Reflections of Ex-Interns, Eric Lip

Starting out a new internship is always intimidating as one would worry that their relative inexperience would make them seem like a bungling amateur. Fortunately for me, such fears were quickly alleviated as the small and comfortable environment in OTP Law Corporation proved to be very welcoming and helpful. Not only did the lawyers take precious time off to walk me through difficult legal work, the paralegals were also incredibly patient in helping me familiarise with the administrative work (of course there is administrative work) that I was tasked to do. This wonderful human environment and close personal interactions provided the basis for an enriching internship experience which taught me much that cannot be gained from textbooks.

I believe that my point will be best brought across anecdotally, so here are 2 instances that best exemplifies both the positive environment of the team, and the rich learning opportunities I gained my internship with OTP Law Corporation.

A rare opportunity to be part of the mediation process allowed me to learn several nuances to legal practice. While drafting the case statement for the mediation statement, Ms Susan Tay pointed out several things to me, one of which was to remind me that a mediation statement should not be drafted in typically adversarial manner required for a litigation. Also, after the mediation (where I was allowed to sit in), Ms Susan Tay had a conversation with me about my thoughts on the entire process. Although the conversation was a casual one, it made me think deeper on certain issues such as the role of a lawyer in relation to the client’s needs and objectives. While law school has well-equipped me with the legal skills required for practice, such invaluable insights and techniques can only be gained from actual practice and experience.

Another example I clearly recall was when Mr Lim assigned me with the task of researching on an issue that had much to do with civil procedure. Being relatively unfamiliar with the court procedures, I naturally had many questions and had also made a few mistakes for my research. Yet, when I discussed my (flawed) research and questions with Mr Lim, he was very patient and spent around an hour guiding me through the issue. Instead of pointing the correct legal position outright, he asked me a series of leading questions in order to allow me to arrive at the correct legal position by my own reasoning. As an aspiring future lawyer, I believe that this is an effective way to learn and develops my ability to reason and argument independently.

From just these two out of many examples, it is evident that OTP Law Corporation is a firm full of mentors, not just lawyers and paralegals. They have provided me with a very well-rounded perspective of legal practice through patient guidance coupled with independent learning, and I believe that this experience has aided me tremendously in preparing for actual legal practice in the future.

Eric Lip
SMU – Year 2 Law Student
Internship period Jul 2016