Chinese attorney leads IP team while earning LL.M.


Yong (Christopher) Zhang is a senior partner at Dentons Law Offices, based in Shenzhen, China, where he leads an intellectual property team of more than 10 lawyers.

Take a look at his resume, and it’s impressive, as during his 13 years practicing he’s worked on many influential intellectual property cases for many large companies, and he’s picked up more than a handful of awards. 

When his previous law firm, Dacheng, combined with the new international firm, Dentons, in 2015, he had even more opportunity to deal with international affairs.

That’s among the reasons he was interested in earning an LL.M. in the United States.

“As the Chinese economy grow up quickly, more and more Chinese companies have business and invest in global world,” Zhang said. “As the outer legal consultant, so I need to improve my law knowledge and language capacity in order to better effectively serve the companies and secure them business safety.”

He hopes that his service stands out with his foreign language and law knowledge.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is well known in China, he said, and it has cooperated with many bar associations there for years. Plus, he’s seen many alumni earn achievements in their fields.

“I visited Chicago-Kent in 2015 and deeply loved the law school,” Zhang said. “The nice professional professors and staffs, beautiful library, comfortable school environment and atmosphere — all these impressed me deeply, so I decided to choose the law school.”

Zhang has noticed that in the U.S., legal education emphasizes practice through legal writing and case briefs, rather than theory research. He also likes the Socratic method of teaching.

Additionally, he likes the opportunity to be surrounded by classmates from around the world.

“Before we understood the foreign country mainly through news media,” he said. “Now we can look, communicate and experience, it is more real. Better to understand each other, make more friendship and cooperation, and then help economy growth and world peace. 

His biggest challenge at school is the language barrier — and the fact that he’s still leading an IP team based in China while in school.

Of course, he has noticed some positive aspects to life in the States.

“I like that American spend a lot of time enjoy[ing] life after work,” he said. “Chinese work hard to make money all the day without personal life.”

Upon completing the program in May, Zhang’s career goals include introducing U.S. law technology to Chinese law firms to improve the work efficiency, law firm management and data safety. He also wants to help Chinese companies to do business outside China and help foreign companies work in China while conforming both to local law.


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