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Meet Our Talent

Shuang Zhang


“Working at this Firm has taught me what I needed to improve in order to become a better team player. A team player is not a person who takes the ball and runs with it, but a person who knows who to pass the ball to next when an obstacle comes in the way.”

What were the initial difficulties of adjusting to life in Japan?

I had difficulties getting used to the transportation system in Japan, i.e. the trains and buses, since they follow a very precise on-the-minute schedule. In the cities, if you miss a train or bus, another one came by every ten minutes or so during the day. On the other hand, in the rural area, you would have to wait from half an hour to an entire hour before you can get on the next one. However, once I got used to it, getting around in trains and buses was definitely easier and more convenient than having to drive myself and having to find a place to park, especially in the cities.

How would you describe your co-workers during your initial time at work?

During my first days at this Firm, the senior member overseeing my work gave me a step-by-step explanation as to how the Firm worked, as well as what tasks were handled by each team. Whenever I had questions, my co-workers stopped their work to answer them for me, no matter how busy they were, and that helped me understand exactly what I was doing and what I needed to do next.

What would you say makes someone successful at the Firm; and more specifically, what factors have made you successful at Firm?

What makes someone successful at SHUSAKU•YAMAMOTO depends on whether or not he or she correctly understands who to ask questions. At this Firm, there are different teams in charge of different matters, and knowing exactly who handles which matter will reduce the risk of asking multiple people regarding an issue than can easily be resolved by asking one person who is well-experienced in handling such an issue. Because asking someone a question will interrupt his or her work, having a grasp of how the system functions at this Firm is important to work efficiently and effectively both for myself and for the people I work with.

What are the challenging or difficult aspects of your work?

The biggest challenge during work is to always keep focused on what I am doing. While it may seem easy to concentrate myself on one matter for an hour and finish the task before going to the next, sometimes it is necessary to handle multiple tasks at the same time in order to finish them in time, especially if a difficult issue turns up and I need to consult with the attorney responsible for the case. Thus, I need to be flexible but must not lose focus on what I am doing.

What have been your three fondest experiences in Japan?

The experiences I enjoyed the most in Japan are: (1) going to the "onsen", (2) eating sushi, and (3) visiting historical landmarks.

(1) Japan is famous for all the "onsens", or hot springs, especially the ones which have a great view of the mountains or forests surrounding it. It is definitely a completely different experience from just going to a large bathtub.
(2) Sushi was available in the States, but they were never as fresh as the ones here, taken right from the ocean and served fresh on the plate. I especially recommend going to the fish market to enjoy the best seafood cuisine.
(3) Japanese history is very different from many other countries in that it was not influenced by foreign countries for hundreds of years and developed its own customs and cultures that cannot be seen in other countries. As such, visiting landmarks and learning the history behind them allowed me to see the other face of Japan.

When I'm not at work, ...

I like going to the Karaoke with my friends and eat at restaurants around Shinsaibashi area, where I can enjoy delicious and inexpensive cuisine from Japan as well as from other countries. I also like to ride the trains to visit places where I haven't been to before, and to participate in regional events (especially the seasonal festivals, which Japan has so many to offer for each season of the year).

What three verbs best define your experience in Japan thus far?

(1) eating -- I highly recommend the dishes that are prepared using the seasonal food;
(2) viewing -- There are too many places to see and too little time; and
(3) immersing -- Understanding the wonders of Japan cannot be done by just reading books or watching TV shows, and one must immerse him- or herself in the culture in order to fully appreciate it.

What is the most important thing that working at the Firm has taught you about yourself?

Working at this Firm has taught me what I needed to improve in order to become a better team player. A team player is not a person who takes the ball and runs with it, but a person who knows who to pass the ball to next when an obstacle comes in the way. Similarly, no case is handled by a single person at SHUSAKU•YAMAMOTO; each matter is handled by multiple persons who make sure that the final product that is sent to the Client is in the best quality possible.

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