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Associate Rotators

Claudia Lai
Associate, New York
General Practice
New York to Tokyo

Claudia has an expansive view of S&C, having worked in both the New York and Tokyo offices. Her work in New York included leveraged finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, bank regulatory and corporate transactions, and, in Tokyo, she works primarily on securities offerings by Japanese companies, helping clients raise capital through global capital markets. The move to Tokyo was always part of the plan—she had lived in Tokyo before law school and, as a summer associate at the Firm, had split her time between the New York and Tokyo offices. “I felt completely comfortable bringing up my interest in Tokyo in recruiting interviews, and everyone was always receptive. When I was offered a full-time associate position, I was given the choice of starting in New York or Tokyo. Although I chose to start in New York, I continued to express my interest in Tokyo to my associate development partners throughout my first year, and I was able to transfer to the Tokyo office. I never felt any pressure to start in either Tokyo or New York, or to transfer to Tokyo or stay in New York—everyone made clear that it was my choice.”

On language: The fact that I wasn’t perfectly fluent in Japanese was not seen as an obstacle to my coming here—S&C assists you with language training. And, of course, using it in daily life makes you improve quickly.

On the city: My husband and I really love living in Tokyo. It is so livable and the food here is excellent. Also, I’m able to spend more time with my parents who live in Hong Kong, and we’ve had a chance to travel in Asia. We just got back from Vietnam.

On missing New York: This will sound silly, but I really miss the cafeteria at the New York office.

Jordan H. Oreck
Associate, New York
Mergers and Acquisitions
New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong

Jordan is a globetrotting general practice associate. Since moving from Canada to attend law school in the United States and starting in S&C’s New York office in fall 2011, he’s done rotations ranging from six weeks to four months in Melbourne, Sydney and Tokyo, and is currently resident in our Hong Kong office. His decision to do shorter-term stints in non-U.S. offices was motivated by a desire to maintain the personal and professional relationships he had built in New York, but he’s realized that feeling connected with 125 Broad Street isn’t hard to sustain. Lawyers from different offices sometimes work on deals together, and “knowing that my friends and colleagues are just a four-digit extension away really does make a big difference,” he says.

Each geographic move allowed Jordan to explore different practice areas for different types of clients. While Jordan is primarily an M&A associate, and that remains his area of specialty, it was S&C’s emphasis on generalist training that inspired him to work outside of New York. “If I was going to learn about securities deals,” he says, “I thought it would be a great experience to do so in an office that focuses on them, which is true of each of the offices I’ve been to so far.” He encourages those interested in taking on non-U.S. work to talk to partners and associate development staff and to keep an eye out for opportunities to arise. “Every time I saw an e-mail go out about an international posting, whether it was for an office rotation or specific deal with a large international component, I’d e-mail back right away. I guess that worked!”

On differences in Firm culture: While they all have their unique characteristics, there’s actually a really similar culture in all the S&C offices I’ve been to. It makes taking on international assignments across the world a lot easier, because you feel right at home almost instantly upon arrival.

On what he misses most about Australia: I loved the social life! At the office, we would sometimes open a bottle of wine and have dinner together in the conference room when we were done with work. And outside of work, my best friend was living in Sydney during my stint, so I got to spend a lot of time with him and his other friends there on weekends.

On Hong Kong: On top of the fact that Hong Kong is an incredibly exciting place to live, we have a very diverse practice there. I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of several practice areas in line with S&C’s emphasis on generalist training while continuing to work on the biggest and best deals around.

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