Life is about experiencing and exploring. Alex Chang & Co is a great platform for anyone who is desperate to learn, explore and experience the legal profession, or even learning life lessons.
Mr Alex Chang is a great master who has knowledge, practical skills and philosophy of life. He shared a story with me.
It was about two employees from a shoes factory who were sent to Africa. One of the employees reported to his employer, saying there could be no market in Africa as everyone was bare footed. While the other employee reported that “I have found you a gold mine Boss!”.
This story taught me that perspectives matter. It is about how you perceive one matter, either positively or negatively. It is also about determination. If you are determined to be a successful person, you shall work towards that goal and never give excuses saying you cannot do this and that. One should never give up easily otherwise your efforts will be wasted and you will regret for life.
Working here, of course, is bittersweet. You will get reprimanded (of course), yet you know it is for your own benefit and for you to grow stronger. Mr Alex Chang observes a very high standard and he expects the same from all of us. As a lawyer, you are expected to do an excellent job. This is because of reliance the clients placed on us. Their properties are at stake.
I found out that it is the Lawyers’ duty to go through all these hard work, preparing statement of claim, submission, questions for the witnesses, grounds of appeal, to name but a few. It is not easy at all. After my experience here in Alex Chang & Co, I have a much better insight on how all these are done, it requires time, brainstorming sessions, accumulated experience and foresight.
Lawyers must equip themselves with great deal of knowledge, intelligence and also emotional intelligence commonly known as the “EQ”. To be a young lawyer, you must be humble and willing to learn, when dealing with great lawyers, you shall be calm, arrange your thoughts, and express your mind clearly; behave and think like a lawyer. You must also think critically, be curious about everything.
I was given an opportunity to read a one trial file. While reading the facts, affidavits, bundle of authorities, common bundle of documents and so forth, I discovered my weaknesses like language and reading speed. I am a slow learner, but it should not stop me from becoming a great lawyer. I had so much fun reading the transcripts, I found out that questions must be framed carefully and precisely. There are also “dos” and “don’ts” during every stage of trial.
In conclusion, working in Alex Chang & Co, you will be given many opportunities, like a visit to Palace of Justice to observe proceedings in the Apex Court, having conference with other lawyers and preparing submission. Working in this firm is not all about work, but also relationship. There were many occasions where we had lunch with Mr Alex Chang and also fellow colleagues. They will share about their stories related to legal profession, there is much to to learn from these informal chats. I would like to thanks everyone in this firm.
Last but not least, life is full of surprises, if I had not undergone the mini pupillage program here, I would not have experienced all these. Do not be afraid to step out from your comfort zone to try something new, you will never know what is awaiting you outside. Everything happens for a reason.
Low Kar Yeen
University of London