Bachelor of Laws, University College London
My first Deacons Encounter
Joining the firm as a Vacation Student
In the early stage of one’s career, exposing oneself to different areas is cardinal to exploring one’s interest and acquiring work experience. Deacons, as a full-service firm, enables me to do just that, given the diverse areas of practice one can engage in.
Having operated in Hong Kong for over 170 years, the level of specialisation and quality of service delivered are also impeccable. This facilitates the holistic training offered by Deacons, which caters for all aspects of professional development so as to equip one to be a competent commercial lawyer.
Finally, the great sense of social commitment Deacons exhibit by giving back to the community through numerous initiatives, such as the “ABCs of Law”, stood out to me.
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Fascinated by the art of expression and communication through my childhood hobbies – choir, elocution, drawing, I realised a common motif of a Human Element in them – why and how we share ideas with people and interact with the world. Likewise, this Human Element is deeply interwoven into the study and practice of law, where I articulate legalistic principles that respond to and even shape human interactions. The delicate balance that law draws between our personal interests and societal benefits also has broader implications on our daily lives. It is the appreciation of this Human Element, and how it manifests in the balancing acts that shape our lives fuelled me to pursue in a legal education and career.
Although being proactive by asking for tasks creates a good impression, it is important to be aware of your capacity and avoid being overly-aggressive. Having received a task, it may be beneficial to know the background and the rationale to ensure you are steering in a right direction. It is understandable that a vacation student may have difficulties and mishaps in the process, so do not be shy to ask for further clarifications. It is also a good practice to ask for feedback, because that enables yourself to do better in the future. After all, vacation schemes aim at giving students a glimpse into the reality of being a commercial solicitor.
Deacons’ well-structured training programme focuses predominantly on people engagement, business development, commercial acumen, personal qualities, and risk management. All these are requisites of being a skilful lawyer, which would enable me to grow and enrich my professional development. Apart from this, I can benefit from the breadth of work Deacons engage in to explore and specialise in a particular sector. Integral to a sustainable work-life balance, Deacons also shows care to the well-being of employees by organising different social events or activities. Therefore, I am confident that Deacons can provide one of the best working environments that allows comprehensive growth personally and professionally.
In studying the legal principles that respond to human interactions, I do not lose sight of the more primal and genuine interactions in daily life. For instance, interactions I have in community services are of such a nature, and from which I derive joyfulness. I believe it is important to give back to the community because we, as lawyers, are essentially advocates and advisors for our society. Upon joining the firm, I look forward to fulfil this objective through the initiative of Deacons Cares.
All the people I worked with in Deacons are very understanding and helpful – they would not hesitate to offer a hand when they know I have encountered an obstacle I could not resolve myself. During my vacation scheme, I have also observed that the bonding between colleagues is close. Immersed in such a friendly atmosphere, I can feel a sense of security and a strong team spirit that make work more interesting. Overall, I had a wonderful time working and socialising with the people I met during my vacation scheme at Deacons.
Arrive at the firm and check emails
Reply emails and plan the day ahead
Meet with associates to discuss a legal research
Lunch with trainee buddies or my other batchmates
Complete tasks according to my plan
Discuss the task at hand with fee-earners
Meet with my other batchmates to prepare a group presentation
Joined Deacons as a summer vacation student in the IP Commercial & Litigation practice group
Picked up photography as a hobby
Undertook a month of legal internship in Beijing
Commenced my LL.B. at the University College London
Went to Tshwane, South Africa to compete in the World Choir Games
First legal internship/experience