Reflections of Ex-Intern, Emelia Kwa

My four weeks at OTP Law Corporation flew by in a jiffy. It turns out that the time-old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” really is true (or you know, just being really busy). There was always plenty to do at work, which in turn, gave me a richer internship experience than I could have hoped for. I am grateful that my stint at OTP was my first “official” foray into the legal world as I was guided by a team of welcoming and patient paralegals and lawyers, and I could not ask for a better place to be.

While I have heard horror stories of being screamed at for mistakes at other firms, I was definitely not subjected to such torture. In fact, I was simply told where I had gone wrong and given a second chance to do better. Such generosity and understanding only compelled me to do a better job (and hopefully I did).  I was also given opportunities to approach the lawyers for advice on completing tasks, and they were always more than willing to clarify my doubts.

I was exposed to a wide variety of tasks, ranging from proofreading letters to typing up research memos and drafting submissions. Doing so reminded me that the practice of law is so much more than just figuring out a legal problem and applying a solution to it – something that is often forgotten by students in our pursuit of stellar grades. There was also a need to be able to handle clients (whether they were simply being impatient or could not understand the legal advice given), something which I realised takes experience and a great deal of tact.

It was through this internship that I realised that law is not as dull as law school paints it out to be. Perhaps this was because I was able to dip into different areas of law and help handle actual cases. The moment I truly felt that law was something I could see myself in was during the pro bono session at AWARE. I was struck by the realization that being able to provide potential legal solutions (or even a listening ear) to these clients made the law a meaningful venture, since I would be empowered to help others.

All in all, I hope that the other internships I have will be as fruitful and fulfilling as my time at OTP and that the skills I have picked up along the way will allow me to become a better law student.

Emelia Kwa
Year 2 of SMU Law
Internship period Jun 2016