Citi Offers Law Students In-house Legal Experience in Banking

Through an inaugural partnership with the National University of Singapore and Rajah & Tann, Citi seeks to nurture and offer a new arena to the next generation of legal professionals.


Singapore – Citi launched a first-of-its-kind Legal Internship Programme in Singapore in February this year, as part of its commitment to nurturing the workforce of tomorrow. This programme is an inaugural partnership between Citi, the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (NUS Law) and Rajah & Tann. It was developed to address the increasing and evolving needs of the financial and legal industries, by providing law students with the unique opportunity to gain practical legal experience in banking.  

The programme attracted 80 applications from NUS Law with nine students being selected for the internship. Students who are accepted into the programme are attached to a senior counsel and gain exposure to the role of the in-house legal function at Citi. This internship programme requires students to make a three-month commitment, during which they are exposed to global financial regulatory trends, product developments and contract negotiations. In addition, all interns are granted a guaranteed interview opportunity with Rajah & Tann and the best performing intern of the year, as determined by Citi and Rajah & Tann, will be awarded a training contract with the law firm.  

Andrew Wan, General Counsel Markets & Securities Services, Asia Pacific, Citi said, “The evolution of the legal industry has resulted in the need for the legal profession to transform the way it was originally set out to be. There is now an increasing need for law students to look beyond the traditional private practice career path and seek out alternative career choices. Citi’s legal internship programme was developed precisely to help law students see the potential in organisations like Citi and is part of our efforts to support the evolving needs of both the financial and legal industries. We are very pleased that our partners Rajah & Tann and NUS see the value in our initiative and have extended their support for our programme.”  

Evangeline Chua, Head of Human Resources, Citi Singapore said, “Being one of the largest banking employers in Singapore, Citi has always taken a proactive role in nurturing the workforce of the country. The legal internship programme is modelled after Citi’s own associate programmes and seeks to give students the opportunity to experience the banking industry, with guidance from Citi’s senior executives. At Citi, we recognise that an organisation’s success is driven by its people and believe in working closely with our industry partners and tertiary institutions, to develop programmes that are relevant and address the needs of the market.”  

To maximise the impact of the internship programme, a total of up to 10 law students will be accepted into Citi’s legal internship programme each year. The next intake of the legal internship programme will commence in early 2016 and the call for application will begin end 2015. 

Quotes from Partners and Intern-Mentor Pair

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

“Becoming a complete lawyer in today's world has become increasingly challenging. Technical excellence and exemplary professional ethics remain critical but more is needed. Commercial sense, a keen understanding of how business is transacted, and good working knowledge of the client's industry have also become fundamental. The Citi Legal Internship Programme has been designed with these needs in mind. It is unique in providing the opportunity to receive training in both the bank and law firm environments, as well as from the perspectives of both corporate and external counsel. We are proud to be part of this programme.”

-Lee Eng Beng, Managing Partner

 National University of Singapore

“NUS Law is delighted to partner with Citi and Rajah & Tann in this important new initiative. Our job as a law school is to equip our students with the tools they need for a fast-changing world. Virtually all of our graduates start out as lawyers, but many go on to different career paths — often in the financial sector. The students who take part in this programme will emerge with deep insights as to the possibilities available in the banking industry, as well as skills that will serve them in whatever path they choose to follow.”

-       Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean, NUS Law

“The market for legal services today is excitingly broad and offers diverse opportunities; certainly a lot more than when I graduated (way back in the dark ages). The substantial growth in in-house positions is part of this phenomenon. And this internship opportunity from Citi is exactly the sort of thoughtful, well-constructed experience that will help law students get a real taste of what such in-house work entails. We’re very grateful to Citi and Rajah & Tann for spearheading this.” 

-       Associate Professor Eleanor Wong, Vice Dean Student Affairs, NUS Law

Citi Singapore Intern and Mentor

“Interning with Citi has given me privileged access to work in a leading global bank, under the guidance of experienced counsels. This opportunity has enabled me to gain valuable insights of both the finance and legal industries, cultivating the practical skills necessary to excel in my future career endeavours. The programme has definitely validated my choice to join the legal profession, and presents going in-house as a meaningful alternative to traditional private practice.”      

-       Intern: Bernice Gan, Final Year Student, NUS Law 

“The legal industry has become highly competitive, especially in recent times. The good news is that in a global city like Singapore, there are diverse and rewarding legal opportunities available to individuals that work harder at career preparation. We hope that law graduates would gain valuable exposure to the financial industry through Citi’s Legal Internship Programme and pursue a legal career within the industry as a result. As a mentor, I hope to provide insight on the ever evolving in-house role and the broader range of business, leadership, interpersonal skills and personal capabilities that the in-house counsel is required to develop in order to excel in a global organisation.”       

-       Mentor: Louis Chan, Director & Deputy General Counsel,
Markets & Securities Services, Asia Pacific, Citi