Intern Insights – Natasha Tan, National University of Singapore

August 7, 2018

I completed a three-week internship at VanillaLaw in July 2018. I was aware that VanillaLaw was a different breed of law firm, however beyond that, I was not sure what to expect.

VanillaLaw provided an intense hands-on approach that not many firms are comfortable with giving their interns – for instance, I was completely integrated into the firm’s processes. As an intern I appreciated being heavily involved and being able to contribute to the actual issues, rather than just watching from the sidelines. I was able to sit in for a great number of client meetings, and was often tasked with work that directly assisted the lawyers. Furthermore, they took care to ensure that I was engaged in a variety of work – from research and minutes taking to drafting of actual letters and using the VanillaLaw software. It was also the first time in all my internships that I was directly cc’d into conversations with clients, and was able to be part of the case as things unfolded and developed. This internship gave me the chance to truly experience what it would be like as a lawyer with the firm and this was a unique experience that does not come often – as an intern, this was very valuable.

Vanilla’s specific clientele of SMEs provided a different scope of clients, quite apart from the usual bigger corporate clientele of other law firms. This was a new experience and helped me appreciate the existence of different types of legal work as well as the varying concerns faced by the owners of the SMEs. VanillaLaw also provides a holistic service for companies as they have both legal as well as business consultancy aspects to the business. This provided a different perspective to issues and allowed me to observe how law and business interact on a practical basis. Everyone here is very well versed in their respective areas of work, and I was particularly impressed and inspired by Mark’s proficiency in both business and law.

However, to only praise the firm as a corporate entity would be an injustice to each person of the firm itself who made my stay a welcoming and fruitful one. I was able to work with all the different legal associates at the firm, and regardless of their position I’d always felt comfortable talking to them. They never shied away from answering my queries regardless of how trivial they were; they were constantly encouraging and patient. The business team was also very welcoming and contributed greatly in allowing me to settle in. The office ate together every meal, and I believe that this is another effect of its flat hierarchy. I really enjoyed all the conversations we had over lunch at the long table in the office. VanillaLaw felt like a family, with people sharing their personal life over meals, as well as bursts of conversation throughout the day.

Thank you everyone, for the three weeks I had with you. It has been a whole new experience, and I am very grateful for your guidance and support.

 

Natasha Tan

National University of Singapore

Law Undergraduate

 

Intern Insights is a series showcasing our interns’ reflections and observations during their time spent with us.