Read my Article on LinkedIn.
Thinking back to the time before my internship at Ravenscroft & Schmierer, two words describing the work of a solicitor pop up in my mind, "intense" and "aggressive". The experience here has changed my thoughts.
On my first day, I was nervous and shaky. However, as soon I stepped through the door, I was welcomed with a smile by our paralegal Vanisha. I can vividly remember how our associate Julian warmly welcomed me, saying, "Always ask when you have questions. I am there if you need anything."
My short time at Ravenscroft & Schmierer has provided me with many hands-on learning opportunities, which deepened my insight into the actual practice of legal work. I have never thought of the high complexities of preparing a bundle until I assisted our trainee solicitor Saajandeep. In my first thought: preparing a bundle was simply more or less like administrative work. Yet, it was a completely different picture. In dealing with this particular family court case, a specialised format (ie. practice direction 5.4 Preparation of Interlocutory Summonses and Appeals to Judge in Chambers for Hearing) was required. In particular, the affirmations, exhibits, and correspondence must be arranged in separate bundles. The high complexity of splitting the exhibits into the correct order, paginate, and finally bringing them to the Family Court Registry to file them into court – felt like running a marathon.
Bundle format according to: Practice Direction 5.4
I also assisted our litigation partner Anna Lau in preparing a presentation on cyber fraud. With the advancement of technology and increase in online fraud, hearing friends or reading about victims in the news falling into cyber fraud traps is nothing strange. However, it often seems like there is not much we can do in such situations. With the guidance of Anna, I have gained exposure to the practical remedies available in law to protect cyber fraud victims. For instance, we can seek a proprietary injunction to preserve the assets of the claimants. It is applicable when the funds have not been removed from the fraudster's account. In addition, top-up protection – such as mareva injunctions (for further details, please click here and here) - are available to protect the claimant against the dissipation of assets. Although this is something closely connected to our daily life, these are some practical legal concepts that I have not encountered in school.
Check out the video I made about my internship here.
Other than paperwork, I have also followed our associate Julian having meeting with a client and a barrister. Although I did not have the chance to get involved in the discussion, sitting aside observing, I gained a more comprehensive picture of the role of a solicitor in the 45-minute meeting. The barrister taking the lead, a solicitor playing the middle person, backing up the barrister to simplify details with clients when misunderstood. After the barrister proposed several arguable grounds for the case, Julian guided the client in providing the relevant materials to support the claim. Rather than being the team leader, I like how the solicitor has more interaction with the clients. This experience has taught me a higher level of teamwork in a legal case.
In addition to the day-to-day legal work, it was fun meeting many CityU (City University of Hong Kong) alumni at Ravenscroft & Schmierer. Sharing the new changes at the university, talking about the challenging times we all have been through as a law student, was something that I appreciated a lot and would never forget. Also, I am very grateful how I have been given me a lot of advice in finding training contracts and study tips.
"The expert at anything was once a beginner," said American Oscar-winning actress Helen Hayes. It was my pleasure to have been part of Ravenscroft & Schmierer these four weeks exploring, growing, and gaining happy memories.
Jaimie Ho is a Penultimate Year LLB Student at the City University of Hong Kong and completed her Internship at Ravenscroft & Schmierer in August 2021.