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A day in the life of…
Hong Kong trainee Janice Thong

April 2021: Janice Thong is a trainee in our Hong Kong office. Here's her account of a typical working day.

8:15 a.m.

I usually wake up early as I enjoy spending time making breakfast. As with many others, coffee is a must in the morning. Coffee is not only a means to energy, but it brings joy (yes, I am a fanatic coffee lover). I tend to relish my coffee while I am reading news. 

9:30 a.m.

I am at my desk at 9:30 a.m. I start going through my to-do list for the day that I prepared the night before. It is crucial and helpful to keep a to-do list, as a trainee in the Debt Finance team usually gets involved in a multiple of deals that are in different stages. Planning and prioritizing can definitely make life easier. There are a range of tasks for a trainee in a debt finance transaction – reviewing the borrower's constitutional documents, drafting corporate authorisations, liaising with local counsels, responding to clients' queries, etc. 

10:30 a.m.

Today I have a call with the Hong Kong Pro Bono Committee to discuss monthly pro bono updates. Apart from considering logistics and budgeting issues, we also review questionnaire results, which help us understand lawyers' and staff's interest in pro bono and corporate social responsibility (CSR) matters.

11:00 a.m.

An associate asks if I am able to assist her in a matter for a new client. We schedule a call to discuss the matter further and consider what steps I should take next. After the call, I resume working on my to-do tasks.

1:00 p.m.

Working at home does not mean I have to eat alone. Sometimes our trainees will arrange a virtual lunch catch-up among ourselves. If I am in the office, I will usually go out for a walk to have some fresh air and grab takeaway lunch with my friends or colleagues. A short period of time away from the office recharges me for a hectic afternoon schedule. 

2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

We receive an update from our client, which is a lender in a debt financing deal. Due to commercial needs, the borrower would like to submit a utilization request and have the funds by next week. It is not uncommon for a sudden accelerated timeline. In order to meet the deadline, I start preparing a conditions precedent checklist. I also assist in drafting board resolutions, director's certificates and legal opinions which will be further reviewed by the supervising associate.

7:00 p.m.

It has been a long day and sometimes I will treat myself with comfort food (kimbap, Japanese cuisine or hot soups) with much regret afterwards when the food coma hits…

8:00 p.m.

My "log off" time depends on how much work I need to complete for the day. There might be longer days when there are urgent deadlines. Before I log off, I will update my to-do list and enter my timekeeping records for the day.