From Graduation to Legal Intern: A Journey of Discovery and Growth

After the air of accomplishment after graduation had ceased, I was filled with a new feeling of excitement for the opportunity to pursue my own passions in the field of law at university. But until the time I would start my further education, I wanted to find a way to kickstart my career and give me an insight into the world I would soon find myself learning about.

Instantaneously, I was drawn to the idea of an internship. The decision was mainly driven by my curiosity to understand the legal landscape, the experience I could gain working under the guidance of professionals, and how good work experience could look on a CV at my age. From that point, I was inspired to get an internship to make my remaining time in Vietnam productive and to get a foot in the door within a field I enjoyed.

After applying, I was warmly welcomed by the law firm Le&Tran, where I would complete my next two months as a legal intern, officially beginning my career in the legal field.


Why should you intern?

Finishing high school marks a significant moment of accomplishment and achievement, characterized by anticipation and uncertainty about the future. Even though my university applications had been finalized, questions, doubts, and curiosity still flooded my mind. An internship helped provide clarity to the interval of uncertainty between graduation and beginning college. On top of gaining practical work experience, an internship provided me with insights into the profession I was about to commit to academically.

Occasionally, universities require pre-university internships as a sign of commitment. However, my decision to intern was not motivated by this and I believe that it shouldn’t always be. Instead, my motivation stemmed from a genuine curiosity about the legal field and a desire to make an informed choice about my future. By immersing myself in a professional environment, I aimed to bridge the gap between my theoretical teachings and their practical applications, ensuring that what I choose to study academically aligns with what I enjoy as well as my career aspirations. And, of course, gaining practical experience grants a great advantage in the long run in terms of employability.


Choosing Law

Although I can’t say that law has been a childhood fascination of mine, it can be described as a profession that I gradually found myself growing more fond and curious about. In high school I participated in many forms of debate, even bringing me to overseas conferences in Korea, and I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere. As such, law was something I naturally gravitated towards, eventually choosing to study law and commerce and university. The intersection of these two disciplines, where legal frameworks meet commercial activities, intrigued me and promised a career path that was both intellectually stimulating and versatile.

While my choice was built upon my own independent exploration, it was undoubtedly influenced by the support and encouragement of those around me. Family, friends, and teachers played a crucial role in affirming my decisions, providing me with the confidence to follow my passions. The many opportunities they have provided have also invaluably contributed to my future. Their belief in my capabilities and the value of my chosen field reinforced my resolve, and have made the journey less imposing and more achievable.


Age and Inexperience: A Deterrence of Driver?

Interning at a relatively young age is undoubtedly an exhilarating experience. Although daunting at first, I slowly adapted to the demands of the workplace with the welcoming support of my colleagues. Even though I am acutely aware of my inexperience compared to my peers who are further along their professional journeys, this awareness somewhat acts less as a deterrent but rather as a driving force pushing me to learn and adapt quickly.

My initial expectations for my workload as an intern were simply to proofread, scan, print, and staple documents. However, I was given many more opportunities for work outside of that: drafting emails, doing legal research, attending client meetings, and being able to work on cases directly. Every day is a different task, and with its fast-paced and dynamic nature, I have always found my internship to be engaging, motivating, and constantly useful for my own learning.

Furthermore, one of the most rewarding aspects of this internship has been the support and mentorship I have received from my colleagues. The team has been incredibly welcoming and patient, offering guidance and constructive feedback. This supportive atmosphere has made the somewhat frightening idea of a professional setting much smoother, allowing me to gain confidence in my abilities and contributions.


Expectations and Future Prospects

My expectations for this internship are multi-faceted. One aspect of it is that I aim to gain a deeper understanding of the realities of the legal profession, further than the image painted by our imagination and countless TV shows. This involves familiarizing myself with the daily tasks and responsibilities of a lawyer, understanding the nuances of client interactions, and learning the procedures of legal processes and case management.

Looking towards the future, I envision this internship as the first step in a series of work experiences that will shape my career. Each internship and position will build upon the previous one, adding layers of knowledge and expertise, while also developing soft skills like communication and teamwork which will remain permanently. I am particularly interested in exploring the different areas of law Le&Tran have to offer, such as corporate law, family law, and labour law, to identify where my interests and strengths lie specifically.


Concluding Thoughts

Interning at this stage of my life has been a rewarding and fruitful decision, providing me with clarity and direction for my future career in law. It has also been an undoubtedly exciting and enriching experience with new tasks and learning opportunities daily. The support I have received and the knowledge I have gained is invaluable, setting a solid foundation for my academic pursuits and future career.

As I look ahead, about to embark on my university journey, I can do so with confidence, knowing that I am sure in my career and have been proactive in achieving my goals. This internship has been my beginning, but I look forward to the many experiences and opportunities that lie ahead.


Copyright Ⓒ Juvenis Maxime 2024