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  #1231 (permalink)  
Old 13-01-2017, 07:42 AM
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I've also been trying to glean some wisdom from the KYC/Compliance threads. Care to share what made you wary of the switch to compliance?

Anyways, words out on the street that the big firms are really suffering from the market slowdown. Anybody in there care to comment/verify this?
Not true. Which street are you on? Chinatown?

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  #1232 (permalink)  
Old 13-01-2017, 08:48 AM
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I've also been trying to glean some wisdom from the KYC/Compliance threads. Care to share what made you wary of the switch to compliance?

Anyways, words out on the street that the big firms are really suffering from the market slowdown. Anybody in there care to comment/verify this?
I don't think it is fair to say that the big firms are suffering badly but i would say they face great challenges now and going ahead. Most of the big firms are well diversified in terms of practices areas and have the backing of a few big clients. Or you are thinking about retrenchment or insolvency in our big firms, that is quite unlikely.

On the other hand, big firms are staring at lower fee margins, increased competition and subdued economic conditions. The international firms are making their presence felt and pulling strings at the MNC HQ level to secure legal work. Local firms have been forced to act mostly as local counsels in deals, which is less profitable. Adoption of Singapore law in deals has been slow
Singapore companies are generally not doing so well and more cost conscious. The end result is a squeeze at the big firms. You may see some of the big and big mid firms turning to mergers and partnerships with international players to survive.

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  #1233 (permalink)  
Old 13-01-2017, 07:55 PM
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Anyone here from any mid-sized firm that hasn't started TC interviews for 2019 intake? When do mid-sized firms usually give out offers?

I've interviewed with 3 mid-sized firms so far, but most of the mid-sized firms I've applied to haven't gotten back to me yet, and I am beginning to lose hope.

Should I set my sights lower and apply to comparatively less reputable firms, or wait out for 1-2 more weeks? Even looking outside of Asialaw/Legal 500, it seems that there are very very few other firms to apply to? How is it even possible that there are more than 450 training contracts available in the first place?

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  #1234 (permalink)  
Old 13-01-2017, 10:18 PM
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Anyone here from any mid-sized firm that hasn't started TC interviews for 2019 intake? When do mid-sized firms usually give out offers?

I've interviewed with 3 mid-sized firms so far, but most of the mid-sized firms I've applied to haven't gotten back to me yet, and I am beginning to lose hope.

Should I set my sights lower and apply to comparatively less reputable firms, or wait out for 1-2 more weeks? Even looking outside of Asialaw/Legal 500, it seems that there are very very few other firms to apply to? How is it even possible that there are more than 450 training contracts available in the first place?
Try surfing the LSRA website and look through the list of law firms.
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  #1235 (permalink)  
Old 14-01-2017, 03:26 PM
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Can any kind folks here help with these queries please?

1.
Apart from the AGC, are there LSO appointments available for fresh grads in the respective statutory boards (e.g. Competition Commission of Singapore, IPOS)? What are the "conditions" attached to the offers for both NUS / SMU grads? Are these conditions the same regardless of where one applies (e.g. AGC or CCS)?

Assuming that I do not get a TC in my desired area of practice (e.g. IP law), and am still keen to practice in this area in future, would it be advisable to start off at IPOS, and apply to a niche/reputable mid/big 4 in this area after getting 1-2 years experience?

2.
Assuming that I do not get a TC in my desired area of practice (e.g. IP law), but accept a TC with an average firm in dispute resolution, what are my chances of being accepted into a niche/reputable mid/big 4 immediately after my traineeship has ended? Would the fact that I have done several IP-related mods help my application in any way, in spite of not being "trained" in this particular practice area?
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  #1236 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2017, 10:31 AM
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Not true. Which street are you on? Chinatown?
What a f ucking asshole this one.


