The 3 biggest rewards of my term-time law internship
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All of my internships have been invaluable. They have been a stimulus for improvement and a humbling experience working with all the professional minds I met. Hoping to fully utilise my final year in law school and to get prepared for entry into the workforce, I did a term-time internship at Ravenscroft & Schmierer. Ravenscroft & Schmierer provides guidance, opportunities and exposure to those who are determined to thrive as a future professional.
#1 – Guidance and sharpening the legal mind in a team environment
I found Ravenscroft & Schmierer special because of the way I was given continuous supervision and my engagement in projects was valued. I was glad to be involved in regular small-group discussions with partners and associates, in which goals were aligned and everyone was kept updated about each other's progress. Upon knowing the instructions, interns were free to raise possible directions to push the case forward and to share their research findings. We worked as a team.
#2 – Opportunities and developing a sense of ownership over work
Moreover, I was grateful for the unique opportunity to contact clients directly. I had a one-on-one telephone call with a client from Malaysia, then summarised their concerns about a license application to our partners and associates. It motivated me to work and think further in the research process because I was assisting in the urgent needs of someone I built personal rapport with. At Ravenscroft & Schmierer, I was encouraged to take ownership of my work. The satisfaction gained from standing on my own feet to liaise with clients was immense.
#3 – Exposure from the classroom to the real-world legal practice
The internship enriched my legal knowledge and polished my lawyering skills. My application at Ravenscroft & Schmierer was made from the urge to broaden my horizon regarding commercial expertise in the legal field, and I was not disappointed. I conducted various corporate client searches across jurisdictions. I familiarised myself with the company registration practices in the European Union, Hong Kong and Mainland China, and also German and Swedish acronyms and words such as “GmbH” and “Aktiebolag”.
Working with legal professionals prompted a lot of self-reflection on essential lawyering skills. For example, I was working on a Chinese employment law case and looked at, among other things, whether a severance payment was necessary for unilateral termination in China. Only after the team discussion did I understand how I should not stop when I found out the answer was “yes”. Instead, one should continue working out how much the severance payment would be in the client’s scenario. A good lawyer thinks many steps ahead and discovers potential obstacles in the client’s best interest.
Also, colleagues here were helpful and resourceful. Before and after visiting court, the associates explained to me in detail the relevant laws and procedures. Due to this guidance, I now know how a proficient litigator prepares steps ahead to expedite the court process. I am thankful to have met other colleagues who shared their learnings at work with me and gave advice as to how I can improve.
Consolidating knowledge learned at university
As a term-time student intern, I consider the way internship work strengthens my academic understanding precious. Taking the subject ‘Business Associations’ this semester, I was excited to get involved in the drafting of a shareholder agreement at Ravenscroft & Schmierer, and to inspect a wide range of corporate documents including Board Resolutions, Board Meeting Minutes, Significant Controllers, etc. which make concepts taught at school vivid. Since Ravenscroft & Schmierer handles commercial fraud cases as well, there was a time when my colleague and I tried to distinguish the unusual features of some fake Business Registration Certificates and Certificates of Incorporation - an exercise that lectures would seldom offer!
Thank you Ravenscroft & Schmierer for this learning opportunity. Danke sehr!
Candy has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Government and Laws) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Hong Kong and completed her Internship at Ravenscroft & Schmierer from January until March 2021.