2016 Was the Year of Changes

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

If I were to pick one phrase to describe the past year, it would be “The Year of Changes.”

On the professional front, I left Shearman & Sterling in May after seven and a half years at the firm in order to join Amazon in Japan. The jump from being an experienced lawyer at a mega law firm to a first-time in-house lawyer at an IT company has brought major changes to my life, the most obvious manifestation of which is an improved work-life balance. On the personal front, I lost a family member when my grandmother died at the age of 92 in October, but I will soon have two family members living much closer to me as my mother and sister decided to move back to Japan after all the years living in the U.S.

As I look back on the eventful past year, I’m reminded of the old saying, “All good things must come to an end.”

 

Reflections on My Time at Shearman & Sterling

After seven and a half years at the firm, this is my last week at Shearman & Sterling. It’s been an amazing run.

When I look back on my time at the firm, I realize how tremendously blessed I’ve been.

In the headline making deals that my friends and family recognized, I’ve been blessed with a sense of accomplishment.

In the nearly sixty matters I’ve worked on spanning Capital Markets, M&A, Asset Management and even Litigation, I’ve been blessed with the experience I’ve gained.

In the access to the firm’s global knowledge and vast resources, I’ve been blessed with the support system that made my job incalculably easier.

In the two luxury watches I never dreamed I’d be able to afford, I’ve been blessed financially.

But above all, I’ve been blessed with the people I’ve worked with.

 

A New Beginning

This Friday will be my last day at Shearman & Sterling. After seven and a half years, the time is right for me to move on.

When I reflect on my time at Shearman & Sterling, I realize how tremendously fortunate I have been.

I once heard that the average length of a career at a major law firm like Shearman is two and a half years. That may be a little too short, but if the actual length of service is anywhere near that, I’ve managed to beat the average by a couple years.

That’s all you need to know how happy I’ve been with the firm.

 

2015, a Busy Year with Moments of Reflection and Fun

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

As I look back on the past year, which flew by even faster than usual, the biggest news for me was the retirement of The Honorable Peter E. Doyne, the Assignment Judge of the Bergen Vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Judge Doyne was my first boss and mentor. I became his law clerk right out of law school, when I had little knowledge about the law and knew even less about working to earn a living. I learned how a model lawyer ought to look and behave in the year I was with him simply by observing. I owe much of who I am today to the judge.

 

To Entitled Eagles: You’re Not Special

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Letter to an Eagle

Dear Entitled Eagles,

Despite attending a prestigious university called Boston College, there are certain things that you are not entitled to.

First, you’re not entitled to any particular grade. Certainly not an A or a B, or even a C+.

Grades measure your knowledge and abilities, however imperfectly. If you exhibit superior capabilities, you get high marks. If you exhibit deficiencies, you get low marks.

 

I Hate Wednesdays

I recently had a revelation. The day of the week that I hate the most is not the widely-detested Monday, but rather is, far and away, Wednesday.

The best day of the week is, of course, Saturdays because they’re right in middle of the weekend, as defined the American way as lasting from Friday through Sunday. On Saturdays, I get to sleep in, look forward to catching a movie at a theater and have a long, nice, relaxing dinner together with the family. Nothing, not even work, can ruin a day that starts out in perfect fashion without an alarm going off. And the best part about Saturdays is the way they end: with another long night of sleep that is not rudely interrupted.

Because I value sleep over pretty much anything, Friday comes after Saturday on my list of favorite days of the week. Yes, there’s that annoying thing called work on Fridays, but for all practical purposes, Fridays are like half-days because people are already in weekend mode by the early afternoon anyways. By 3:00 P.M. on a Friday, work is mostly a lost cause, so I figure I might as well just give up completely and look forward to the hours and hours, hopefully numbering in double digits, of sleep that is coming my way.

 

2014 Was An Uneventfully Fulfilling Year

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

It is hard to believe, but this past September marked three years since I transferred to Tokyo. I am entering my seventh year with my current employer, meaning that I have now worked in the Tokyo office longer than I did in New York.

How time flies.

Life is interesting in that you remember important milestones in your life, no matter how long ago. I first moved to the United States when I was eight years old, and I still vividly recall the mixed emotions I felt eight years later when I reached a point when more than half of my life was spent in the United States. Now that I have reached a similar milestone, this time professionally, I feel nostalgic going through similar mixed feelings I felt so many years ago.

Apart from going through a major milestone, my 2014 has been uneventfully fulfilling, both in and outside of work.

 
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