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Siobhan Sugrue (Law Plus) – China Internship Programme 2015

"My name is Siobhan Sugrue and I recently completed a 3-month long legal internship in Shenzhen, China. The internship was organized and arranged by CRCC Asia, a company whose vast network enables it to offer placements of one to three months in various industries within China.

I was lucky enough to be granted a scholarship by UL’s Department of Law to fund 3 months within Liu & Wang Attorneys at Law, a Chinese law firm based in Shenzhen, China.

Liu & Wang is part of a bigger law firm, Guangdong HaiPai, which is actually based in Hong Kong, where most of the international cases and contracts the company dealt with originated from. They deal with a large variety of law, mainly foreign related legal matters such as foreign investment, international trade, and intellectual property.

CRCC Asia organised everything initially; transportation from the airport, a metro card used each day to travel to work, and provided us with a local SIM card and a guide showing must-see local tourist places and restaurants, their level of help and guidance was definitely above and beyond my expectations.

fter the induction, where they gave us further tips and advice, we were left to find our own feet; although the team had an excellent response time (via phone or email) in dealing with any questions or problems. The accommodation was fantastic, clean and safe, and everyone had a private room to themselves.

After I met my supervisor, I was given an extremely exciting case to work on, a project which was the highlight of my work experience in China.

The case which was related to the military coup in Thailand, which a few years ago made news headlines across the world. We (in conjunction with a Thai law firm) were to represent a Chinese electronics company who had been contracted to produce one tablet computer for every single child of primary school age in Thailand, within one year. I was tasked with writing a brief on the case itself, and creating a short summary/presentation of the Thai ‘One Tablet per Child’ policy. Other tasks involved proof-reading contracts and letters which had been translated from Chinese to English. This was quite interesting but also challenging as concepts or turns of phrase that are familiar to a particular culture or language, may not transfer well to another. The teamwork that was required to reach a mutually understandable translation was very fulfilling and rewarding, and a great lesson in patience, communication, and cultural awareness.

Would I recommend the CRCC Asia program? Absolutely, they deliver an incredible experience to anyone who is willing, positive and open to opportunity.

As with any internship there was a lot of downtime, and it can be difficult to stay enthusiastic. To do well, living and working, in China, it is necessary to be flexible and positive. You have to know that you won’t be able to control everything but that there is a lot to learn and experience. The interns that gain the most from their experience in China are the ones that are able to adapt easily and can maintain perspective when facing new and different experiences in a culture that is so different from anything they’ve experienced in the past.

I think my internship in China will prove to be great for my professional career. As I apply for jobs in the legal field, employers are especially interested in my experience working in a law firm."