Law Plus graduate Sean Beatty recently undertook a legal internship in Shanghai, China, supported with a generous scholarship from the School of Law. Here is what Sean had to say about the experience:

“I was fortunate this year to receive scholarship funding from the UL School of Law to travel to China and carry out a two month legal internship in Shanghai with CRCC Asia. Preparing for the trip itself was very easy as CRCC took care of a lot of issues such as obtaining a Chinese visa and organising accommodation in Shanghai. Having identified law as the area I would like to work in, CRCC placed me with River Delta Law Firm (RDL) which specialises in Chinese employment law. This is the largest employment law firm in China and my team was involved in catering to the firm’s international client base and expanding the firm’s international image.

Over my two months with RDL I had a very interesting experience and in comparison with Irish law firms, it was incredibly different. I was frequently required to conduct legal research, and I certainly found aspects of this more difficult than I would have in Ireland, with many legal documents being written exclusively in Chinese. Therefore, the range of available books and articles in English was understandably limited, which led to much of my learning arising from questions posed to colleagues. I was very often assigned the task of proofreading items written in English such as emails, contracts, billing timesheets and articles and book chapters being prepared for publication. I was also asked to write an article for the firm’s website and spoke twice at the firm’s “Seminars in Comparative Labour Law”. As many of the clients were English speaking, I participated in conference calls with clients where I would provide support to the partner involved and record the minutes of the meeting. Additionally, I had a role in the initial drafting of certain contracts, where I was free to draft new clauses if I felt they were warranted.

Living in Shanghai with the other CRCC interns was fantastic. It was rare that a day passed where I did not see or experience something new. I also found that opportunities to learn presented themselves frequently. From overcoming the language barrier at work and adapting to Chinese business culture, to exploring an enormous city and meeting people from every corner of the world, my internship proved to be an outstanding experience and one which I know I will draw on over the coming years.”

For more information on international study and work placement opportunities for current students in the School of Law, please visit http://www.ulsites.ul.ie/law/node/17921.

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