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US to Japan to Australia: The benefits of working across continents

One BigLaw associate discusses the value of living in multiple jurisdictions and the importance of making connections across the profession when starting over in a new place. 

user iconJess Feyder 01 May 2023 Big Law
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Recently on The Protégé Podcast, host Jerome Doraisamy spoke with Squire Patton Boggs’ associate, Matthew Endo, who worked across several different jurisdictions before practising law in Australia. His first home was in the United States, then he moved to Japan, and finally to Australia. 

Mr Endo noted that when he lived in Japan, he had to adapt to a different style of management and way of interacting with people in the workplace, and when moving to Australia, he had to pivot again to the “Australian way of thinking and the Australian law”.

Mr Endo reflected on how living in multiple jurisdictions has enhanced his capabilities for practising law.  


In Perth, there are a lot of lawyers who have never left Perth, who have grown up in Perth, and who have gone to school in Perth, and they don’t have those different perspectives that working with people in other countries brings,” Mr Endo explained.

“For myself, having that background of understanding American law and seeing how it’s different in Australia, and being able to think deeply about it and make a comparison, that helped me to grow in my education,” he stated. 

Mr Endo spoke in more detail about his education, and how he completed his Juris Doctor while working full time

“I started studying basically right before the pandemic,” noted Mr Endo. “The pandemic actually helped my studies because you couldn’t go out, so I had extra time and no social life.”

“I devoted that time to studying and instead of going out on the weekend, I hit the books,” said Mr Endo.

“Law was my good friend during the pandemic,” he stated.

Mr Endo also spoke about the limitations of online learning.

“Online learning is a huge supplement to other types of learning,” he said. “Perhaps I’m old school, but I really do enjoy sitting in a classroom with fellow students and being able just to chat about a concept.”

“We’re missing a lot of that with the online studies,” noted Mr Endo. 

“The first thing I did when the pandemic finished for my practical legal training was I joined in a course that offered intensive.

“I was able to sit in with fellow students and we worked together and we collaborated — and you can’t beat that,” stated Mr Endo. 

Mr Endo spoke about why networking is essential for progressing one’s own and others’ paths through the legal profession.

“A lot of new lawyers want to concentrate only on the job and getting their billable hours in or some target and not concentrating on actually getting out and networking,” Mr Endo noted.

When Mr Endo arrived in Perth, he had to meet people from scratch.

“I’ve met a lot of people and they’ve been very, very helpful. 

“So many people are so generous with their time and willing to help other people. I found that very refreshing, especially in the law profession,” he noted.

“One law student was asking me questions and I felt that I was able to help him in a career path,” Mr Endo explained. 

“He was thinking of construction law, so I gave him a bit of advice to join certain networking sessions or events.

“I was able to help him hopefully achieve his goals, or perhaps he might find out that actually it wasn’t for him and he actually misunderstood it,” he said. 

“That was a way for him to go out and be able to develop himself, and I felt very satisfied that I was able to help him,” stated Mr Endo. 

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