Document Review Paralegal
Previously worked at:
Farrer & Co LLP
Legal work experience
Farrer & Co LLP | Jun 20 - Jun 20
I was invited to attend Farrer & Co’s assessment day, which served as a screening process for summer vacation scheme placements. The day consisted of an individual written task in the form of an advisory letter, a group task involving a negotiation and presentation, and Q&A sessions with trainees and associates at the firm.
I was offered a place on the firm’s summer vacation scheme, originally scheduled for two weeks in July 2020. However, as a result of COVID-19, the vacation scheme was changed to a virtual placement. This consisted of a series of tasks, including drafting an email relating to a private client matter; a research task into Business Asset Disposal Relief; an interview with two partners; and delivered a presentation on Hong Kong’s contentious national security law.
The feedback I received from my supervisor in relation to the practical research task provided me with important takeaways which I believe will improve my research and writing skills in the future. Similarly, during my conversation with the employment partner, I was given a constructive critique of my initial vacation scheme application.
Overall, although brief, the first-hand insights into the firm and the broader advice were all beneficial to my development during my legal journey. I was invited to a final-round interview but did not receive an offer.
Other work experience
Partnership Executive; Conference Producer
ThoughtLeaders4 | Jun 21 - Now
ThoughtLeaders4 is a legal events and content provider, focusing on four key practice areas: High Net Worth Divorce, Private Client, Disputes and FIRE (Fraud, Insolvency, Recovery and Enforcement).
I initially joined the company as a Partnership Executive. I was tasked with maintaining existing and developing new relationships with regional and international partners for the Disputes and FIRE groups. This involved researching and meeting with lawyers, barristers, litigation funders, and other industry practitioners with a view to obtaining practice area and event-specific sponsorship.
I have since moved into a production role within the organisation, working in the FIRE, High Net Worth Divorce and Private Client groups. I undertake extensive market research and consult with industry practitioners in order to identify relevant topics and to determine the feasibility of potential conferences. I am currently developing conferences for our Private Client and High Net Worth Divorce groups, focusing on landed estates and farm tax for the former, and the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and Part III applications under Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 for the latter.
Monkey Tree International Group | Feb 19 - Jul 19
At Monkey Tree I was an English language teacher for Chinese-speaking students. My job was to develop students’ language skills such as reading comprehension, writing, speaking, listening, vocabulary and grammar acquisition. The age range of these students varied from as young as two years old all the way up to 14 years of age.
Working with young children provided unexpected challenges. Whilst this role primarily helped me further develop personal attributes such as patience and empathy, it also required me to develop my time management and problem solving skills as well as management and motivation of groups. Most of my classes had students of greatly differing ability levels. Education is not a ‘one size fits all’ model and, with strict targets to achieve in short timeframes (in a culture that places significant emphasis on academic achievement), I had to strike a balance between keeping the majority of a class on track and devising unique approaches to meet the individual needs of weaker learners. This involved analysing and gaining an understanding of individuals to tailor an approach to their specific needs, as well as managing the time I spent between bringing the weaker learners up to speed and making sure other students were not adversely affected by that individual attention.
Aside from achieving real results with the children, I also had to manage the expectations of their parents through monthly progress reports and personal interactions.
Working in a line function also provided insights on the effectiveness of the programme, ranging from teacher scheduling and motivation to ensuring repeat business from parents. Although it was not strictly part of my job description, I took the opportunity to provide feedback to the centre’s management on these issues to improve the content and profitability of the offering.
PJ Rabie - Private Family Office (principally focused on real estate in Cape Town) | Jun 18 - Aug 18
In this role I was exposed to a wide range of functions in the real estate industry. I undertook several projects to manage water and electricity costs in residential and multi-purpose commercial properties. This involved the identification of core issues amidst the conflicting stances of the various stakeholders, and in turn required creative approaches to work around the recalcitrance of both municipalities and certain commercial tenants. Eventual solutions resulted in substantial cash savings to residential tenants in particular.
I was also involved in existing property management and administration. This required liaising with tenants, sourcing contractors and overseeing renovations to achieve solutions on time and within budget, listing properties to rent, and arranging and conducting viewings for prospects with a view to closing a transaction.
Additionally, I performed market research in the form of a detailed evaluation of competition in the high-end student accommodation market as part of a potential new investment. Lastly, I had exposure to modelling and profitability assessments of potential new developments.
English Schools Foundation (ESF) | Aug 17 - Dec 17
The ESF is the largest English-medium international school organisation in Hong Kong. I undertook an independent organisational research project under the guidance of the Head of Professional Learning.
This project was focused on the motivation of teaching staff in Hong Kong. I devised a survey to focus on key questions, and then conducted research and multiple interviews with teachers and management staff. This culminated in a final proposal on issues including compensation, personal development, career progression, management oversight and job satisfaction.
The research and interviewing stages helped bolster my communication skills, as well as giving me confidence in establishing rapport and building relationships with employees across the spectrum of seniority. The topic was a somewhat emotional one for many of the interviewees, so I had to work hard to keep the interviews focused on the core questions and issues.
I also had an opportunity to participate in the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute program. Originally developed at Google, the program focused on leadership skills, mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
Temporary assistant chef (with training in grill, wok and sushi), bartender, barista and waiter.
Castelo Concepts | Jan 06 - Jan 17
Castelo Concepts is an international hospitality and lifestyle company, operating several venues across Hong Kong and Vietnam.
From 2006 to 2017 I spent numerous holidays working for the company in multiple capacities, including temporary assistant chef (with training in grill, wok and sushi), bartender, barista and waiter.
Working as an assistant chef involved managing time and stress on a continuous basis, incorporating often harsh feedback and quickly learning to evolve. It also required resilience due to the high pressure and long hours that are characteristic of working in a busy kitchen.
My roles as a bartender, barista and waiter were naturally far more customer oriented, which allowed me to gain an early appreciation for the importance of meeting/exceeding clients’ expectations and on occasion dealing with difficult clients.
Sail Cayman | Oct 16 - Dec 16
Sail Cayman is a premier private boat charter service. I was a crew member on both sailing yachts and powerboats. I accompanied foreign tourists on sailing, fishing and snorkeling charters, including freediving for crayfish and swimming with world-famous stingrays.
This role required me to develop my customer-service skills to meet the high demands and expectations of a premium clientele, often ensuring that small problems did not become big ones.
CBRE | Jul 14 - Jul 14
CBRE is a global commercial real estate services firm. As an intern in the capital markets team I attended client meetings, undertook market research, and attended site visit assessments of commercial spaces. This brief experience was my first exposure to a corporate environment, and my learning was mostly through just observing first-hand the actions of senior managers.
The University of Law (Moorgate, London) | Sep 19 - Aug 20
Non Legal education
IEB National Senior Certificate
St Andrew's College (Grahamstown, South Africa) | Jan 13 - Nov 13
Bachelor of Arts (History & Organisational Psychology)
Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa) | Feb 14 - May 18