firm’s nearly 20 Hong Kong lawyers service clients on matters involving capital markets, dispute resolution, leveraged finance, M&A, private equity, real estate, intellectual property and life sciences.
Jones Day offers two training contracts a year. The first year of training is spent in a structured rotational system, with trainees gaining experience in three practice seats for a period of four months at a time. The second year is a “floating” seat where trainees work in practice areas of their choice. The firm promises exposure to “a broad range of domestic as well as regional and international work” during the training contract, as well as “a friendly and dynamic office environment supported by the established resources of a large global law firm”. Lawyers in Hong Kong have access to the firm’s resources in wider Asia, Europe and the US. There’s also a New Lawyers Academy held in Washington every year for the firm’s newly qualified (NQ) associates around the world to meet up and connect. Jones Day’s ethos is, after all, ‘One Firm Worldwide’, which is inscribed on the wall and the first thing you see upon entering the firm’s centrally located office. Further, there are internal and external training sessions for trainees to gain insights into the “nuts and bolts” of legal practice. Plus, a partner supervises them for the duration of training.
The Hong Kong office doesn’t disclose trainee salaries but pays “a highly competitive salary”, as well as other benefits, including medical, dental and life insurance.
The office is spread across two floors (30-31/F) in The Landmark’s Edinburgh Tower. It’s generally two lawyers to a room, though partners and counsel have their own offices. There’s a pantry with free coffee, soda and pot noodles.
Jones Day runs a four-week summer vacation scheme in June and July each year. Just like the training contract, the firm doesn’t ‘seat’ interns in specific practice areas, instead encouraging them to accept assignments from any practice.
Community outreach projects are encouraged at the firm and lawyers have gotten involved with the Justice Centre Hong Kong, Sunshine Action, Variety, the Children’s Charity, and a host of others.