5 most important things an intern or pupil should know during the internship and pupillage

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Our Eddie Law will be speaking to the law students in the UK and Malaysia via a webinar on this Saturday 26 Jan 2019 under the Legal Academy Chapter 3- Internship and Pupillage 101 programme by KPUM: United Kingdom & Eire Malaysian Law Students’ Union. He was also asked to share the 5 most important things an intern or pupil should know during the internship and pupillage, below are his quick thoughts:

1. Be Proactive : Don’t wait for your boss to assign task to you. Whenever you are free, take initiative to ask for more tasks. The more you do, the more you learn. Maximize your time spent in work.

2. Ask Why, Why, Why: Always ask the reason or logic behind doing any assigned task. Either by asking yourself or asking your boss. This is the effective way of learning. You might only be doing a small portion of the task most of the times, but by being able to see the “big/full picture”, will increase your learning curve and do the assigned task better.

3. Nothing Is Too Small To Do: Don’t give your boss the impression that you only want to do “sexy” or legal related works. Feel happy and be grateful for any small tasks that are assigned to you. Boss will only assign more complicated works to you if you are able to prove to him that you can handle the small and simple tasks well. This is the best way to earn trust.

4. You Can Learn Anything From Anyone in the Firm: Don’t think that you only want to learn from qualified lawyers or partners of the firm. In fact, legal practice also involves operational or procedural aspects of works, and most of the times, experienced secretary or even land office boy is more familiar than the lawyers in these kind of works. Being green, you should take this opportunity to also learn the operational and procedural aspects of works which law schools never teach.

5. Get Ready Your Note Pad: Always bring along a writing note book/pad whenever you are asked to meet your boss as you should write down the instruction given and repeat the instruction to your boss to avoid miscommunication in receiving instruction. This also gives a good impression to your boss that you are taking all his instructions seriously and carefully. Just ask if any thing that your boss tells you is unclear to you, don’t be afraid to clarify. It is more important to get the instruction right than doing the wrong thing.

To sum up the above in 3 Cs: Courage to be Humble (character), Curiosity (attitude) and Communication (skill).

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