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Old 18-11-2017, 04:42 PM
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A lot of law students I know are very hung up over the firm they can secure a TC with, retention prospects, etc. I think the anxiety over this is very misguided.

Firstly, it doesnít matter which firm you come from eventually. Some firms pay more, some pay less. The reason you turn up at work every morning (9am) is because you need a job to keep yourself going (paying mortgage, bills, etc). The fact that most of you will start off on a minimum salary of $4k means you are better off than most graduates in other fields. Please disregard the investment bankers (they are a special breed simply because of the hours they are willing to work / have no choice but to work). Furthermore IBs are only open to the top graduates in business school so again itís not a fair comparison.

A lot of law graduates seem very fixated on Bakers, CC and big four. There is absolutely no reason why people should analyze this in terms of a strict binary, i.e. you are successful as a lawyer if you come from these firms. People in law should instead analyze it in terms of where the broad majority of the practicing lawyers are at and there are successful lawyers even in the smaller firms, earning a decent salary and retaining the prestige/status of a lawyer.

Frankly, whether you make the extra $500 to $1k being in a big four or a medium to large firm has no bearing to your future in the long run. The simple economic reason is that when you earn more you tend to splurge more and this is proven. At the end of the day, you are in a legal job firstly because you need money to survive, secondly, you need a job to avoid mental and physical stagnation, thirdly, you have to do something so why not put your law degree to good use and be a lawyer. Everyone aspires to be a Razer boss, or perhaps professor in law, or maybe even the Chief Justice. These are lofty goals and ambitions and it is good to have them but bear in mind that over 95% of people who hold a law degree and are Singapore qualified lawyers do not reach such a pinnacle.

Finally, stop being so hung up over salary, retention prospects, and things like working hours or conditions. Eventually if you do something to a point youíre exhausted, naturally your body will tell you when you should quit.

Everyone holds a law job as an in-house counsel or a lawyer because they need money. Thatís a fact. As long as you earn a decent amount, whether 4K or 7k, spend within your means and try to find contentment, you will do well in life. Comparing yourself to JLCs, Oxbridge or your peers who got the first class but you didnít, will not change anything. Just live your life happily and know that when you qualify as a lawyer (whether you practice for 20 years or quit on day 1), it doesnít matter at all in the long run. You will eventually get married, have other challenges of raising your children, and other issues to worry about. Retention prospects, training contracts will seem all so small and insignificant. But at the very least you can be proud that you are a qualified lawyer and it is a prestigious profession (whether you choose to practice or not).
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