Every year since the start of my four-year degree in law, I was determined to secure an internship to better inform and prepare me professionally in my future endeavours as a solicitor. The perfect opportunity then presented itself as this was a requirement for the module, Clinical Legal Education* (Law placement). This is what led to my summer experience at Keystone Solicitors.
As a firm, their proceedings focuses mainly on Commercial and Corporate law with foreign and national clients of businesses. These lawyers aid and enable foreign and local businesses to set up a company in Ghana. Therefore, they help with informing their clients about the process of incorporation and regulations they have to abide by.
Although a small-knit firm, the firm improved my work ethic as I had often had to multitask between roles as an intern and an assistant. While this experience was challenging, I learnt a few things including the skill of adaptation. This is because roles such as these enabled me to apportion my time wisely to suit each individual I worked with. This was made easy as though the team had busy schedules, they were equally able to afford enough attention to coach and mentor the work I did. In times where I was confused or found work difficult I was encouraged to ask anyone for help from the secretary to the managing director. Everyone was hands-on and engaging in aiding me with whatever I need.
Furthermore, I improve professionally through being given the space to practically to apply the law in assignments. This was conveyed as this year I found it particularly useful when one of my assignments were to draft a lease document. From the experienced gained I was able to apply the law in writing legal letters and drafting lease documents on my father’s behalf.
Additionally, I found that my writing improved massively, as I have been able to better articulate myself through feedback received.
Lastly having this opportunity enable me cultivate habits that I find I still utilised as a graduate. This habit was the exposure to growing my commercial aware in the legal industry. This was done through being tasked in reading the local and financial times in Ghana.
This was one habit that I found served me as I gained more insight into the commercial and cooperate industry and which allowed for a further understanding in the firm workings.
I continuously utilise this habit as commercial awareness is a tool that allows for me to determine which firm culture is best suited to practice and it also equally grows my understanding of the industry I choose to practice in the future.
I would highly recommend this module because not only did I this provide the opportunity to grasp the understanding of the role of a solicitor but also the chance to develop my professionalism practically through a firm. It is one thing to learn and build your knowledge of what the law is, but I feel at one point in time law students should be given the chance to liaise and shadow under experienced lawyers.
*Please note the module, Clinical Legal Education (Law placement), is not running during the 2020-21 academic year but will be back in 2021-22. However there will be placement opportunities advertised throughout the academic year which you can do alongside your degree.