MS. MARIA VICTORIA LAZARO ATIENZA
A law student at SOAS, University of London
The most fulfilling part of being a legal intern for GV Lawyers is that it allowed me to explore various areas of law. Being a foreign intern from the UK, my initial expectation was that my tasks will be limited to administrative support due to language barriers. I did not speak or know any Vietnamese prior to my start. However I was in for a surprise when my colleagues trusted me with actual legal tasks. I got to draft a legal services agreement between the client and the company, research various laws regarding debt/insolvency in different jurisdictions, review a case of divorce within family law. Needless to say, my internship was full of learning and navigating through foreign laws and Vietnamese domestic laws.
It seems intimidating when you first think of interning within a legal company that is based halfway across the world. However, my supervisor Mr Luong Van Ly, who is also one of the partners of the company, assured me that my colleagues are there to help me with any tasks and also guide me into developing my legal skills. The ambiance within the company is very amicable yet professional, that Mr Ly even welcomed and trusted me to be a part of his team who was advising a state-owned company. I got to be involved with the case in depth and got to know more about contracts being governed by an outside jurisdiction. It was really a one-of-a-kind experience.
My journey with GV Lawyers wasn’t all perfect – there were times when I feel overwhelmed due to the differences in work culture. However, it was an amazing journey that I would not trade for anything. Over the 2 months of internship with GV Lawyers, I have grown more professionally and I have also learned to sharpen my interpersonal skills. I may be biased but GV Lawyers has the best working environment for foreign legal students wanting to gain practical experience in the field of law.