I still remember my first day in Alex Chang & Co (ACC) like it was yesterday, writing this essay now I feel a little bit more mature and a little bit wiser compared to who I was before the attachment.
I had some working experience before this, sales assistant, clerk and even driver (yes I worked as a paid driver for a month), but none of it can compare to the experience I have had in ACC, after three years of studying law and almost completing my degree, I asked myself one day amid preparing my exam, should I earn pocket money during my holiday by working full time paid jobs or join an internship program for experience?
I looked into my wallet, i had around a 100£, that was around Rm 550, so I thought to myself “I guess I can survive around one month in Malaysia with this money”, and the rest is history.
By the time I applied, accepted and set my foot into ACC, I realised that I have made two mistakes, the first is Malaysia’s food are getting more expensive since before I left to the UK, one serving of chicken rice now cost at least RM7, RM550 is barely enough since I pay for my own petrol and parking fees; and the second mistake I made is that I should have joined an internship program earlier in my study year and applied for a longer period.
Anyhow, the working experience was pretty much what I have expected it to be, but more than that, I honestly expected it to be consisting of only mundane tasks and case researching, where occasionally i will have to send letters to other offices, a typical 9 to 5 boring job.
However, during my first day, Mr Alex Chang opened the door for me personally with a warm smile to greet, invited me into his office and lectured me about something that I ought to know about working in the office, I will not spoil everything to you readers who may be past attachment or interested future attachment candidates, basically Mr Alex Chang told me that (and he did not lie) being an attachment in ACC will not be like a usual normal 9 to 5 job. Instead, it will be a self-discovery and I will get to learn things that the school will not teach me.
Of course I still did a lot of mundane tasks afterwards, it is a part of law practicing that no legal practitioner can avoid, we also went to quite a few court sessions including an in chamber session where I was allowed to sit beside the judge (thank you My Lady) and I was sent to government bodies to submit some letters and applications.
During working hours, Mr Alex Chang expects a 100% from us attachments and only accept top-notch work quality, I was taught how to write a proper submission, pointed out my mistakes and how I can change to improve myself, given cases to read and tell him about my views so that he can give guidance to me on how to “win” a case.
Off work Mr Alex Chang is a very sporting person, he cares not only about our professional life but also us as an individual, remember I told you I had RM 550 to survive for a month? ACC was very kind to provide us with lunch (courtesy of Ms Janice’s cooking), and Mr Alex Chang himself was also very thoughtful to provide me with parking allowances, for which I will always be grateful, not to mention the lunches and dinners Mr Alex Chang personally brought us attachments and the karaoke session.
Although Mr Alex Chang did not want me emphasizing this point, however I am glad that we had an in-house mooting session, it was a valuable lesson and chance for me to moot, however the best thing is that Mr Alex Chang took his own holiday off to act as the sitting judge for us attachments, for that I will also always be thankful.
Staffs working in ACC also helped me a lot, their friendliness has a positive impact on the working environment that I often find myself being in a good mood during working hour, my sincere gratitude towards Ms Janice, Ms Chow, Ms Elaine, Calise, my fellow attachment friends Alicia, Khairunisa, Celine and of course Mr Alex Chang himself.
Perhaps the best “gift” that I got being an attachment in ACC was that Mr Alex Chang pointed out my strength and weakness, it is most important as every individual is different in their own kind, knowing one’s strength and weakness can help a lot in one’s future and growth, I am glad that Mr Alex Chang was being honest in pointing out my strength and also my weakness for me to be a better person and see myself clearer after leaving ACC.
As I said earlier, joining ACC is like a path of self-discovery for myself, the long working hours and the stress that me as an attachment have to cope with is only a small part of what a real practicing lawyer faces every day, upon joining ACC I find myself more matured and wiser, I will fly over to the UK for my BPTC soon, I hope when I am back in Malaysia again next year, I would look back at this essay (hopefully on ACC’s website), laugh back at the times I had in ACC, recalling Mr Alex Chang’s teaching and that the price of chicken rice stop increasing (please).
Jokes aside, Given the chance, this is definitely an experience that I wish to relive, join ACC for yourself and you will definitely feel what I felt. If there is any regret, I would say that my only regret was that I should have joined an attachment program earlier.
Chen Huan Yung Yugi