“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” – Fred DeVito
If there is a quote that summarises my experience in Alex Chang & Co, this would be it.
My Attachment in Alex Chang & Co ended in a flash, but what I had experienced here was priceless, it was a great opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to practice law in a firm and learning things that are not being taught in the textbooks.
If there is one memory that holds the most sentimental value in my heart during this internship, it has to be the in house mooting session that I was given a chance to participate in.
Mooting is where legal students are given the chance to experience a court proceeding, it requires hard work in researching, critical thinking, quick on-the-spot reaction and most importantly, teamwork with your partner as it takes two to tango. Despite having to hear the know-how’ of mooting from classmates in campus, that was merely hearsay and I had yet to experience one until now.
My colleagues and I were given the facts of the matter where the appellant was driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), in which we had to prepare arguments and ready for the submission of both parties to justify their grounds of appeal. It was confusing at times as we prepared arguments for both parties during this thinking process. Thank goodness, we managed to do so through hours of discussions and brainstorming sessions which not only critical thinking skills played the main role, but to able to engage in a deep analytical thinking on the facts of the case that crucially summed up a good argument.
Despite busy schedule, Mr Alex Chang took some time out and held an in house mooting training which allowed let us get prepared and understood on what to expect.
We were then given a chance to have a “pre-trial” go before the actual court hearing, so as to get us mentally prepared for it, me and my colleagues practised on our court etiquette and method to present our argument in an appropriate legal manner. I was both excited and filled with anticipation that the time has finally come for our hard work to bear fruit, with the instructions by Mr Alex Chang, my Colleague and I, the senior counsel and junior counsel took turns to introduce ourselves and presented our case.
Being an Introvert all these while, It was no surprise that I stuttered and panicked when Mr Alex Chang questioned me during the hearing and corrected me on my mistakes, despite having gone through the pre-trial and gotten warmed up, I have learned a lesson here that every words, every gesture and every bit of confidence is required to deliver a strong argument that will ultimately decide the outcome of the case.
The session finally completed with me drenching in the imaginary pool of my own sweat, with a sigh of relief but the thirst for more, the mooting session prompted me to join the Mooting Society in college to further enhance my skill and familiarise myself with the court procedures so that one day in the future when I am mooting again, I will not panic anymore.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you; like I mentioned earlier, this quote summed up my experience in Alex Chang & Co, I stepped out of my comfort zone, learned a valuable lesson that not only benefited my skills in court but academically too. The mooting session alone gave me quite a challenge that had changed me, my view and my knowledge, not to mention all the other work that I did during my short attachment from mundane tasks to more important paperwork which also widen my knowledge in the practice of the law.
Albeit the attachment period was short, this was an opportunity that I am glad I did not miss. My Utmost gratitude to Mr Alex Chang for allowing me to have this unforgettable experience, and appreciation to Ms Janice, Ms Chow and Mrs. Chang as well as my fellow colleagues for their guidance and care throughout this memorable time.
Eunice Foo Shu Juin