Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information. – Albert Einstein
An Hourglass Experience
1 Time flies when you are busy, and from this experience I can affirm that this is indeed true. My time spent at the firm was an interesting and fulfilling one. One can argue that an internship is a waste of time and meaningless, but for a girl who is lost and stumble upon the path of law, I would say otherwise.
2 Through my month long internship, I learned various things from how one pupil get admitted to the bar; how one can present a submission by way of interpreting statutes and case law; what to prepare or more precisely which documents or submissions to prepare for an appearance in court;
2.1 Moreover, how to conduct research; how those research can affect the outcome of the hearing; sitting in with clients down to the trivial yet necessary skills such as photostating, making phone calls to various courts and insolvencies.
A Catapult and A Caterpillar
3 The 9 months I spent in a classroom could not match the 1 month I spent in Alex Chang & Co to prepare me for the future.
3.1 I have the benefit of hindsight of reading Chan Wai Loon Esq’s essay entitled “A Letter to My 17 Year Old Self”, now that I have completed my internship, I share his sentiments that young Malaysians including me lived too comfortably in our own bubble. Through this internship I faced challenges that brought me out from my comfort zone and stimulating my mind to think out of the box. Thus, I wonder if I stumble upon this place earlier could my newly stimulated mind won a few more awards for my work in law school?
3.2 Overall this short episode helped a young caterpillar to evolve into a butterfly filled with new found determination and hope.
English Is Not English
4 I have visited the courtroom on several occasions where I was fortunate enough to witness Mr Chang himself in action.
4.1 As I sat here and ponder and reflect, I will never use English the same way before I came here. The language that some of the counsel and judges use are simply stupendous.
Company Law is a Must
5 As a first year law student with no prior experience in the field of law, I was skeptical when applying for this internship.
5.1 I knew nothing about company law nor tort law. I did not even know why I was in a law school.
5.2 But after this experience I could find myself taking up company law in the near future. Fun fact, Company Law is a must (other than an above average drinking ability) to be admitted to the Bar in the UK.
For the Lost Souls
6 For all the lost souls out there, I highly recommend this firm to help you find your way, it may be a steep dive and you have to wing it; but it is worth it.
6.1 The part about this internship that I have a love hate relationship with, is the questions that Mr Chang likes to ask. He makes sure you know what you are doing by his infinite “why’s” and “what have you learned?”
6.2 Every time I successfully finish answering his questions or finally my answer is good enough to make him stop, there is this sense of accomplishment and victory. It is the little quirks that makes this internship exciting.
Knowledge is Power, Time is Money
7 Nobody really have the time to answer trivial questions, they have their own submissions to complete and roles to play. Time is the essence, so you have to dig deep and ask the right question to the right person.
7.1 Thus, I managed to learn to complete my tasks much faster and I believe more effectively. However, quoting Mr Chang himself, law is a precise field, if you are asked to shoot the subject in the left eye, you shoot in the left eye and not anywhere else in the head.
7.2 Through this internship, I have learned to pay attention to detail and be more accurate and decisive when I carry out my assignments. Independence and confidence is the key to avoid getting a free lecture from time to time.
8 What I enjoyed most is doing research especially for Miss Jess Pang. There are times when there are no right or wrong answers, you just have to give your answer and I learnt to be brave and present. It may not always be usable but it may just be what we need. Here I would like to thank Miss Jess Pang for her patience, guidance, and not actually slapping me albeit the numerous threats…
8.1 She likes to give me multiple areas or ideas for me to research on, takes time to teach me how to prepare submissions and various court documents stimulating my brain cells by asking for my opinion on interpretations and arguments.
8.2 I have learnt a lot from her, and I will be eternally grateful for my first friend in the firm.
9 I would like to thank Ms Janice for her wonderful lunch and guidance to familiarize myself with the firm’s SOP (the Standard Operating Procedures), as well as Ms Chow and Ms Elaine for their kind assistance. Special thanks to Miss Jess Pang and Mr Germaine Chan for making me feel comfortable and “included”.
9.1 Of course, the boss himself, Mr Chang for this opportunity. Thank you for hosting a clueless first year law student and giving this precious opportunity to learn and grow with the firm.
9.2 I truly enjoyed my “adventures” to courts and firms as well as the experience as a whole, it is one that I would never forget for many years to come.
10 As quoted above, learning is an experience and everything else is mere information.
10.1 What we learn through textbooks are merely information to assist us in this path, but the experience from this internship is the key to the path of litigation.
10.2 To describe my short journey as an attachment student in Alex Chang & Co, I quote Julius Ceasar’s famous Latin phrase ‘veni, vidi, vici’.
10.3 ‘Twas a memorable and fruitful start to my career in law.
Tan Yi Ying Amanda
Brickfield Asia College