My three months at Saunders & Co as a summer clerk has debunked my preconceived idea of what being an intern entailed. It was as far away as possible from my impression that interns stood at a photocopier all day and did coffee runs for the partners.
Admittedly, I was quite nervous coming into the firm as the only “summer” intern, knowing that some of my friends were going into firms with several other interns. I felt this would be a much easier transition for them as they were surrounded by other students going through the same experience with a similar level of familiarity to the profession. However, I was soon to realise that the position I was in was much more rewarding on a personal level and beneficial for my development into the legal profession. I was never grouped into being ‘one of the interns’, but from the start I always felt like I was part of the team. I have been very lucky to have got to know a whole range of fantastic different people of all ages.
Each day at Saunders & Co for me was completely different from the next with new challenges and opportunities to engage with the law in ways I had not been able to in the confinement of law school. Having never been involved with the law on a practical level before, I had a very limited idea of what type of law actually interested me. At Saunders & Co I was never restricted to working with one team in a narrow area of the law but instead I was able to work in several areas from family and property to commercial and litigation. I got the opportunity to not only meet clients and sit in on meetings but also to have first-hand correspondence with them through the telephone and emailing. I also spent time with the litigation team both researching legal principles and also attending court and filing court proceedings for them. I also experienced the whole other side of being a lawyer by assisting with the sale and purchasing of properties and various other matters involving companies. Having had a taste of such a wide range of places that a law degree can take you I now have a solid idea of the type of law I would like to practice and thus what papers I need to take for the remaining time I have left at University.
One of the principle jobs of the Saunders & Co summer intern is the annual Christmas gift delivery to clients and associates. This was a great opportunity to meet and engage with a selection of clients that the firm deals with on a regular basis. This was a very enjoyable experience – after all, who isn’t grateful for a Christmas gift?
Another highlight of my summer and a great way to meet everyone in the firm were the various social events which spanned not only the festive season but my entire time at Saunders & Co. If there was an event on, I always felt welcome to attend and everyone’s inclusive nature meant I never once felt out of place. From the Christmas party in Governors Bay, the Friday night drinks at the office, to the coffee trips across the road to Blax and lunches at the local Thai restaurant – they were all great! Being involved in the Wednesday evening touch competition for the firm team was also very enjoyable and made me feel immediately proud to be a part of such a talented group of people.
I feel very grateful to have had my first experience in a law firm with such a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and all round great group of people. At Saunders & Co I felt appreciated by everyone for my efforts whilst constantly being challenged and encouraged in all that I did. I am leaving the office at 131 Victoria Street feeling enthusiastic and eager about the future prospects of a career in law.