Sunday, December 4, 2011

Denver Law LLM Graduate Student Sing Fai Hong Passes Chinese Bar Examination

Late last week I learned the wonderful news that one of Denver Law's Chinese students, Sing Fai Hong, has passed the Chinese Bar Examination. This is no small feat when one realizes that as recently as three years ago only 12 percent of those taking the bar exam actually passed.

This was a major accomplishment for Hong and clearly reflected his determination to join the legal profession in his home country. Making this all the more impressive is that he studied for and took the bar examination while he was an LLM student in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Graduate Program at Denver Law.

As it turns out, I know Hong (or Nic as we came to know him) very well. He was in the Comparative Environmental Law course that I taught in the spring semester of 2011. He was attentive, curious, hard-working, respectful, in brief an all around joy to have as a student.

In wishing him well before he left Denver for the final time to return to Beijing, I only half kidded him that I expected to see his name in the Financial Times by next week!

On a more serious note, Nic has a great future ahead. He is destined to be a leader in China and in Asia when it comes to addressing the challenging environmental and natural resources issues that China faces. On the other hand, he is good at identifying opportunities that arise out of challenges. He also exemplifies a philosophy of building bridges, and I am confident that over time he will be an influential attorney in helping develop the increasingly important China-U.S. relationship.

All of us in Denver wish Nic well as he begins his legal career in China. We will miss him to be sure. However, I have a feeling we will be seeing him again.

Don C. Smith
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program

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