Lily Sung is a legal assistant currently working at Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, a well-respected law firm situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver and which has in their arsenal an impressive 75+ lawyers across 25 practices. Here, Lily manages detailed legal administrative work and case filings. In an interview with enScholar, she reveals how her personal interests and values align with her career in the realm of law as well as her future ambitions within the field.
How have your strongest interests, values, and/or natural strengths been incorporated into your career?
I’ve always had a strong interest in law and the justice system so I knew I would naturally fit into this line of work. I’m lucky because I know it’s not always so easy for others to just know what it is they want to do. What I value dearly is to put 100% effort into whatever job I am doing. For instance the administrative work I do now may be perceived by some as boring or mundane however it’s extremely important to do it right. Looking down upon any small task and not putting in the effort can cause a lawyer to lose a case. Take pride in the worth of your work!
Tell us how your career story has been unique.
To be honest, my career story hasn’t been unique. I studied what I needed to get where I am; it was very self-directed and self-motivated because I simply knew what I wanted for myself and that’s a brilliant thing. Not everyone can say the same thing but when you are able to align your interests with a career, everything just feels right–maybe it is unique after all that I felt confident in my career moves. The next step for me is to get into law school and pursue my dream to be a crown counsel protecting citizens’ rights and prosecuting wrongdoers…hopefully in London!
What misconceptions do shows like White Collar and Suits present about legal work? Do you find legal work to be just as exciting as it appears on TV?
It’s funny because on these shows, the lawyers resolve almost all their cases in court yet in reality only a small percentage of cases actually make it to court since they are often settled before going to trial. When a case does go to trial, it is often rigid and not as exciting as what you would see on TV. What you see is a lot of pompous “case-winning” when really most of what happens is meticulous research and tedious preparation of documents. Still, I find it exciting in its own way especially when I played a part in a successful case, whether it be some form of proper document handling–it tells me I’m doing my job right!
What piece of advice would you give to a 16-year-old about finding their own career path?
I have to say: Try everything. In my case, I was always passionate about law so I focused on that path. Though the jobs I had prior were based in retail and customer service, I worked them to pay for the education I wanted. If you’re unsure about your own passion, try everything. Rack up as many diverse experiences as you can and within that journey, you may find your true interests, values, or strengths. There’s no need to be in a hurry because your career is something you’d want to be sure about.
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