Wong & Partners internship report - Moi Hooi Teh

Photo of Moi Hooi Teh
Moi Hooi Teh

Internship organisation

Wong & Partners

Internship period

9 January, 2012 to 13 February 2012

Outline of my internship

I started my internship with a one-day induction on the first day. Throughout the whole internship programme, I was rotated to four different practice groups and I generally remained in one practice group for about a week. I was assigned to one buddy in each practice group, who supposedly should be the main assignment provider. However, in reality, I was assigned to various tasks by different lawyers.

My first rotation was to the Intellectual Property and Litigation Practice Group. The following were the tasks that I was assigned and completed during my time in this group:

  • attended court hearings regarding a request for a leave to appeal to the Federal Court and a case management problem;
  • translated originating summons from Malay to English;
  • researched on arbitration cases, taxation issues and the background of a company;
  • attended a meeting with a potential client about patent disputes;
  • attended a discussion with other offices about competition issues in intellectual property agreements.

I was then rotated to the Finance and Projects Group. I was assigned to:

  • participate in a due diligence exercise;
  • proof read the due diligence report;
  • cross-check employment contracts;
  • do research on a syndicated loan facility;
  • draft a summary of the announcements made by a company on the capital market.

My third rotation was to the Taxation Practice Group and I had completed the following tasks:

  • research on the issues relating to taxable income, the status of cases used in a drafted court submission, the practical consequences of operating payment systems without licence, the charges imposed on a sale and purchase of land, the procedures involved in applying for licences to import and distribute alcohol;
  • draft a summary of the correspondences between two parties to be used in a court proceeding;
  • draft a table showing the offences stipulated under Income Tax Act and the penalties involved;
  • prepare a bundle of documents to be used in court proceedings.

Lastly, I was rotated to the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group and I did the following tasks:

  • research on the listing requirements for a trust fund, definition of “wages”, issues relating to Personal Data Protection Act, licensing requirements for owning and operating a satellite;
  • translate a document from English to Malay;
  • prepare a bundle of documents to be used in court proceedings.

About my host organisation

Wong & Partners (a member firm of Baker & McKenzie) is one of the top-tier firms in Malaysia. It has four main practice groups – Corporate and Commercial; Taxation; Intellectual Property and Litigation; Finance and Projects. Each practice group has a head leading the group. There are about 200 people including lawyers and support team working in Wong & Partners.

Total cost of my internship experience

Around RM1500.00

Who will suit this internship

In my opinion, the internship is suitable for law students who have completed their second or third year of law studies. This is because the internship will expose students to various practice areas and hence help them to discover their preferred practice areas at an earlier stage. The internship will also help the students in their selection of law elective units.

Advice for others wanting to apply for internship

I personally feel that students can get more involved if they can rotate to a practice group for at least two weeks. As this is against the firm normal practice of rotating students to one practice group for a week, it is thus highly advisable for students to put in their applications as early as possible (preferably two to three months in advance) in order to increase their chances of getting a longer period of internship.

Moreover, I think students should not just send their cover letters and resumes to the general email addresses listed on the websites without calling the firms first because it is very likely that their emails may remain unaddressed. Rather, they should call the firms and chat with the people in charge of the internship. The people in charge will then tell the callers their personal email addresses. I personally believe that doing so will accelerate the application process.

It is important to also note that the format for the resumes in Malaysia is different from Australia. Hence, students are encouraged to meet with careers consultants from Employment and Career Development for resume and cover letter checking.

Best experiences

As stated above, various tasks were assigned to me during my internship period. Most tasks involved research and drafting, something which I often do during my studies. Hence, I found the client meeting that I had attended for the first time in my life was the best experience. It gave me great exposure and valuable insight into the ways lawyers conduct themselves with the clients.

About Moi Hooi Teh

Moi Hooi is currently taking a single degree of Bachelor of Laws. She has completed two years of law study and is now in her final year of study. With graduation inching closer, she realises that there is a profound need for her to decide on the speciality(ies) that she has in mind to practice in the future. There is no better way of gaining insights, she feels, than through internships.