Lydia Leong Yin Qin

Is an Attachment in Legal Firms a Waste of Time? Lydia Leong Yin Qin

Lydia Leong
Lydia Leong

Is an Attachment in Legal Firms a Waste of Time?

Self discipline is a learned behavior. Working at Alex Chang & Co has improved my  self discipline since I am working  in a firm unlike in  college days.   Some might tell   you  that   an attachment student would be doing    stapling, photocopying  and it is therefore a waste of time. On the other hand, in my opinion,  being part of this friendly firm  means you are not only learning new things (for sure you have to do some of  those  mundane chores), but you will also have lots of great memories and learning experiences.

On the first day, I was given the opportunity to submit a submission to the learned Deputy Registrar and to obtain  an acknowledgment. Since I have never been to court it was a daunting experience.  Although I have made some careless mistakes, I learnt to be more observant and meticulous when taking instructions.

Since Alex Chang & Co  specialises in debt recovery, winding up and liquidation the  I was then  assigned to, inter alia,  prepare submissions,  draft the Defendant’s cross examination,   write several articles after conducting research,  translation of  Affidavits   and also to conduct a search  for  charges registered at  the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Through these   I  developed my legal skills  in  expressing coherent arguments. As   I am studying the UK syllabus, I initially thought   it might be a little tough for me to research on   Malaysian authorities.  However, throughout my internship I learned that one should never be afraid to ask a lot of questions and be prepared to  deal with deadlines.  By asking all the questions I got answers from all the legal assistants and some of the fellow attachment students.
Besides, I was also invited by Mr Alex Chang  to participate in many conferences with the clients for the discussion of their legal matters.  After the  meetings with the clients I realised that there are many factors which will affect whether Alex CHANG & Co accept a particular brief, amongst them,  confidence in the clients’  cause,   and the clients’ ultimate   satisfaction are some  essential elements.

I had a wonderful   time  observing Mr Chang’s ethics class   conducted at the Bar Council. The said talk reminded me inter alia  about the duty of candour  in not seeking to win litigation to all costs but to assist the court in reaching the correct result and the formal language that we should use in Court. It had opened my eyes and I learned a lot of things that I cannot get from  the classroom.  Besides   I was also invited to attend   a seminar  conducted by Mr Chang  for the  members of the  Malaysian Institute of Associates (MIA) in Penang.

Bonding opportunities  among the colleagues occurred   when we had a 2-day-1-night  road trip to Penang which was 2 days 1 night.  There was a small incident on the road which taught me to   act counter-intuitively and to always be well prepared for possible changes in  your circumstances.  It was not about the the networks and connections that I had built but the memories that were created.

We had a very jolly good time enjoying the local food like Penang char kueh tiao, seafood and indulging in durian (red heart).    Of all these, I find the  bacon breakfast by the sea  at the Penang Club most memorable.

All the quality time that I had spend together with all the fellow colleagues in the Firm were precious. We had lunch together, we laughed at all the ‘hilarious’ jokes   celebrated Dragon Boat Festival with   rice dumplings and tea… All these little gatherings made  me feel  like   home away from home.  Despite  all the stress , everyone in Alex CHANG & Co  was  friendly and approachable creating a happy working environment.

Last but not least, my gratitude goes out to Mr Chang  for his invaluable guidance and advice.  Miss Lim Soo Zee, Mr Danien Soong, Ms Janice and Ms Chow by  helping me through the ups and downs.

My humble conclusion is that  my legal attachment/  internship experience  is not a waste of time but I have utilised my 4 weeks of summer vacation   to the fullest.

Lydia Leong Yin Qin

University of Northumbria

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