By: Iryna Chorniy (St. Peter’s University)
I am beyond pleased with my internship at DeHeng Law Firm. At first, when I started my internship at DeHung I was not sure what to expect. Unlike all the Chinese interns who had a Master Degree in Law, I was only a sophomore majoring in Political Science.
Before my interview, I was both intimidated to intern at one of the most successful law firms in China. However, after meeting Mr. Wu and later Mrs. Zhang, I felt at ease and could not wait to start my internship. From day one I realized that DeHeng Law Firm is a perfect match for me.
My coworkers and supervisors made sure that I feel welcomed by making me tea, letting me pick my own desk, and introducing me to every single lawyer, secretary, and office manager. My internship has allowed me to actually learn about how to be a lawyer by watching my supervisor for two days per weeks. Just by closely observing the lawyers around me, I have attained many important skills that I would not have learned in law school, but which are needed in order to be a successful lawyer.
It was fascinating to see how my supervisor used different techniques to fit a particular situation. The lawyers were always willing to assist me with any questions that I had and would find time to talk to me and help me understand Chinese law and culture better.
Every single person whom I met at DeHeng has taught me something and contributed to my overall experience in China in a positive way. While I mainly focused on editing and drafting legal documents or researching present cases and legislations, I was never bored because every day I was challenged and learned something new. For example, drafting legal documents helped me acquire knowledge about the laws of the People’s Republic of China, while attending meetings with potential clients taught me how make good first impression to ensure future cooperation.
Soon Tuesdays and Fridays became my favorite days of the week and I could not wait to take on a new task. Also, to my surprise my supervisor valued my opinion and asked about my thoughts on different cases. I was treated more as an equal than a subordinate by the people around me and developed close friendship with my supervisor and legal advisers working near me. I felt truly appreciated, respected, and loved by my coworkers who are both accomplished lawyers and humble and kindhearted individuals. I feel very fortunate and grateful for this exceptional opportunity and for all the people I have met and for everything that I have learned at DeHeng Law Firm.
This internship has helped me to grow as a person, learn about the differences between American and Chinese law, push myself outside my comfort zone, and I cannot wait to use the experience that I gained in the future.