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  • Writer's pictureJustin Horchler

"My semester was hectic, but it was worth it!" | Why I recommend students to intern while studying.

I interned part-time at Ravenscroft & Schmierer while simultaneously studying a combined degree between HKBU and Sciences Po Bordeaux and studying a LLB remotely at Paris Panthéon-Assas. But why, and how? Keep reading to find out!

Read my article on LinkedIn and watch my internship experience video here.

Dressed for the company photoshoot.

Three Degrees and an Internship: How I Made it Work

I am currently studying at HKBU (Hong Kong Baptist University), in a combined degree with Sciences Po Bordeaux in France in Government and International Studies. Simultaneously, I am enrolled in a ‘Licence de droit’ (the French LLB) at Paris Panthéon-Assas University. You may be intrigued by how this is possible. How could I possibly find time amongst all those degrees to intern in a law firm? That’s what this article is for. Clarifying the details in hopes to inspire other students to pursue a similar path.

Let me tell you how I managed to study three degrees at the same time - it's a unique and exciting journey. I enrolled in a combined programme offered by HKBU and Sciences Po Bordeaux, where the degrees are very similar. The best part? We benefit from transfers of credits, meaning we don't have to take identical courses twice. For two years, we study in Hong Kong, and all the credits we earn are recognised by the French institution. The next two years, we study in France, and vice versa. So, we have the same course load as other students, but with an international twist.

But wait, there's more. The law degree I’m studying is entirely online. Well, except for the final exams. We have access to recordings of all classes, allowing us to manage our time and prepare for exams at the end of each semester. This flexibility provides me with ample time to pursue other exciting opportunities while completing my degrees.

Studying and working: Balancing Books and Work

Are you ready to hear about my jam-packed schedule? Three days a week, you'll find me at Ravenscroft & Schmierer as an intern. On Monday and Tuesday, I hit the books at HKBU, and the rest of the week, I'm in the office. But that's not all - on the weekends, I'm studying for my law degree or catching up on assignments. And yet, I still make time for friends, sports, and exploring Hong Kong's hidden gems.

You might be wondering why I chose to take on a part-time internship. Well, let me break it down for you. As Vanisha Babani, a previous intern and paralegal at Ravenscroft & Schmierer, wrote:

“The work I have been involved with throughout my internship program has allowed me to apply my theoretical and practical knowledge obtained through my education and has helped me better understand the practices of a solicitor.”

Learning theoretical knowledge is great but applying it in real life is even better. That's why interning at Ravenscroft & Schmierer has been such a fantastic experience for me. As a law student, I was able to connect the principles I learned in the classroom to the tasks I was assigned at the firm. It's been a valuable reminder of what I've learned and has given me a deeper understanding of how theoretical ideas are applied in practice.

Lunch with colleagues.

But that's not all - this internship has given me the chance to gain experience in a Hong Kong-based law firm. As someone still unsure of their future career path, this opportunity has been invaluable. When I intern at French law firms over the next two years, I will be able to compare my experiences and make an informed decision after graduation.

My colleagues come from diverse backgrounds - some from legal backgrounds, others from business, marketing, or even science. Our office is international, founded by a British solicitor (David Ravenscroft) and managed by a German lawyer (Stefan Schmierer), and our clients are not just from Hong Kong but from all over the world. It's been an eye-opening experience, and I'm grateful for every moment.

The view from the main meeting room.

You want an internship at Ravenscroft & Schmierer too? Here is my advice.

Joining Ravenscroft & Schmierer is not just limited to law students, but also open to individuals from diverse educational backgrounds. Whether you're still in secondary school or a fresh graduate, there could just be the right opportunity waiting for you here. We believe in finding tasks that align with your skills and interests, regardless of your field of study. So, don't hesitate and apply!

The application process varies depending on the type of internship you apply for, the duration of the internship, and whether you require a visa. However, typically, we follow these six steps:

1. Apply through LinkedIn or our website.

2. Submit a video introduction.

3. Interview via video or in-person.

4. Provide your transcripts, certificates and references.

5. We conduct reference and background checks.

6. You get an offer, if successful.

If you want to stand out, it is essential to contact previous interns and our Campus Ambassadors on LinkedIn. Ask them lots of questions, so you are better prepared for the application process and interviews. We currently have a team at HKU, CityU, CUHK, and in England.

A Friday evening party.

If you are a student looking to gain practical experience while studying, I highly recommend considering a part-time internship during term time. There is less competition, as very few students apply for this kind of internship, whereas you will compete against hundreds of other applicants for the summer internships.

It can be an excellent way to bridge the gap between academic theory and real-life application, while also helping you build your network and gain insights into your future career. And if you are interested in pursuing a career in law, Ravenscroft & Schmierer might be a good choice for you to explore your options. With its diverse team and international client base, you are sure to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience.


Justin Horchler is a second-year student at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Sciences Po Bordeaux and Paris Panthéon-Assas in France. He completed his internship with Ravenscroft & Schmierer in May 2023.

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