Trainee Solicitor (2019)
LLB | City University of Hong Kong (Dean’s List)
Our culture is one where the efforts and opinions of junior lawyers are valued and trainees are given meaningful responsibility on client files rather than being simply deployed in piecemeal tasks. We are entrusted with responsibilities in case management and client relationship management. We are invited and encouraged to participate in intellectual discussions with senior lawyers to identify pragmatic and effective solutions for clients on a daily basis. An enormous sense of belonging and fulfillment flows from this participative leadership style.
I was a vacation scheme student at Timothy Loh LLP during the summer of 2018 and began my training contract in 2019.
Scope of Work & Responsibility
As a vacation scheme student, I was exposed to eye-opening active client matters and was invited to join discussions with senior lawyers on substantive matters of law. For instance, I had the chance to look into financial regulatory laws that might be applicable to cryptocurrencies and contribute to the legal analysis for a client. My experience was different from some of my peers who were given monotonous tasks of a more clerical nature.
As I embarked upon my traineeship, I continued to work closely with partners and associates and was provided with continued guidance and clear instructions to prepare me for the challenges inherent in complex legal issues and unfamiliar business settings.
The range of responsibilities which I was assigned as a trainee may seem daunting. Rest assured that the senior lawyers are cognizant of our work experiences, abilities and caseloads and it will be a gradual and manageable process.
Interaction with Partners
I valued the fact that partners are willing to invest the time and effort to engage in in-depth discussions and interactions with trainees. The topics are not limited to legal issues encountered in a file but include commercial considerations, tactical considerations in handling third parties, the firm’s business operations and other matters.
For client work, as a trainee, I did not simply submit work product and receive brief written comments. I was expected to conduct a comprehensive analysis, to share my proposed approach with partners and to participate in the decision making process to finalize the approach for clients. By observation, we can contrast our thinking with their perspectives, thereby understanding in what ways we can improve.
These day-to-day discussion and brainstorming exercises mean that our training goes beyond purely acquiring knowledge and work experience by completing tasks in accordance with instructions to sharpening our mind and judgment so we can devise a plan to resolve problems independently.
Culture and People
Our partners and associates are open-minded and sharing persons and welcome questions and feedback from us as junior lawyers. Even if it is not directly related to an active client matter, they will be happy to share their knowledge and insights for our learning and betterment.
I have enjoyed working with other lawyers at this firm as a team and I have found no company politics. With the support and close mentorship of the partners and associates, we are therefore able to handle intellectually demanding work and attain our full potential.