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  #1237 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2017, 05:38 PM
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Just my two cents:

It's tough. studied overseas at a uni that survived the cut. parents aren't rich and used most of their life savings for me. almost got a first, but didn't make the cut. i know some of my peers took non-law modules (ie like primary school level chinese language) to get an advantage. i went the more difficult route and took mods i felt would be most relevant in practice.

anyway, I didn't get retained in my firm where i was doing my training. lots of people in my batch didn't as well. ended up spamming apps and managed to get hired as an LA in some small firm. quickly realised i was there for the headcount and wasn't going to be taught anything. firm culture was also toxic and the boss had a bad history of cheating employees and LAs alike, so i bailed after a few months along with every LA the firm had. spammed apps again and managed to land in another small firm last year doing community law. hours are (too) good, prospects are not. still find myself doing a lot of self-teaching and learning through trial and error. boss seems good hearted and does not want anyone to go jobless. however, the firm does not seem to be making much money. bonus last year was almost negligible as was my increment. living in fear of losing my job since i don't have any connections and can't bring in clients. not like that would mean more pay for me, but i have no security whatsoever.

currently thinking of leaving the industry since i am quite afraid of doing this (ie desperately clawing on to my job by my fingernails) and being left immobile once the glut goes away, if it ever does so. really feels like i'm at the mercy of things not in my control. also feel terrible for not being able to pay back my folks fast enough.

fortunately i am christian, and prayer does ease the pain and fear.

hope that others in a similar position are doing ok.
sorry to hear about your situation. Have you considered in house positions? I do not think you should move to compliance, it is practically a dead end job a few years down the road.
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  #1238 (permalink)  
Old 16-01-2017, 08:17 AM
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sorry to hear about your situation. Have you considered in house positions? I do not think you should move to compliance, it is practically a dead end job a few years down the road.

Yes but it's difficult for two reasons. One, hardly anyone would hire you without the requisite and relevant PQE (3-5 years doing corporate work). Second, if you go in now as a 1st yearer, your knowledge and salary are both severely capped. It could be very tough if you want to transition back into practice later.

The upside is that because corporate roles at the lower level seem to be falling, it's your only way to get exposure to that kind of work.

May I ask why you think compliance is dead end?
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  #1239 (permalink)  
Old 19-01-2017, 03:23 PM
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Yes but it's difficult for two reasons. One, hardly anyone would hire you without the requisite and relevant PQE (3-5 years doing corporate work). Second, if you go in now as a 1st yearer, your knowledge and salary are both severely capped. It could be very tough if you want to transition back into practice later.

The upside is that because corporate roles at the lower level seem to be falling, it's your only way to get exposure to that kind of work.

May I ask why you think compliance is dead end?
I went into in house quite early into my career and many companies are expanding their legal teams to seek in houses in this climate.. They do welcome lawyers from private practice. The glut is going weigh heavier this year, hence I do suggest to make this in house move as soon as possible because a couple of years down, these same in house positions would be highly sought after and the newbies will accept the pay cut to settle.

I worked as an in house lawyer for a bank for a couple of years, worked closely with the Compliance department. They are not lawyers and (I might get flak for saying this) you might lose your prestige as a lawyer. Compliance department is more conformity based, loses the fluidity the law offers. Most people in compliance are people who have been shuffled around the bank; random back end office folks.
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  #1240 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2017, 10:11 AM
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I went into in house quite early into my career and many companies are expanding their legal teams to seek in houses in this climate.. They do welcome lawyers from private practice. The glut is going weigh heavier this year, hence I do suggest to make this in house move as soon as possible because a couple of years down, these same in house positions would be highly sought after and the newbies will accept the pay cut to settle.

I worked as an in house lawyer for a bank for a couple of years, worked closely with the Compliance department. They are not lawyers and (I might get flak for saying this) you might lose your prestige as a lawyer. Compliance department is more conformity based, loses the fluidity the law offers. Most people in compliance are people who have been shuffled around the bank; random back end office folks.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the pay rather decent for compliance departments, especially in banks?


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