When Dominic Wai first left school he had two careers in mind – journalism or the law.
Both of them appealed to his natural sense of justice and order, and he liked unravelling puzzles and finding simple solutions. But his dad told him journalism wouldn’t pay and he failed his entrance exam for Hong Kong’s only law school (this was the 1980s remember).
Dominic went into banking instead.
It was while working at one of Hong Kong’s banks that he was offered the chance to join the Independent Commission Against Crime (ICAC) in 1990. As he still had his heart set on becoming a lawyer he joined in the fight against corruption, working mainly in the Community Relations Department trying to promote and educate the public about the evils of corruption.
“Back at that time when I joined a very senior government prosecutor, Warwick Reid, was found to be taking bribes,” Dominic says. “This was a person at the very top of the legal profession. It showed that corruption ran from the lowest to the highest levels of society. And that was very damaging – the guy who was doing the prosecuting was also taking bribes.”
That was Dominic’s first brush with the law and he’s never looked back: “At last I’d got into something that was legal related. It also helped me understand how the operations department worked, and how investigations were carried out. Above all, it confirmed my desire to become a full-time lawyer.”
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