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Old 30-11-2017, 05:11 PM
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Old 30-11-2017, 08:30 PM
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:45 AM
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Hello world,

I have never been a forums person but have recently become involved in the recruitment process for our new joiners and so had the occasion to reflect on some of the themes that have been floating hereabouts. Thought I would offer some observations, for whatever it is worth.

By way of background, I'm currently in M&A practice at a major international law firm, just over 6 years SG PQE. Made the move about 2 years back after attending a rather disconcerting legal futures conference organised by Minlaw (gist of it was that liberalisation and change is inevitable; winter was coming and Minlaw can only hold the wall for so long - basically the themes Richard Susskind has been banging on for awhile).

Digressions aside:
- Grades are not everything, and they tend to fade in prominence the more senior you are. Major firms will always have a technical test as part of the recruitment process anyway and I think the tendency is to rely on that to gauge technical competence.
- For SG candidates technical proficiency is usually assumed, and if you're at the interviews your past work profile has passed muster. During the interviews we are trying to assess whether you are agile and 'switched on'. Most international firms in SG run relatively lean outfits, and all partners will be running regional businesses and will be on the road a lot. They need to know you can hold your own when they're not around, won't need handholding all the time, generally sensible and have decent judgment.
- We are also trying to figure out if you are someone willing to step up to the plate when the occasion calls for it - would you be ok jetting off to Mumbai or Hong Kong or Dubai to attend meetings alone? Deliver client training sessions on short notice? It does't happen every day but on the occasions they do we need to know you are ok going out of your comfort zone.
- Obvious point but do your homework about the firm and the team - there is a lot more transparency and information out there about international firms and it shouldn't be hard to find. Also do your homework on what kind of outfit you are applying to in SG - if you are looking for a proper international firm you would be disappointed when you land at Bakers and realise its a mcdonalds franchise network. Usually the best bets are firms which operate here as a branch of the mothership - much higher likelihood it's an integrated outfit and you aren't joining their second tier operations.
- Don't get ripped off on your package. Any decent international firm here should offer at least their London rates, and some of the US firms will pay NY scale. Again information on both is readily available. rollonfriday is a good resource for UK-headquartered firms. Also make sure not to have your PQE docked by more than 1.5 years unless there is good reason for it (e.g. time spent on sabbatical).

Random thoughts:
- I see grades discussed here a lot here. I really do not think it is a great proxy for the ability to do well as a practitioner, at least in non-contentious practice. My personal view is that you just need to be 'smart enough', after which EQ attributes - temperament, likeability, "user-friendliness" will be far more important. I can't speak for disputes practice but I imagine that first class brain is more critical when your are pushing the envelope on novel points of law, but in non-contentious practice we would be looking to steer clear of controversial or problematic areas as far as possible. I have also worked with terrific 2.2s, and at the same time watched 2.1s crash and burn from never progressing beyond the black letter law. Unfortunately at entry level there is little else to go on for firms' hiring decision so its really quite an unfortunate state of affairs.
- The SG legal market is maturing - look to HK or Australia for an idea of what that will look like. Quite apart from the maturing market, legal tech is coming into its own - every major international firm has an eye on this and is in an arm's race to build their proprietary systems. If you're somewhere where management isn't even thinking about this you need to move. At my firm our AI systems are almost reliable enough for mass roll out for discovery; we are now training it for due diligence. Our smart contracts can churn out fairly sophisticated first draft of transaction documents, complete with ancillary documents like resolutions and share transfer forms (automatically customised to the relevant jurisdiction!). At the end of the day, the least replaceable skillset will be those most closely connected to the interface with other people/clients. So stop stalking these forums already and go out!
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  #1889 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2017, 02:55 AM
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TO ME GRADES ARE EVERYTHING
SINCE MY PSLE TO MY A LEVEL
I GET ONLI A grades
now I am in law school i feel only people who
work hard and smart get A

people who are stupid and lazy usually
deserve getting lousy grades

If grades not important why then law school admits me
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  #1890 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2017, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
TO ME GRADES ARE EVERYTHING
SINCE MY PSLE TO MY A LEVEL
I GET ONLI A grades
now I am in law school i feel only people who
work hard and smart get A

people who are stupid and lazy usually
deserve getting lousy grades

If grades not important why then law school admits me
Trolls are more subtle than this.
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