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Hui Ling recently qualified into the Banking practice having joined A&O as a trainee solicitor in September 2019. She received her PCLL from the City University of Hong Kong and an LLB from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

I completed the Hong Kong vacation scheme in 2017. The scheme gave me a flavour of the calibre and variety of matters at A&O. Having done schemes with other firms, one thing that stood out was the generosity shown by partners and associates. Every lawyer took an active interest in us and actually took time out to educate interns, whether through casual chats or constructive feedback. It was clear to me then that this was a firm that valued development and growth.

A few years down the line, I can confirm the culture of nurture continues throughout your career with A&O. A&O operates and delivers at the highest standard, and the same is asked of our trainees. Even in the first months of my training contract, I was trusted with a good amount of responsibility and assigned key workstreams for independent handling. Working amongst some of the brightest in the industry really challenged me to stretch further and wider. Though I was often encouraged to take ownership of our work, I was never left to sink or swim. Each member of the team, be it a partner or an associate, is approachable and keen to provide the support and confidence we needed to push beyond our comfort zones. Departments run training sessions at the beginning of each seat to make sure trainees are well-equipped and comfortable to engage with tasks meaningfully. Each trainee is also assigned a senior lawyer to supervise on both work and personal well-being. In short, the firm is honest about the demands on our people, but in turn, it commits to creating an environment where you are allowed to try new things and grow.

I knew that I wanted as much exposure to the widest variety of work as possible as a junior lawyer. A&O is an excellent fit for this. Even in the first months of my training contract, I had already been involved in a variety of market-leading matters. Because of A&O’s stellar reputation, trainees (and even interns) will have full access to the breadth of work that our teams are involved in. It has also been the highlight of my traineeship to be able to work on matters with colleagues from London, Bangkok, Sydney and Singapore offices. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences across all four seats and appreciate the breadth, depth and reach of the work I got to be a part of. 

Contrary to popular myth, we aren’t always stuck to our desks as lawyers. There are a good variety of activities to get involved. As an intern, I had my first step at woodwork for a local charity. As a trainee, I got to continue my passion for music as part of the Solicitor’s Choral Service. Your legal career is a marathon, not a sprint, and A&O is all about balancing your work with your passions.