5 Things I Hope to Achieve During Pupillage

Guest writer Shi Jing shares the 5 things she hopes to achieve during pupillage. Having completed the Bar Professional Training Course with an overall grade of Outstanding, Shi Jing is about to commence her pupillage at one of the top legal firms in the country.

So you have completed 4 years of legal studies and you are about to embark on your pupillage journey. Aside from hoping to be retained by your firm, what are the 5 things you hope to achieve during pupillage? Every pupil has different priorities and goals and here are the 5 things which matter most to me. Continue reading

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5 tips from an intern on making the most of a law firm internship

Crystal Wong

Guest writer Crystal Wong, who has three law firm internships under her belt, shares her tips on making the most of those short stints.

Being an intern gives you a good platform to engage in an out-of-classroom and out-of-this-world experience. Internships give you a glimpse of how the legal scene unveils itself in a practical manner. I interned in Peter Ling & van Geyzel (PLVG) in Kuala Lumpur during my summer break in August 2017, and it turned out to be one of my favorite experiences.

Having now experienced internships in three different law firms, here are my 5 tips to make the most of your internship.

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5 things I learned from pupillage that law school didn’t teach me

Guest writer Janice Tan Ying has recently completed her pupillage, and has been retained as an Associate in one of the most well-regarded tax teams in Malaysia.

Call to the bar
An exuberant and fresh-faced Janice on the day of her Call to the Bar of England & Wales, before commencing pupillage in Malaysia. Post-pupillage photo not supplied for comparison of exuberance or freshness of face.

Pupillage. The budding legal eaglet’s nine-month rite of passage (read: baptism of fire) into a career at the Bar.

These nine months will shape and mould your career and personal development. Your pupillage period may be the springboard towards a flourishing legal career, or one that will (gasp shock horror!) turn you off practice permanently.

These are the five key takeaways that I have gleaned from my pupillage journey. They are by no means hard and fast rules, but are my personal take on some of the usual ‘how to’ advice dished out by lawyers.

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3 ridiculous mistakes you shouldn’t be making in your job application

The second half of year is always peak period for job applications at law firms. At various times during this period, we will receive applications from local or overseas graduates, as well as those who have passed their CLP or UK Bar exams. Whenever this time of year comes around, I’m always shocked at some of the appalling job applications that I see — and it’s not just me, many fellow employers or recruitment partners share horror stories and regularly ask “how on earth did this person pass law school?”

For the benefit of current applicants, here are 3 ridiculous errors that you really shouldn’t be making:

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Are legal career fairs becoming irrelevant?

The mid-year months of June to August are traditionally popular periods for legal career fairs in Malaysia. During these months, law students are either on a break in between semesters, or on their summer holidays before the start of the new school year.

In recent years, there has been a notable decline in interest in these legal career fairs. Employers who have been participating in these events started noticing a few years ago that the number of attendees was beginning to drop. After some time, we are now seeing employers beginning to lose interest too, and the number of law firms and other employers who are willing to spend on taking up spaces at legal career fairs have reduced dramatically.

The failure of the most recent legal career fair in Kuala Lumpur — the Bar Council’s “Legal Expo” (LEXPO) on 30 July — is a perhaps extreme example of this trend.

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Reflections of a first-time law intern

Guest writer Wong Yen Ni shares her thoughts on law firm internships. She spent June at Donovan & Ho, and is spending July at Peter Ling & van Geyzel, ahead of entering her second year of law at The University of Leeds.

Yen Ni
Yen Ni looking bright and chirpy. This may have been taken before she started her internships.

If you told 16-year-old me that I would be writing an article on legal internships, I would probably have laughed at the absurdity of it, and given you my assurance that I would not go anywhere near the subject of law. But the forces of the universe conspired in special ways to ensure that the exact opposite happens.

Before my enlightenment, I had earnestly vowed not to read law because I felt that it was simply not for me. I found it difficult to imagine finding a sense of belonging in such a seemingly daunting, unforgiving place that did not seem to resonate with my aspirations and personality. I felt that it was hard to be individualistic in a place where everything seemed so rigid and matter-of-fact.

However, I soon discovered that this image of the legal industry that I had constructed so prematurely did not do justice to what it truly embodied, and that I could not be more wrong in my initial thoughts. It turns out that not every lawyer you meet has it all figured out, nor had the ultimate dream to be a lawyer in the first place. And the law, multi-faceted as it is, only grows more interesting with each encounter.

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7 tips to make the most of your law firm internship

7 tips for internships FB

It’s the season for law firm internships — the June to August ‘summer break’ for many law schools. A few years ago, a law graduate who had one or two internships on her CV would stand out. These days, internships are the norm, and a graduate who does not have any work experience is an anomaly.

An internship should be a very intense period of learning, with most interns only willing to commit a one-month period (I recommend at least two months for the best experience) to each internship — because they want holiday time, or to do more than one internship. One month can really fly by, and if you’re not intentional about squeezing the most out of that time, it will be over before you know it.

Here are 7 quick tips on how you can make the most of your law firm internship.

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