Domain Legal principal urges lawyers to 'stay curious'

Vivian Zhang is always looking for opportunities to grow and learn

Domain Legal principal urges lawyers to 'stay curious'
Vivian Zhang

Making a positive impact on people’s lives has long been a goal for Vivian Zhang. No matter what career she fell into, her aim is to make society better.

In her role as Domain Legal principal, the 2023 Elite Woman constantly looks to better the circumstances of her clients and uphold justice. In this interview, Zhang talks her proudest accomplishment over the past year as a lawyer, the importance of a good support system, and her thoughts on the value of collaboration.

What made you choose a career in law, and what's your favourite part of the job?

I'm drawn to a career in law because of the profound opportunity it offers to make a meaningful impact on people's lives. Utilising my professional knowledge and experience to contribute positively to individuals and society motivates me deeply.

The aspect I cherish most about my job is the opportunity to provide genuine, impactful support to my clients. I take pride in helping them navigate their challenges with compassion and expertise, ultimately aiming to improve their circumstances and uphold justice. This sense of purpose and the ability to effect positive change is what drives me to continue pursuing a career in law.

What is going on at the organization? Are there any new programs and initiatives that you’re particularly interested in?

Our office has recently undergone significant renovations, including a comprehensive upgrade of our IT systems. These changes are aimed at enhancing our work efficiency and improving client communication, ensuring we can serve our clients more effectively and responsively.

What tech-related initiatives adopted by the organization, if any, are you most excited about?

The introduction of the new IT management system excites me the most. As we navigate through the initial phase of familiarising ourselves with this advanced system, every step is a novel experience for us.

What has been your proudest accomplishment in the last year or so? Or what’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice can you give fellow lawyers about it?

In the last year, I would say my proudest accomplishment has been securing a favourable outcome in a major appeal. This success not only reaffirmed my dedication and skills as a lawyer but also made a significant, positive difference in the lives of vulnerable clients.

My advice to fellow lawyers would be to embrace change and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Stay curious, continuously seek learning opportunities, and be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Surround yourself with a supportive network of colleagues and mentors who can offer guidance and perspective.

What should the profession focus more on?

The profession should prioritise the well-being, mental and physical health of its members. The demands of long hours, high stress, and the inherently adversarial nature of the work can significantly impact the mental and physical health of lawyers.

What are the challenges you expect in your practice, and in the business of law in general, going forward? What challenges are particularly pressing in the country’s legal industry?

Recruiting and retaining top talent remains a persistent challenge for law firms, particularly in specialised practice areas.

What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?

In the coming year, I am most looking forward to the opportunities for growth, learning, and making a positive impact in both my personal and professional life. I’m particularly eager to build new relationships and strengthening existing ones with clients, colleagues, and industry peers. Collaborating with others not only enriches my professional experiences but also provides opportunities for knowledge sharing, networking, and mutual support.

If you weren’t in law, what do you think you’d be doing as a career?

If I weren't in law, I would have pursued a profession in medicine or engaged in the public service sector. Both fields align with my passion for making a positive impact on society and helping others.

Ultimately, regardless of the specific career path, I would seek opportunities to leverage my skills, values, and interests to contribute to the betterment of society and make a meaningful difference in people's lives.

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