How my internship at an international law firm changed me
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I have only started doing internships since last July. Compared to my other ambitious law schoolmates, I am rather late on this competitive race. This winter, I decided to enrich my practical legal experience by joining an international law firm – Ravenscroft & Schmierer. In short, I am lucky to have met some amazing people at the office and have learned valuable skills that are going to be very helpful in building my legal career ahead.
I have not always been very outspoken. Ever since I have started my legal studies at the University of Hong Kong, I always feel insecure and inferior. Everyone around me is so smart, so ambitious, and already has a clear map of their future path. And then there is me, unsure of my ability and my future. Mentally, I am far from being a mature law student.
But my experience at Ravenscroft & Schmierer changed my attitude and my way of seeing the legal profession for the better. Ravenscroft & Schmierer has a healthy atmosphere for learning. Everyone I met was happy to help and explain anything I did not understand. More importantly, I realized that not everyone has everything figured out right from the beginning. The legal profession is a life-long profession. We are always learning new things as we go. Our peers and even seniors are also learning, with you. I remember being asked to conduct a research on shipping law in Hong Kong. This is a new topic to me, and I was worried that I would not be able to comprehend the new knowledge. Even though my senior partner does not specialize in shipping law, with his experience in contract law and commercial law, he was able to guide me through the research and explain the relevance of the research to our case. It was then I realized, instead of panicking about not being smart enough, it is better to be appreciative of the people around you who can guide you with their experience.
Ravenscroft & Schmierer is an international law firm with a strong focus on commercial work. This is a huge contrast compared to my previous internship, where I was mostly focusing on criminal litigation. There is a wide range of opportunities to explore the legal commercial world at Ravenscroft & Schmierer, from matters relating to contracts, applications of winding-up a company, to third-party applications in court such as Garnishee orders, and Norwich Pharmacal orders. All these cases are extremely valuable. The practical legal knowledge gained here cannot easily be obtained at school. That is why joining internships is one of the best ways to explore your field of passion for a law student. As globalization continues to rise, an international vision is an integral element for a law student. A unique characteristic about Ravenscroft & Schmierer is the close connection with Germany. Through this, I learned more about inter-jurisdictional operations, especially when drafting a commercial contract for companies from two different jurisdictions.
It is also important to bear in mind that a legal internship is not only about legal work. I was also responsible for some administrative tasks, be it filing documents or office management. Thanks to Ravenscroft & Schmierer’s appreciation of my artistic abilities, I have been helping with design and videography for the company, spicing up my internship.
I want to encourage my fellow peers who are hesitant about themselves or their own future. Sufficient time is ahead for us to find our interests, our abilities, and our confidence. Being in the legal sphere is stressful and competitive, but internships are not only about furnishing CVs, they are helpful in developing your character and finding what works for you.
Catherine has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Hong Kong and completed her Internship at Ravenscroft & Schmierer from December 2020 until January 2021.