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Old 10-08-2020, 10:54 PM
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Default Luck plays a part - don't take it too personally

I'm an associate in some law firm in Singapore. I wanna thank all the posters here who try to share thoughtful comments with the rest of us.

Based on my limited experience and circles, it would appear that a lot of hiring is really arbitrary - much is based on timing. "Fit" is just another word for "likeability"/"chemistry", and just like any other job, some people are just luckier. But in this regard, confidence and a positive disposition can compensate for that. Have a thick skin.

This arbitrariness is a shame because lots of people get stuck in their initial year(s) of practice (bad mentor, bad firm) and then drop out; while at the same time their classmate/peer who is not much different on paper got lucky with another role.

But I think there's some things people can still do: grades stick with you for a while - so study hard (but I admit that intelligence is a limiting factor). Make genuine connections with people; ask questions - I think some associates still care enough to share. And for the rest, some may just like the feel of being a mentor, or just want to network with as many people as they can, or they just want your free coffee and cake. Don't be shy. Sometimes all it takes to get a job is to ask for it.

So for the fresh grads/trainees, don't be too disheartened if you're having difficulty (especially now, when firms are using covid as an excuse - seriously, the partners make so much in the good times it's shocking).

I hope that if you're at this stage you already have that determination to make it; but if not, do realise that the practice of law is but one option - we live in different times.

Would I have done it again? Probably not - but then again this may just be me being hit by 'grass is greener' syndrome.


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