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  #13401 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 12:56 PM
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interesting. thank you. so it's about not doing as well as before academically or not to their expectations and then thinking that other industries have it easier?

i think its funny to compare w those in big tech or high finance because it's not much easier to make it into investment banking or high finance when people with a fancy MBA or pass CFA level 1 or boutique firm experience can be considered as a competitive applicant for a role. there are people with both qualifications even. and then there are ppl here comparing schools......

even after getting in, the person has to be on their toes all the time because there are truckloads of ppl trying to get in as compared to the legal industry where restrictions are placed left and right.

as for tech... they are so welcoming to the industry but what they dont say is the amount of coding that has to be learned and the number of bugs that have to be fixed and the uphill climb to be that good.

Which other industry has a training period that is exploited by firms that make you work for $0? And have bosses that have no problem gloating about it to the media?
Which other industry has such steep pay jumps that is a double aged sword- yes it attracts ppl to get in and endure for the future $$$, but the need for employers to pay such increments plus high burnout rate essentially equates to a hollowing out of mid level and beyond lawyers.
However those that made it to equity partnership in Singapore wonít be incentivised to change the above since. Look they now own the business and such practices even if exploitative, benefits them. Moreover the legal sector is not that large enough to support as high profits in tiny Singapore, so coupled with lack of min wage and labor protections, helps these firms justify the low pay of their juniors.

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  #13402 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 01:39 PM
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Which other industry has a training period that is exploited by firms that make you work for $0? And have bosses that have no problem gloating about it to the media?
Which other industry has such steep pay jumps that is a double aged sword- yes it attracts ppl to get in and endure for the future $$$, but the need for employers to pay such increments plus high burnout rate essentially equates to a hollowing out of mid level and beyond lawyers.
However those that made it to equity partnership in Singapore wonít be incentivised to change the above since. Look they now own the business and such practices even if exploitative, benefits them. Moreover the legal sector is not that large enough to support as high profits in tiny Singapore, so coupled with lack of min wage and labor protections, helps these firms justify the low pay of their juniors.
understand that the 6 mths gg 1 year training period is lowly paid labour for all that work the law students have been through.

do you know that there are small local tech firms (where businesses charge tens of thousands for some sort of a basic website) lowball new developers (those that undergo some sort of traineeships) at 2+k? the work is to code, to plan the website or the app, to debug, to test, to build the database, to design the interface and to maintain afterwards. then they tell u.. "ahha u work for us we give u experience.. and after two years u can go apply and work in bigtech!!! woo~~~"

and this is not training. this is a real job. u think there's no burn out without even the seemingly high increment that u all have? ppl in tech calculate by man-hours. people naturally will question ur suitability and ability if u take too long.

in other industries u dun get the hollowing out because everywhere is the same. stay in one company with gradual progression or u jump ship and amen pray u survive in the new company.

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  #13403 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 02:34 PM
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Short answer:

In law: perceived effort > perceived reward

In other industries: perceived effort < perceived reward.

As you correctly identified however, what ppl often neglect to mention is that for these industries, e.g. IB, big tech, it is free market competition but only the very best get to reap good rewards. Those who've "made it" will of course proclaim loudly about the virtues of their industry. The vast majority are silently slogging away in less than optimal career outcomes.

I would say law is much more egalitarian due to restricted competition. Law school is already one great filter. The chances of attaining a reasonably good career outcome once you're a law student, is higher than in a more wide-open field like business or CS.

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  #13404 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 04:05 PM
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That is not true at all.
Law school and practice is different things.
You can be **** at academics, get a 2.2 overall, but e.g Davinder Singh , u can be a brilliant star litigator.

A small law firm cannot compete with the internationals in the scale and value of the work, nor the pay. Itís simple market economics.

OMG like some firms donít use the traineeships scheme to make the government pay for their practice trainees? Did you see the ads?

The pay jumps are bad because it is artificial and imposed. If there is no lockstep after the early years and the pay start out high, local firms will not be as cheap in their ways and focus more on BD. mid level Lawyers wonít worry that much about getting replaced by cheaper lawyers a few PQE below them.

