The transition from trainee solicitor at Payne Clermont Velasco Solicitors to partner marked an important milestone in the life of Jaerey Velasco. She begins, “I was promoted to partner after a couple of years. I have always been interested in matrimonial and family law so when the opportunity to handle it in my firm came up, I took the opportunity to gain more knowledge and experience.” Despite the tight schedule and high demands of the partner role, the mother of two boys remains keen on carving out time with family. “Because I know that my work will take up a lot of my time, I have to ensure that whatever time we all spend together is quality time.”
As a partner at the firm, Jaerey’s goals are now more focused on growing the business and supporting the employees in the company. She intimates, “I want to inspire and train young lawyers (trainee solicitors) to achieve their ambitions and goals, and to eventually become good leaders and lawyers.” Cited as one of Hong Kong Living's 2021 Influencers: Entrepreneurs and Business, Jaerey continues to shine her own light on cases she takes on and fellow legal minds she comes across. “I often meet people during very difficult times in their lives. However, helping them through it can also be rewarding and worth the time and effort.”
Jaerey is also involved in other advocacies committed to helping migrant workers in Hong Kong, and providing support to calamity stricken communities in the Philippines. As head of the De La Salle University Alumni Association in Hong Kong and Ambassador to Women of Hong Kong (for migrant workers), she is dedicated in the quest of bringing hope, positivity and light to those working far from home to support loved ones.
What keeps you busy these days?
Being a wife, mother of two young boys and a lawyer. That’s pretty much everything and I don’t imagine I’ll be busy with much else for a while.
How did you come to find your current career or life’s work?
After I finished my undergraduate study in the Philippines, I moved to Hong Kong to study law. After I graduated law school, I started as a Trainee Solicitor in my current firm. I was then promoted to Partner after a couple of years. I have always been interested in matrimonial and family law so when the opportunity to handle family and matrimonial practice in my firm came up, I took that opportunity to gain more knowledge and experience, and developed our firm’s family and matrimonial practice.
What is it about your work or career that you enjoy most?
I enjoy being a lawyer. As a lawyer, you meet lots of people and you are always presented with new challenges and issues to resolve. Of course, most people looking for advice on a difficult legal problem, and as I primarily work in family law, I often meet people during very difficult times in their lives. However, helping them through it can also be rewarding and makes less enjoyable aspects rewarding and certainly worth the extra time and effort.
What do you consider to be “hazards of the job?”
Since I am dealing with the personal issues of my clients, it is inevitable that, from time to time, it becomes emotionally draining. When that happens I just have to make sure that I clear everything that are urgent and take some time, maybe in the evening or a day at the weekend, to do something for myself.
For women who aspire for similar careers, what would be your advice?
Do not be afraid to ask for advice and help. For every situation you are facing, there are people who have been there before you. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Utilise their knowledge and experience. Look for mentors who can give you advice—with your career, but also with getting through everyday life.
What are the career milestones that inspire you to break the glass or mold?
Since I am already a Partner of a law firm, the career milestones are less about me and more about the firm and our employees. My goal is to help the firm grow and give others a pathway to their own successes.
I want to inspire and train young lawyers (trainee solicitors) to achieve their ambitions and goals, and to eventually become good leaders and lawyers. After all, they are the next generation of the firm.
I was also awarded as one of the Hong Kong Liviing's 2021 Influencer Awardees.
How do you balance work and family life? What are activities that enable you to bond with family?
I try to stick to a routine as much as possible. On weekdays my husband and I head home to have dinner together and see the kids before bed. If we can’t finish our work early, we still try to get home on time – we can always finish up work later.
On the weekends, we normally have something scheduled with the kids on Saturday morning, and then the rest of the weekend is just about doing whatever we can together with the kids. We like to spend time outdoors as much as possible, like on the beach nearby, kayaking, swimming, football, or even just going for a walk. We try to do whatever we can together, so even cooking and tidying-up are family activities.
Because I know that my work will take up a lot of my time, I have to ensure that whatever time we all spend together is quality time. I try to avoid too much TV, but I must say I enjoy re-watching some of the cartoons I grew up on with my kids.
How do you unwind or rewind? Any favourite spots in your current city that you consider it as your me-time haven?
For me, living on an island near Hong Kong, the beach and the hills are literally at my doorstep. It’s a tropical paradise – so, for sure, my favourite spots are right here at home. Before we moved out here I would say any of the beaches in Hong Kong would be my favorite spots.
How would you describe your personal style? What are three your wardrobe essentials?
It depends on my mood, and the weather. During the week, at work, I go for classic pieces – black dresses and suits. On weekends, I play with bright colours and florals. So my essentials would be: Black dress, floral dress, and pearls, because they work with both.
What makes for a good investment piece? Kindly cite examples of pieces in your current wardrobe.
An investment piece needs to be versatile so you can get the most use out of it, something you can wear throughout the years that can withstand time and fads.
What do pearls mean to you?
To me, pearls are a symbol of beauty, elegance, tradition and resilience.
Of course pearls are naturally beautiful and unique, which is part of the appeal, but what I love about pearls the most is that I can wear them casually and for formal occasions. Pearls just elevate any outfit.