Randy Haj J.D. ’12 is an attorney for the China-based DaCheng Law Offices doing international litigation
June 02, 2014
Randy Haj J.D. ’12 is an attorney for the China-based DaCheng Law Offices doing international litigation.
Please tell us about your career path and how you ended up in your current position.
I started my career with my current firm- the China-based Dacheng Law Offices. My path getting there was anything but straight. After my first year in law school I took advantage of a summer-study abroad program in Shanghai, China. This exposed me to the unique legal issues that arise when American firms do business in China and vice-versa. The convergence of two very different legal systems fascinated me and I made international law a priority from that time forward. During my third year at Lewis & Clark I had the opportunity to gain more exposure to international law by externing at DLA Piper in Melbourne, Australia. This was arranged through contacts that I had made during my summer in Shanghai and provided a completely different experience in international law, but one that was also very unique and challenging. After returning to the U.S. and finishing law school I moved to Los Angeles and pursued a career in international law. Dean Klonoff was kind enough to put me in touch with Dacheng, the US offices of which is headed by a Lewis and Clark alumnus, and I have been there ever since.
What types of projects or varieties of projects have you been working on?
I’ve been focusing on international commercial litigation and have also worked on matters involving international fraud/RICO claims. International commercial litigation is fairly similar to solely domestic litigation, although the added layers of complexity that come from multi-jurisdictional discovery, conflict of laws, and the like mean that every day presents new experiences. The international fraud claims that I’ve had the opportunity to work on have been incredibly complex and interesting, while also being a good primer on the off-shore banking systems that can be very difficult to unravel.
What is the most exciting project you have been involved with?
I would have to say that the international civil fraud investigation has been my most interesting project so far. It has everything you could think of: a corrupt corporate insider, political drama, bribery, complex off-shore transactions and a web of international shell companies. Peeling back the layers and exposing what really occurred has been a great learning experience.
How did your Lewis & Clark Law School education prepare you for your current position?
Lewis & Clark prepared me to approach any legal challenge with a consistent, methodical approach that has allowed me to be an effective advocate. The faculty at the law school is top notch and prepared me for practice in a competitive and challenging environment.
What do you miss the most about Portland and/or Lewis & Clark Law School?
Too many things to list here. But a top three would be the greenery, the food carts and the Northwest air.
Did you undertake a foreign externship during your time at Lewis & Clark? Was it a good experience? Do you believe that the knowledge or skills you acquired would transfer well to a U.S.-based legal practice? Did you make any contacts that you believe will be useful in your career?
I was lucky enough to do an externship in Melbourne, Australia for the first semester of my final year in school. In case any students reading this are considering an international externship, I would strongly encourage you to go for it. Not only is it a great chance to see a different country, the contacts that you develop are a great asset when you begin your career. This is in addition to the chance to develop the skills needed by practicing lawyers, which many employers expect students to have when they graduate law school. The skills that I learned at DLA have been invaluable and allowed me to hit the ground running when I landed at Dacheng. I really can’t overstate how important it was to have that hands-on experience; not only to me, but to my firm as well.
Did you receive any guidance or assistance from Lewis & Clark faculty, staff or alumni that you believe was helpful in your job search?
The entire faculty at Lewis & Clark was incredibly supportive, both during and after law school. I would single out two people who went out of their way to help me succeed. The first is Professor George Foster, who not only served as my externship advisor (which involved flying all the way to Melbourne for a two day site visit) but also gave me invaluable guidance and contacts so that I could get my career started on the right track. The other is Dean Klonoff who went above and beyond to help me find my current position and has done so much for Lewis & Clark over the past years.