3 months in the legal industry – Brussels

I got some internship offers back in December 2018, all of them were in the Marketing sector, but this offer intrigued me most. Getting an offer from a legal industry company was something I did not expect at all, even though my childhood dream job was to become a lawyer (not anymore..). So, I decided to go with it as I felt like it would certainly be interesting to see if I could spark with the industry that I thought I would when I was 10. In the end, although I came to a realisation that the legal industry and myself were not quite a perfect match, the job was certainly interesting from which I learnt so much over the course of 3 months.

First Law International is the name of the firm I worked for. The business model is different from traditional law firms, they were actually a network of law firms. They have partner law firms in 80+ countries and the number is increasing. Basically, the clients would come to us with an international case, usually involving work in one or more countries. We then delegate the work to the law firms in the corresponding countries and remain as the bridge between the client and the firm(s). The office was fairly small in number and I was the only intern during most of my internship, but in addition to that, we did have a handful of remote partners around Europe and the US who also dealt with day to day matters. 

Being the only intern, I had a great deal of things to get used to. During my first two weeks of the internship, there was another intern who introduced the fundamental tasks to me and helped me get the hang of the environment. After she left (her internship period ended), I got mentored by the office manager who was also my main supervisor. 

My daily tasks really varied, but it can be categorised into 6 main sections:

  • social media & website management, 
  • content creation (newsletters, flash announcements & press release),
  • communication with relevant partners, 
  • conference management, 
  • mobile app project, 
  • expense reporting, and
  • miscellaneous tasks (such as copying, printing, archiving files or any other office tasks)

My internship luckily aligned with the company’s biggest conference not only of the year but also of its 17 years in operation. The Conference was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It was such an overwhelming and eye-opening opportunity to be in the organising team of such a large-scale event, where I had the chance to meet and work with a lot of admiring individuals in the legal industry. 

After the internship, I have improved my communication skills a great deal and was deeply familiarised with the operation of the company. I have learnt to meet important deadlines as well as to be flexible with my time in order to be able to meet with the clients’. I have also learnt the essence of international business thanks to the international nature of the company (First Law International has partners in 80+ countries).

This practical training was certainly a valuable opportunity for me to grow myself not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. I have immensely enhanced my practical skills that can be further implemented in my future professions. I gained experience working with international partnerships/clients which I believe is always the most challenging task in an international business environment. As regards to my career goal, I have gained much more knowledge in public relations than I expected. I feel more confident dealing with communication and marketing related tasks.

During the practical training, I was constantly under time pressure to get things done on time. Such experience has improved my time management skills. I learnt how to prioritise tasks based on their urgency and importance. In addition, working under time pressure means that I had to find solutions more quickly, and the simpler the solution the better. Overall, I really enjoyed and valued this experience. It certainly gave me a solid base to continue on to my future career.

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