Monday 10th December, 2018
Author: Georgia Hamood-Smith
So far, it has been a challenging, exhausting, demanding and exhilarating time for the Adelaide Law School interns here in Shanghai! (Yes, all four adjectives needed for a context of our emotions). From uncertainty at the beginning of last week; Did we get off at the right metro stop? Where’s my iced latte, the Chinese word for ice is ‘bing’ (冰) right, why isn’t it cold? Is my legal research adequate for my senior partner?
Resilience has definitely been used at its best over the past week as we all put in our greatest efforts to do our supervisors proud as well as ensure we were keeping sane.
Once the working week was over and the final assessment for Chinese Comparative Law was submitted on Saturday, it was finally time to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy as much of Shanghai as we could fit in before getting back into another week of interning.
Saturday afternoon was a very exciting time as we had our first fall of SNOW in Shanghai! Although it wasn’t very heavy, it was enough to get us hyped up as we raced outside and danced around the front of our Hotel, definitely not showing our age. There’s something magical about snow and there’s nothing like enjoying it with such a great group of people in a new and exciting place.
On Saturday night, the feeling of festivity continued as most of the interns made their way to the Christmas markets. Some became lost in the process, but still ended up having a great night. Think crisp cold air, delicious nourishments, warm hot chocolate, the smell of mulled-wine and an allure of charming decorations.
On Sunday, Josh, Nick and I went to JiaoTong University for what is becoming a Sunday morning routine kick around with locals. We were fortunate to be invited to join a proper game of soccer of which Josh scored a very impressive goal.
Later that afternoon, a handful of us went to Yuyuan Gardens. This was absolutely gorgeous, filled with exquisite Chinese architecture, zig-zag bridges and glittering pools. Fortunately, we stayed long enough to capture the dazzling lights of the temples as they lit up on dark. It was a terrific day!
Working Week Two: River Delta Law Firm
Monday morning had us heading off to work refreshed and rejuvenated. Most of us arrived at our office extra early today to get law enrolments in before we started work. Everyone is now comfortable with where they are, how to get there and hold a general idea of what is required of them on a day-to-day basis.
I am placed at River Delta Law Firm for the duration of my internship. This firm is placed within the same vicinity as Dentons and AllBright, where the other interns are located. This means I get to travel to and from work on the same, crowded metro line as my intern family.
It has been amazing to be immersed within a Chinese Law firm. River Delta prides itself in China as a leading labor law-oriented firm, however they also specialise in other areas of law such as merger & acquisition, anti-corruption and compliance, IP Law and more. It has been captivating to be able to increase my knowledge of Chinese labour relations and labour law. Having only touched a little bit on the Fair Work Act back in Australia, I am really enjoying acquiring new knowledge in this area of law.
Tasks which have been required of me over the week have involved supporting lawyers and paralegals on their tasks and research, reading material to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese labour and employment law, researching the use of non-solicitation and non-compete clauses in employment contracts for the founding partner, help with social media account management and client relationship management through networking, attending meetings followed by the write up of minutes, as well as collaborating with Chinese co-workers to translate and proofread English documents. My basic reading, writing and speaking of the mandarin language comes in handy here.
Last Wednesday, I was invited to accompany a legal assistant to a chambers networking event. This was an event through the Australian Chamber of Commerce, of which River Delta is a member. It was great to be able to mix and network with a wide variety of people from a wide range of areas whilst representing River Delta Law Firm. There was a lot of delicious food and as usual, I ate way too much.
Every day, 12:00pm on the dot and no later is lunch time. I usually eat with lawyers and associates from my team, including the senior partner, Cathy Qu when she can afford the time. This is always a fun and casual part of the day. It allows us to get to know each other a bit more, have some laughs and share ideas with one another. We go to a new place each day and always order way too much.
I have REALLY been enjoying the valuable experiences I am gaining on this internship. Each day, I leave the office excited for what the next day will bring.
P.S. In helping River Delta develop their online presence outside of China, I have just created an Instagram page for them. If you are interested in keeping updated on a Chinese law firms news and affairs, it can be found at: @river_delta_law_firm