20 September 2012

My Experience as an Intern at RWY - Hoong Wei En

To start things off, I want to thank Mr Richard and Mr Yip for giving me a chance to work and learn alongside them as well as the team at Richard Wee & Yip (RWY) for patiently teaching and guiding me through the two months tenure with them. Having completed my internship programme with Richard Wee & Yip, I can now say that the experience had broadened my horizon, giving me a foretaste of the working environment and the life of a lawyer.

Working was a totally new territory for me and having never to have worked before, I did not know what to expect when I joined Messrs Richard Wee & Yip. I was a mixture of excitement and nervousness when I met Mr Richard for the very first time during my interview.

On my first day, still apprehensive of what was expected in my job as an intern, Mr Yip approached me to sit in on a discussion, which I later found out that it was an arbitration case. I was blessed to be able to work alongside Mr Yip and a claims consultant, learning new terms, phrases and processes, which I have never even heard before. It was a challenge for me, trying to understand and grasp the case but Mr Yip patiently took me through the case.

I spent my first two weeks at the firm doing clerical work and conveyancing matters, filling in CKHT forms, drafting, compiling and mailing out letters. I learnt how to handle the office machines such as the binder, the photocopier and the ancient typewriter.

Aside from clerical work, I got to do research relating to Internet Law for the Legal Tech Forum, where Mr Richard was an invited speaker.  Together with the other lawyers of RWY, I attended the Forum and got new insights to the cyber world and the law governing it.

I was also given the opportunity to sit in on meetings and court cases and it was very eye opening especially when I went to the Palace of Justice. Drafting Letter of Demands, Statement of Claims, and translations of Affidavits in Reply are some of the other things that I do as an intern under the supervision of the other lawyers. Like everything else, it was new to me but I rather enjoyed doing them.

Furthermore, I had the privilege to directly assist Mr Richard and Mr Yip in the pioneer project of Safer Malaysia, which is close to their hearts. Safer Malaysia is a platform for the public to air their grievances and to attempt to push for reforms of our security administration, with the aim to make our country a safer place. In this project, I aided Mr Richard by compiling articles and news on crime, drafting proposals, vision statements and articles as well as research. On many occasions, I followed both Mr Richard and Mr Yip for meetings with government representatives and individuals from other NGOs who are interested in working hand in hand with Safer Malaysia. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to be involved in a project that is so dear to the heart of many Malaysians. Although this is not related to any legal framework, it was very enlightening and through this, I learnt that complaining brings you nowhere. We should instead try to do something to remedy the situation.

Before interning at a law firm, I was of the opinion that I would only be learning very general office work like photostating, binding and making coffee but my experience at Richard Wee & Yip has changed my whole perspective as a law intern. I was given every opportunity to learn and the lawyers as well as the clerks at the firm were patient in teaching and did not withhold any knowledge and impart freely. The people at RWY are also very warm and friendly. This makes the firm a very condusive enviroment for learning. Accordingly when I joined the firm it was a quiet period, I am thankful to still be able to learn many things, both legal and non-legal. Some important principles that I learn from RWY are integrity, sincerity and punctuality. 

Thank you Mr Richard, Mr Yip and the team.

Warmest regards
Wei En, Hoong

18 September 2012

My Experience As An Intern at RWY - Henry Ng

Revelation of the Life of a Law Firm
Learning is a lifetime process, without which even a billionaire cannot preserve his success overtime. The attachment at Messrs Richard Wee & Yip is such an eye-opener pertaining to the life of a lawyer and at the same time, it prepares me to face my own challenges in the future.
Thanks to the past experiences shared by others, wherein I have had the advantage to make reference to, I concur on the sacrifice and contribution by every member of the firm. Because of them, I am further equipped with soft skills and knowledge on certain areas such as drafting and conveyance. With all due respect, I prefer to share what I have learnt from RWY on the aspect of ‘how to be a REAL lawyer’.
A lawyer is often being described as ‘lifeless and dull’, if not ‘cocky and impertinent’. Is that really so? To what extent it is true? Well, while I do not doubt that it may be the case for other lawyers, I am certain that RWY provides friendly working atmosphere and the lawyers are down-to-earth in nature.
Lesson No.1 – treat others with utmost sincerity and courtesy. One of the lawyers, through his experience, once told me that only his colleagues will back him up when he is in deep trouble; a cruel truth of life. I believe that this is the catalyst of the firm in nurturing a relationship of trust and respect among the members of the firm. In the spirit of achieving that, politeness and willingness are prioritised; not seniority. Even I am treated as if I were a qualified lawyer!
Lesson No.2 – enjoy the process and the journey. It is a culture of RWY to give a ‘pat on the shoulder’ when a good job is done and to celebrate anything worth celebrating. During lunchtime, sometimes with the presence of the partners, conversation was exchanged and often ended with laughter. Even the birthdays and the last day of attachments are celebrated in the firm just to appreciate our contribution, as well as recognition as an individual.
Lesson No.3 – show dedication and integrity to the profession. Notwithstanding the fact that we are allowed to err because we are human, works must be done in a systematic and efficient manner. If this code is broken, even the best lawyer will have to face the music. From my observation, RWY is passionate and meticulous on the things it is doing and frowns upon any negligence and irresponsible behavior of the lawyers and employees, especially when it relates to work.
The firm is indeed not only a workplace and a factory but also a big family. Like a Swiss made watch, every member plays a role like a component in a watch. As paramount as it sounds, even the tiniest part fails, the whole watch collapses. While I am not saying that RWY is flawless, because nothing is, I do not question the greatness of this firm. It is good that the attachments learn something of everything. If I have to make any suggestion, I would opine that RWY could allocate the attachments more to the respective areas where they show interests in, if possible. This will not only increase the efficiency of the work done, it may stimulate the potentials of one to the fullest.
‘You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives’, said Clay. P. Bedford. I am extremely grateful for RWY to have prompted me to question the interpretation and enforcement of law in Malaysia and every doubt has been answered with bluntness without hiding the ugly side of the truth. Once again, thank you for the blessings and wishes RWY has for me. Indebtedness is at least what I can express; the spirit of Messrs’ Richard Wee & Yip is what I will carry.
Henry Ng