industry establiSHEd: Jaclyn Tang, Taylor’s Solicitors

Next up in the industry establiSHEd series is Jaclyn Tang. Based in Manchester, Jaclyn is the Property Finance Team Leader & Senior Associate for commercial law firm, Taylors Solicitors. With a wealth of experience in complex property transactions, Jaclyn studied Law and Japanese at Victoria University as well as a Master of Teaching and has since worked at a number of companies both in Australia and in the UK. We caught up with her to discuss how the legal profession has changed, who her mentors are and why she thinks Serena Williams would make the perfect dinner guest.

What is the most rewarding part of being a solicitor?

“I enjoy getting involved with the client and being able to explain the way the legal system works so they are able to understand it and realise it’s a lot more accessible than they first thought. I think a lot of people get daunted, so it’s great being able to bridge that gap and break it down into layman’s terms.”

How has the industry changed since you started your career?

“I think there’s a lot more diversity. Previously, it was very male dominated. There are definitely a lot more women and senior women who are stakeholders. It’s made a big difference for people like myself who have seen our predecessors forge a pathway. Technology has also enhanced the way we do things and made it quicker and more efficient, particularly for clients overseas.”

What drives you?

“Being able to find a solution for people and getting results. Exceeding expectations from a client makes a huge difference as well.”

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Take your time, be confident in yourself and go with your gut. Never be afraid of asking questions – there’s never a stupid question – it’s all part of the learning process. Regardless of what stage of our careers we’re at, we’re all constantly learning.”

Who were mentors that encouraged you?

I know this sounds really cliché but I’d say my parents. They’ve encouraged me a lot throughout my life they’ve always been really supportive of everything I wanted to do and the career path I wanted to take. They’ve been there through thick and thin and given me the support I needed to get to where I am. They’ve always been my biggest fans and have always backed me up. Having someone who believes in you gives you self-confidence and the belief that you can take things on.”

What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

“I’d say maybe stretch more because you never know you might pull a muscle getting out of bed in the morning! Take the time to enjoy the smaller things in life because everything changes so quickly – in the blink of an eye. Travel the world a bit more and try not to get too hung up on other people’s criticism of yourself.”

What fact would people be surprised to know about you?

“I don’t like chocolate – I don’t like anything to do with chocolate! I don’t know why, I don’t like the taste, texture and smell.”

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

“Serena Williams – she’s amazing! To dominate for that period of time is insane. She’s achieved so much in her life coming from so little and is an inspiration to everyone. What she’s done regarding women’s health but most recently what she went through in the trauma of giving birth [Williams suffered a range of complications after giving birth to her daughter Olympia including a pulmonary embolism] and how she’s promoted gender equality, particularly for women of colour giving birth. She’s had such a crazy life but seems very humble and someone great to hang out with. I used to watch her workout videos and she’s got so much determination and discipline. I think she’ll be really interesting!

“Also, Helen Keller. She was deaf and blind and basically a pioneer for disability rights. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, wrote 12 books and was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She basically was one of the first people to change the way you communicate with someone who’s deaf and blind. I think she’d be pretty cool.

“I’d love to meet my grandma. I never met her, she died when my mum was little. She lived through two world wars but died giving birth to her 11th child. I’d love to know more about her and hear her stories about what she’s been through. I’ve just heard lots about her, and she sounded like a really amazing woman.”

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