Everyday Is A New Learning Experience – Nathan Hew Hoong Liang
“The goal is not simply to ‘work hard, play hard.’ The goal is to make our work and our play indistinguishable.” – Simon Sinek
I find this quote embodies the working environment at Alex Chang and Co (ACC). With a blink of an eye, I am closely coming to an end of my 2 weeks Attachment Period with ACC. Nevertheless, I will do my best to summarize my experience in 4 parts.
Part 1: Choosing ACC
Prior to my time at ACC, I had just concluded my 3 weeks internship at one of the largest law firms in Kuala Lumpur. Coming with the experience and exposure from a Big Firm, I was a little nervous as to how I would cope with adapting to the working environment and culture of a Small Firm like ACC.
Nevertheless, I stood by the advice that was given by a good friend of mine. She told me, “The people in the firm will build up your experience with the firm.”. This is accompanied with two testimonies provided by the previous attachment students at ACC. With that, I took a bold step and started my tenure with ACC.
Part 2: The Highlights of My ACC Experience
What I enjoyed the most from my time work at ACC has to be the working environment. It has a particular “family” vibe towards it, which really helped to break the tension of a fast paced environment in a small firm. I really treasure the opportunity to bond with everyone at the firm, especially during lunch time where we would gather together for lunch which was served by Miss Janice.
Throughout my time at ACC, I frequently helped Miss Jess Pang, who acted as my mentor in translating Court Documents such as Submissions, Submissions in Reply and Affidavits. Although the task may seem simple, it reminded me on how important it is to have a strong command in both languages, English and Malay.
Moreover, it was through translating that these documents that I learned parts of the Rules of Court 2012 which governs a Summary Judgement Application, Leave to Amend and many more. These knowledge no doubt helped to spark my interest in Civil Procedure, but also gave me a slight head-start as I will start my Certificate in Legal Practice course this coming September.
One of the memorable experience I had at the firm was accompanying Mr Chang and Miss Lim to a Client Meeting with the Opposing Counsels and their clients. I got a chance to witness how Mr Chang interact with the lawyer from the Opposing Counsel as they attempt to reach to settlement for both parties. When both parties failed to come to consensus, Mr Chang consulted with the client to decide on the next course of action.
I also really enjoyed the visit we had to the KL High Court. This was because I had the opportunity to accompany Mr Chang and Miss Jess Pang to a full hearing in Chambers and in an Open Court. From seeing them handling court documents in the office, it was an opportunity to see both Mr Chang and Miss Jess Pang in action as they presented their arguments before the Judge.
Interestingly, I was surprised to discover Mr Chang’s knowledge on movies. From the classic Mission Impossible to the latest Fast and Furious movies, Mr Chang has a way on imparting certain knowledge through the films that he has watched in the past. I am glad that Mr Chang is a very friendly person, who loves to crack jokes whenever the opportunity arises.
Part 3: Lessons Learned
One thing that made my attachment meaningful was the privilege to see the fruition of our work to the case at hand. Every legal research required from us would be used for an active case ACC is currently working on. This even applies to the minor task we have conducted, such as translating Court Documents.
Furthermore, I learned the true value of patience and the ability to follow instructions strictly as required. Whenever in doubt, it is always important to ask the person delegating the task if the instructions were not clear enough. It is important to not rush the work we are assigned to as it vital to ensure the quality of our work.
Therefore, if one were to choose the path of litigation, I would like quote the words of Ray Bradbury. “Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love.”
Part 4: Appreciation
As my time with ACC comes to an end, I would like to thank Mr Chang for the opportunity to intern at his firm. I certainly appreciate the talks we had whenever he was summoned into his Chambers, and for the lessons he imparted to me both in and out of the Firm.
I would also express my gratitude to Miss Jess Pang for her guidance and generosity in sharing her knowledge with me. Special thanks to Miss Chow, Ms Ivy, Miss Lim and Miss Janice and Johnathan Law from the University of Sheffield for making my time at the firm a memorable one.
Nathan Hew Hoong Liang, Attachment Student
(Queen’s University Belfast)