I have had a rewarding experience working at Chong + Kheng Hoe (“CKH”) to date. Within CKH, there is an unspoken rule of respecting and treating everyone with courtesy. This firm operates on trust-based relationships at work, which is a feature I appreciate in a working environment, which is why I was drawn to join this firm.

It has been two months and three weeks since I joined CKH. Time flies, but not as effortlessly as within ‘blinks of an eye’. Prior to joining the firm, I had no experience working in a law firm before. When I first started my pupillage, I felt extremely nervous and lost, because it was a whole new environment in an entirely different level field altogether. Needless to say, there are definitely times where I feel insecure about my abilities. However, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with colleagues and fellow pupil mates from the litigation team, all of which were extremely supportive and kind to me as I settled in.

As the only pupil in the Corporate Department, I am usually tasked with paving the groundwork. Although a fraction of my work experience involves rather menial tasks, it still remains an important part of the job that requires focus and dedication. I have always believed that in order to be really good at something, you would need to start from ground up — weaving through the small and intricate details. To put it another way, the key is to understand what the documents accomplish, why they matter, and how they can be pieced together before you can see the big picture later. In sum, each and every piece of work no matter how trivial can play a significant role in affecting the final work produced.  For that reason, I do appreciate that I get the work I do, as the same provides an opportunity for me to learn something new.

Prior to my pupillage day, I considered myself to be a rather meticulous person. Along the way, I did make some mistakes which makes me feel terribly silly at first. Instead of being disheartened, I try to remind myself that mistakes are opportunities to grow and improve. I made it a point to note down any and all the mistakes I made. By creating a checklist, I am aware of what to review based on my past errors, so as to never repeat them. Gradually, I always double-check, and at times even triple-check my work prior to submission. As I glance back, I am happy to say that I have now adopted this as a habit of mine, more so since a substantial part of every job is the proofreading process.

At this juncture, I would like to express that I am extremely grateful to the seniors and my master who were patient with me and my inquiries. As much as we are expected to work independently, I truly appreciate everyone’s willingness to teach and provide me with feedback on my work — especially when I reach out for guidance. Beyond the pupils and staff, the associates and partners at the firm are also approachable, which made it easier for me to communicate my concerns or questions.

To sum up, my experience as a pupil at CKH has been positive and developmental so far. I have learned that the most important thing to do is to ask questions and get proper instructions. When in doubt, ask until you understand. I hope to use the remaining months to grow, learn from the experienced team, develop my work style, and integrate what I have learnt in this short span of time into my current and future work. All in all, I hope to gain as much knowledge and experience as I can, so that I can give back to the firm and also be prepared and trusted to handle cases post-pupillage.

This article was written by Zoe Koh ([email protected]) who is reading in the chambers of our Corporate Partner Amy Tan ([email protected]).

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