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Legal Consultant Profiles: "The Maverick Lawyer" Jin Yong Song.

1. Hi Jin, tell us a little about yourself and your main interests!

My name is Jin, I’m 32 years old and I am Korean by birth and am now an Australian citizen who has been calling the UK (and more specifically London) a home for the past four years. My main interests when I lived in Australia were surfing and beach-related activities but now that I live very much inland, I play lots of tennis and mixed netball. It’s a cliché and a very typical thing for any Australian to say but I love to travel and that’s one of the reasons why I now call London my home as it makes travelling out to Europe much easier although I’m not sure I can say that in the current pandemic scenario.

2. How did the journey from being a lawyer to a legal consultant come about? What does work and life look like as a legal consultant? What are the key benefits?

My career path to becoming a lawyer/in-house legal counsel is not your run-of-the-mill career path of a typical lawyer in that whilst I went to a law school and was admitted to the court in New South Wales, Australia, I did not start off my career practising at a traditional law firm. Instead, I went up through the graduate program ranks in a large logistics company in Australia where I got to work with in-house lawyers and at the same time learn first-hand what operations look like and how a business is run at a corporate level. I was very fortunate in my previous roles where I was nurtured and was given access to a number of mentors who would take me under their wings and provide me with lots of valuable advice and guidance along the way. I really find the types and variety of work that I get as a legal consultant quite fascinating and whilst certain areas of the work I get is similar to what I’ve been used to, as a legal consultant I find that you get exposed to so many other areas of the law and interesting topics.

3. As an external counsel providing legal support to corporate customers, what are the ways you can add value to their business?

I think being able to research and give an outsider’s view whilst engaging with your corporate customers to ensure that you fully understand their business model and their objective is important as you do not want to provide advice but find out later on that you did not understand their business or their short-long term goal. It’s also important to understand the risk appetite of the client’s business and provide advice that gives solutions and alternatives rather than something that simply becomes a blocker to the client’s initiative.

4. How do you think the legal industry has changed during the pandemic?

Obviously remote work is one thing that has changed for most of us who are office-based professionals but with that comes the flexibility to provide advice regardless of location and I think that means that you can do your legal work in the evening or on weekends whenever you have free time and fit your work around your life. I actually don’t think that the legal industry has been impacted significantly since it is (thankfully) a job that we can do from the convenience of our home.

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