Albert Tan Participates in Career Day Panel at Haynes and Boone


Esteemed Dallas-area lawyers shared career advice with students on Saturday, Sept. 28, at a Dallas Asian American Bar Association (DAABA) Career Day event hosted at Haynes and Boone, LLP’s Dallas office.

As a presenter on the “Private Practice” panel, Haynes and Boone Partner, Board Director and Co-Chair of Fund Finance Practice Group Albert Tan advised the students to spend extra time developing their craft and adapting “an entrepreneurial mindset – as if you are running your own business.”

“At the end of the day, you can’t just expect work to flow in,” Tan told about 40 students from law schools across Texas. “You have to develop a brand, know your area of expertise, and put in the necessary amount of time to develop an intangible set of skills – such as emotional intelligence and knowing how to relate to your clients.”

Tan joined Victor Corpuz from Jackson Lewis P.C. and Bill Richmond from Platt Cheema Richmond PLLC in a discussion about career development. They stressed the importance of students educating themselves about laws outside their immediate practice area, including international laws.

“Own your area of law, but also gain a basic knowledge of other areas through your curriculum, legal clinics and other learning opportunities so you can further help your clients,” Richmond said. “Whatever you think you know about the law and the breadth of the law, you don’t really know. Clients will come ask you questions outside your area, and they will at least expect you to know how to find the answers.”

The panelists also discussed the importance of “soft skills,” such as being able to relate to clients, being kind, and treating everyone – starting with classmates – with respect.

This resonated with Ian Berry, a legal assistant and student at the University of Texas at Dallas, whose dream is to be a federal judge.

“The panelists reinforced things I believe, such as being nice but still working hard. You have to respect people and treat everyone kindly,” Ian said.

The panelists said grades matter, but you don’t have to be at the top of your class to succeed.

“I’ve seen many instances of law students who may not have necessarily done well in their first year – of course all of you will be stellar students – but there are different paths you can take, such as joining a smaller law firm and working your way up,” Tan said. “It’s important for you to measure your own success and find your own success and keep your confidence.”

Richmond added: “Good grades can make a certain path of your career easier.”

For Sadaf Ahmad, a law student at Baylor University, the speakers put her mind at ease about not knowing exactly what area of law she wants to go into.

“I’m exploring as many areas as possible. I learned that it’s OK to not know exactly what my path is yet,” she said. “There are a lot of ways to get to where you want to go, and it’s great to explore different areas. It’s also nice to know you have options and you have time to figure out what direction you want to take your career.”

The event also featured a judicial panel and speakers from in-house and public practice.

“Haynes and Boone has always been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion, which are important elements of our culture. We want to ensure that lawyers at our firm and throughout the legal community reflect the diversity of our clients, their businesses, and the communities we serve,” said Phil Kim, an associate at Haynes and Boone and director on the Board of DAABA, who helped organize the Career Day event at Haynes and Boone’s offices. “Our firm takes a personal interest in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse lawyers, and we demonstrate this by regularly mentoring and participating in activities such as Career Day.”

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