A PHENOMENAL EXPERIENCE
Over the past 4 weeks, I have interned at Alex Chang & Co and it is definitely a fruitful experience thus far. At the beginning, I was pretty skeptical to accept the internship offer as I was worried about having insufficient knowledge and qualification to work in a law firm since I have only completed my first year at the law school. Knowing that Alex Chang & Co specialises in Companies winding up, I was even more intimidated as I have not done Contracts or Company Law in my university. But I have decided to step out of my comfort zone and take up a challenge to get an insight of what lawyers’ day-to-day activities are. Like many of my friends I am well versed in How To Get Away With Murder and Suits but I was right to assume that in actuality lawyers’ work is often much less glamorous. But, I have since not regretted my decision as I have gained so much more than I thought I would have.
I was very lucky to land myself an offer so I was pretty excited at the opportunity to see what lawyers do prior to committing myself to a lifetime in law firm. Rather than stepping into a coherent intern role, I pretty much took up the role of an office assistant and with the help of my colleagues, I was able to carve out some internships opportunities. Thus, some of my job scope do involve basic office assistant work: tabbing, printing, scanning, running errands, preparing for submission etc but I had some great experiences. I got to sit in on lawyer-client interactions and watch what services a lawyer can provide to his/her client. I got to draft letters to client and court. I also learned that lawyers work extremely long hours, and spend tons of time researching and typing and writing. All in all, lawyers are very quick and hardworking and can cut through the nonsense.
Court Hearing: Front Row Ticket
My most memorable event throughout my whole journey as an intern was being able to sit in an open court hearing. I was actually given a golden ticket to sit at the counsel table, right in front of the Judge. I was told by my friend that usually only lawyers and pupils are allowed to be at the front row! I was so thrilled to be able to be a part of it even though I was confused most times whenever legal jargons were used. I got even more excited when things escalated from 0 to 10 as the argument got heated up. One of the few things I have gained from the hearing was to always remain calm and firm in any circumstances even though the Judge does not seem to favour your reasoning. I have also gained some knowledge on Company Law and winding up and how a company operates. I felt privileged to be able to meet other lawyers and to observe their motion in court. It was indeed very inspiring especially to see lawyers being able to speak their minds and argue their stand with so much confidence. It was even more empowering to see a female lawyer taking her stand in the court. Every single moment in court was very enjoyable and meaningful.
At times, when I was not able to do certain work allotted I could easily walk up to my colleagues for a little head start and they will be more than happy to give me a lead to start on my work. They review all my tasks and actually entrust me with real responsibilities pertaining to their clients. Thus, I’d like to express my greatest gratitude to everyone in the firm, Ms Elaine, Ms Janice, Ms Chow, Suzanne and Germaine for being so nice and welcoming as well as patient in teaching and explaining everything when I was a lost sheep despite being so occupied and busy with their own tasks. Not forgetting other interns who were with me, Aslam for patiently giving me some useful pointers on researching,
Melvin and Naza for the learning experience. Most importantly, Mr Alex Chang, of course for giving me this invaluable opportunity and constant guidance and everlasting patience.
Everyday is a learning curve
After returning to Australia to continue my second year, I have realized that the experience and knowledge I have gained throughout the internship was not only invaluable, but certainly very helpful in my course. During my first Commercial Law lecture, I was introduced to heaps of legal terms related to commercial law. I felt a sense of familiarity when terms such as winding up, insolvency and liquidation were taught. The experience has given me a general understanding to those terms hence I was able to smoothly ease into the flow of learning. My other course mates were scratching their heads trying to make sense of the terms while the lecturer ceaselessly talk away!
An internship might be intimidating, but it is vital to know your interests in depth so that you can be confident in your abilities. Thus, always seek opportunities that reflect what you want to pursue. Most importantly,
February 8, 2018