REFLECTION: Internship with MSE Legal

by Khadija Saad

Khadija Saad undertook a 6-week internship with MSE Legal earlier this year, as part of her prize for winning the 2020 MLN Writing Competition. The MLN would like to thank MSE Legal for their generous support, and once again congratulate Khadija on her winning entry.

Before I begin, I would like to thank the Muslim Legal Network and MSE Legal for providing me with this internship. Without them, this would not have been possible.

My experience at MSE LEGAL has taught me that a legal practitioner does not have the standard 9-5 job. In fact, it is common for them to stay overtime at the office or to meet clients in a social setting sometime later in the evening. While I knew that the work is demanding, I was taken aback by how demanding it is and how much paperwork is involved. However, the client’s satisfaction at the conclusion of the matter has reinforced to me the importance of the legal sector and its ability to correct a legal wrong. It has further reinforced the importance of having Muslim advocates so that disenfranchised clients can have representatives from their community to provide them with quality legal assistance.

Throughout the weeks, I had various tasks assigned to me. Most tasks involved drafting court documents and undertaking legal research. When I sat in on client meetings, I was able to make observations of what occurred and compose notes on how I should conduct the meeting in the future.

Moreover, the exposure to various stakeholders in the legal sector has further developed my interpersonal skills. I have developed strong communication, team building, organisational and time management skills that allow me to work efficiently and effectively.

My experience has taught me that there will be times when I would be dealing with difficult individuals, whether they be other legal practitioners or clients. Nonetheless, this experience has pushed me to build resilience whilst equipping me with the skills needed to manage difficult clients. While I tend to be quite passive and calm, I would need to establish boundaries or else I would not be comfortable working in this profession. I understand that it will take time for me to build the skills necessary to not let difficult practitioners and clients get to me. But I am glad that this experience has brought this to my attention so that I could gradually work on it.

Overall, my experience at MSE Legal was positive and a great learning opportunity. My experience provided me with a valuable and direct insight into the legal practice. I would like to thank the team at MSE Legal, particularly Rasheed El-Achkar, for their mentorship, support and willingness to share their vast knowledge with me.