30-year-old legal adviser Seng Leung believes there are four aspects to a successful career in law: good preparation, the ability to analyse situations, a quick turnaround time and team spirit.
As legal adviser to a private company, Seng Leung has been in the profession for over four years.
“It is not really easy to be an adviser of law. Sometimes I have to stand by until midnight for clients. I’m enthusiastically doing that kind of stuff because that’s me – it’s my personality and passion,” he said.
“I’ve loved expressing my ideas, and finding solutions since I was young.”
Seng Leung’s parents wished for him to become an accountant, as they believed there was a more lucrative market in accounting than in other fields.
His passion, however, pushed him to find a scholarship to fund graduate studies. When he won a scholarship, he studied in France and earned a Master of Law.
Seng Leung immediately started his career in law as soon as he returned from France.
He said that throughout his four years in the profession, his biggest challenge is when clients ask for consulting in an aspect of the law that isn’t yet included in Cambodian statute.
“I have to deal with this dilemma by trying to search for similar past cases, or I try to have different experts in that area of law interpret it correctly. Otherwise, I will face a big problem.”
Seng Leung is not a native speaker of English, and finds that the language can often be a hurdle when communicating with foreign clients.
“We have to have a clear and understandable explanation, because a misunderstanding will lead to an incorrect interpretation of the law,” he said.
Seng Leung believes that to provide the client with the right advice, all advisers should have a good team spirit. With team spirit, advisers can check one another’s work and minimise the possibility of making a mistake.
“The best product is the product that has been thoroughly examined,” he said.
Seng Leung has some advice to impart to young Cambodians entering the job market: “Before deciding on a job, you should know what the job is and what the requirements are; then ask yourself if you are suitable for the job.”