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Short answer:

In law: perceived effort > perceived reward

In other industries: perceived effort < perceived reward.

As you correctly identified however, what ppl often neglect to mention is that for these industries, e.g. IB, big tech, it is free market competition but only the very best get to reap good rewards. Those who've "made it" will of course proclaim loudly about the virtues of their industry. The vast majority are silently slogging away in less than optimal career outcomes.

I would say law is much more egalitarian due to restricted competition. Law school is already one great filter. The chances of attaining a reasonably good career outcome once you're a law student, is higher than in a more wide-open field like business or CS.
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  #13405 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 07:11 PM
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Hello everyone. Does anyone know if David Lim & Partners is a good firm? I noticed a few ads recently. Is it possible to jump from a mid-sized firm to a big 4 firm, for example, after a couple of years of PQE as well?
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  #13406 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 07:30 PM
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That is not true at all.
Law school and practice is different things.
You can be **** at academics, get a 2.2 overall, but e.g Davinder Singh , u can be a brilliant star litigator.

A small law firm cannot compete with the internationals in the scale and value of the work, nor the pay. Itís simple market economics.

OMG like some firms donít use the traineeships scheme to make the government pay for their practice trainees? Did you see the ads?

The pay jumps are bad because it is artificial and imposed. If there is no lockstep after the early years and the pay start out high, local firms will not be as cheap in their ways and focus more on BD. mid level Lawyers wonít worry that much about getting replaced by cheaper lawyers a few PQE below them.
A small firm need not compete with the internationals. Internationals don't want to do the kind of work that Chinatown firms do. There's legal services for different price points. Rolls Royce and Toyota are both automobile companies but are not competing in the same market space.

Chinatown lawyers will never reach the heights of a big law partner salary, but most who are willing to stay on actually can find a very comfortable positions. By 5th or 6th year, the average small law firm associate may be offered profit sharing. A Chinatown firm partner who doesn't sit on his a ss all day, can comfortably takehome $20k or more a month, after overheads. Think of it like a GP running a neighborhood clinic.

That's what I mean by having optimal career outcomes. Law is a profession and is skill based. Your experience and your skill, and to an extent reputation, will contribute to your earning capacity. Its a hybrid between a true profession, and being an SME boss.
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  #13407 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 07:52 PM
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A small firm need not compete with the internationals. Internationals don't want to do the kind of work that Chinatown firms do. There's legal services for different price points. Rolls Royce and Toyota are both automobile companies but are not competing in the same market space.

Chinatown lawyers will never reach the heights of a big law partner salary, but most who are willing to stay on actually can find a very comfortable positions. By 5th or 6th year, the average small law firm associate may be offered profit sharing. A Chinatown firm partner who doesn't sit on his a ss all day, can comfortably takehome $20k or more a month, after overheads. Think of it like a GP running a neighborhood clinic.

That's what I mean by having optimal career outcomes. Law is a profession and is skill based. Your experience and your skill, and to an extent reputation, will contribute to your earning capacity. Its a hybrid between a true profession, and being an SME boss.
I donít know why people like to use how much partners make against the point made about pay being too low at the junior level.
Ok the profession tops out at 6 figures for the China town firms you mentioned, and some unprofitable and cheap tech local firm is paying 2k for their young hires. Are they even comparable? You are comparing the bottom of another industry with partnership level, that is apples to oranges.


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  #13408 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 08:49 PM
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Please, everyone go look up the type of firms offering SGUNITED hashtag traineeships before you make comments about how even Chinatown firms make a lot. Even a 1-2k allowance, we are not talking about real salaries here that is deserving of gov support. need gov to copay 80%. Do you think these moneymaker law firms deserve their sgunited trainees? If these is not evidence of unprofitability, then it is evidence of cheapo-ness. Since according to some people here lawyers make so so much more money than other normal professions.
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  #13409 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 08:56 PM
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I donít know why people like to use how much partners make against the point made about pay being too low at the junior level.
Ok the profession tops out at 6 figures for the China town firms you mentioned, and some unprofitable and cheap tech local firm is paying 2k for their young hires. Are they even comparable? You are comparing the bottom of another industry with partnership level, that is apples to oranges.
Umm...the point I was making is that even less than cream-of-crop lawyers will eventually get fairly good optimal outcomes if they stick it out long enough?

