Civil Litigation Practice: If you never try, you’ll never know
I am grateful for my short yet sweet internship experience at Alex CHANG & Co (hereinafter “ACC”)– all thanks to my impulsive (but not regrettable) decision of joining ACC despite not having the chance to savour my remaining 2 weeks of semester break after the compulsory month long industrial training. I was looking forward to enjoy my last 2 weeks of semester break before the commencement of my final year in law school but I chose to spend the last 2 weeks of my break to do something different, something that I’ve never imagined myself doing – which is to work at a civil litigation firm.
In case you wonder what prompted the dramatic claim at the end of the last paragraph, I once told myself that I will never set foot into a civil litigation practice. Civil litigation practice has always been very notorious for its never-ending paper work and socialising with the clients. I got too caught up by the proven-to-be-untrue rumour therefore I’ve only worked as an intern in criminal litigation practice before coming to ACC.
My internship experience at ACC has been an eye-opener. From all the mundane tasks to the challenges I faced during my short 2 weeks here, I felt that civil litigation practice is different and can be really fun and interesting too! Mr Alex Chang is an inspiring counsel. He is friendly, warm, direct and honest. I must admit that an honest and direct superior is rarely found; especially in legal practice.
Long Hours: Not Really
I could still recall that when I first filled up the internship application form, I was so taken aback that the form explicitly stated the long working hours (not that long, really) of the firm from 9 am to 8 pm. I’ve never heard of any firms doing the exact same thing as most of them assume that staying back in the firm is a common practice in the legal field.
Do What You Like and You Will Never Have to Work
Mr Chang appreciates all our thoughts and opinions. He warmly points out our mistakes and despite being strict and having high expectations on all his assistants, he has never once been unreasonable. I finally realise that it is really important to pursue something that you are really passionate about so that no matter how much work load you have, you won’t even feel a bit unpleasant and awful. It is a lie if I say working here is not stressful but I truly believe that a certain level of stress must be there to drive us to be a better person, work harder and strive for the realm of excellence.
Although my internship was only for a short period of 2 weeks, I’ve learnt way more than I can ever imagine. From translating legal articles and perusing statements of defence, drafting witness statements and conducting research on case laws and legislations, I believe that all these have changed me to a better person. I can confidently say that I am more matured, wise and organised than I was before.
I would like to thank everyone in the firm as this was indeed a memorable and unforgettable experience for me – from Mr Chang, the one who gave me the opportunity to widen my horizon and gain this experience, Ms Elaine, the one who welcomes us with a warm heart and is always friendly, Ms Janice Wong, for her great cooking and teachings, Ms Chow, the one who is always helpful and lastly Miss Calise Lee, the one who is always so understanding. Thank you all.
Jessie Lee Suan Cui
University of Malaya