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School of Law

Alumni profile - May Poon

I completed my training contract in Hong Kong and I am now Hong Kong qualified and working in Hong Kong. I never thought I would end up as a solicitor and working in Hong Kong too but I am really happy that it turned out this way!

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What does working as an Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills look like on a day-to-day basis? What made you choose your current role?

I was picking my previous roles based on the market reputation of a firm. In choosing my current role my priority was the partner I would work for and the team culture and fit.

Can you tell me about a key turning point in your career?

After I was called to the Bar of England and Wales I decided to work in Hong Kong for a year in compliance. But within months of working in Hong Kong, I decided that I wanted to stay in Hong Kong and practice law in Hong Kong instead of returning to the UK. To do this I had to take conversion exams and do an additional year of law school in Hong Kong. I completed my training contract in Hong Kong and I am now Hong Kong qualified and working in Hong Kong. I never thought I would end up as a solicitor and working in Hong Kong too but I am really happy that it turned out this way!

What advice would you give a current student or recent graduate considering their career options?

Don't be disheartened if your plans don't play out the way you envisaged. If you aren't able to take the straight road to a legal profession, it's OK; treat it as a chance to explore your options and an opportunity to assess if it's really for you – and if it is, it'll happen. There is no rush to enter the legal profession.

What was the most memorable thing about your time at Queen Mary?

The peers I met who remain my closest friends today even though we’re not working in the same country.