The same can't be said for many other industries who will be stuck in low pay and dead-end roles if they start at lousy small SME companies, and literally only way out of the rut is to start your own business (with no guarantee of success).

OK if you wanna compare apples to apples, then let's compare:

The top lawyers working in international law firms earning US$210K per annum Cravath salaries, are to be compared against IB, Private Equity, and FAANG people. These are the top fresh grads/juniors in their respective fields.

The mediocre lawyers who didn't study that hard/pad their CVs that much and go into local Big 4 firms, are to be compared against business grads going into your typical DBS, OCBC, UOB management associate track, or some non-FAANG tech firm.

The bottom level lawyers, who didn't study at all and graduated with Second Lower/2:2 and go into Chinatown firms, are to be compared against business grads going into SMEs, small local companies, or small tech sweatshops.

Not sure what is so difficult to comprehend?

Also don't understand why you keep whining on and on about small Chinatown firms. Sure, their junior assocs are paid depressingly low compared to an average Big 4 grad. But that's how the market is. In fact, juxtaposed against other (non-law) industries, even a Chinatown salary isn't even that low.

In every industry, there are the brightest grads who go on to take the most coveted roles. The least desired spots are filled with the least competitive grads. If they really wanted that sweet biglaw dollar, then they only have themselves to blame for not studying harder or making their CV more attractive by joining moot competitions or whatever.
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  #13410 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2021, 09:13 PM
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The way you rank people and box people into linear categories according to their school achievements is telling.

How much someone is paid is dependent on the type of market they are in, and not what grade academics give them in school

It is a function of simply serving the singapore market, and law being very jurisdictional, that local firms arenít making a lot. Big 4, neither, they are making too little. The point the previous posters are making is simply showing the dysfunctional side of the Singapore legal market vis a vis others

And 210k for international firms are simply starting salaries, junior pay. Because these firms are making bank. There is no point taking out some partner salary to say oh this partner is also making 210k a year, millions a year!

The way the Singapore market is unfortunately means that since the pie is already so small, and the partners keep most of it to themselves, very little trickles down to the juniors.
This is all relative, no one should be making comparisons to wholly irrelevant industries.

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Umm...the point I was making is that even less than cream-of-crop lawyers will eventually get fairly good optimal outcomes if they stick it out long enough?

The same can't be said for many other industries who will be stuck in low pay and dead-end roles if they start at lousy small SME companies, and literally only way out of the rut is to start your own business (with no guarantee of success).

OK if you wanna compare apples to apples, then let's compare:

The top lawyers working in international law firms earning US$210K per annum Cravath salaries, are to be compared against IB, Private Equity, and FAANG people. These are the top fresh grads/juniors in their respective fields.

The mediocre lawyers who didn't study that hard/pad their CVs that much and go into local Big 4 firms, are to be compared against business grads going into your typical DBS, OCBC, UOB management associate track, or some non-FAANG tech firm.

The bottom level lawyers, who didn't study at all and graduated with Second Lower/2:2 and go into Chinatown firms, are to be compared against business grads going into SMEs, small local companies, or small tech sweatshops.

Not sure what is so difficult to comprehend?

Also don't understand why you keep whining on and on about small Chinatown firms. Sure, their junior assocs are paid depressingly low compared to an average Big 4 grad. But that's how the market is. In fact, juxtaposed against other (non-law) industries, even a Chinatown salary isn't even that low.

In every industry, there are the brightest grads who go on to take the most coveted roles. The least desired spots are filled with the least competitive grads. If they really wanted that sweet biglaw dollar, then they only have themselves to blame for not studying harder or making their CV more attractive by joining moot competitions or whatever.
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