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Partner Interview

ZSOLT OKÁNYI

∙ What are the trends shaping the legal industry? ∙

The struggle to recruit high-quality junior lawyers and build a new generation of legal professionals. Those who study the social and behavioural patterns of ‘Generation Y’ members or ‘Millennials’ describe preferences towards an improved work-life balance, a heightened focus on individualistic advancement with a strong sense of entitlement, and a perceived tendency for delaying certain rites of passage into adulthood for longer periods. I believe this makes it incredibly hard to find and select the next generation(s).

∙ What has been your most memorable day as a lawyer? ∙

The day I graduated from Yale Law School. At the graduation ceremony, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and YLS Dean Harold Hongju Koh handed over my US law degree. At that ceremony, I sat with 27 other international law graduates, one of whom later became my wife.

∙ If you weren’t a lawyer, how would you earn your living? ∙

I excelled at school with my persuasive writing skills, so I long planned to author novels and short stories. I have a few in my drawer and once I retire, I may even get to publish some. What is close to my heart is literary fiction placed in contemporary settings, with a strong dose of critical realism seasoned with my weird sense of humour. I do not expect a sizeable fan club.

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