When Guanming Fang arrived in the United States from China at age 24, she did not think culture shock would be a problem. She’d majored in English literature at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, her hometown, and had covered the United States and Europe as a journalist in Beijing.

“I was so wrong,” she said with a laugh over bottled water at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, where, at 43, she is now an M&A lawyer carving out a niche with Chinese companies setting up shop in the United States.