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  #21101 (permalink)  
Old 16-04-2024, 10:38 AM
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Thoughts on the "consultation paper" SILE posted regarding the new training period?

I personally feel like they addressed everything except the main issue, i.e. the salary/remuneration of practice trainees.

Still exploiting them as cheap labour smh
I overheard my managing partner talk to a SC once on hiring trainees and then he said something along the lines of "just hire la so cheap only make them do lawyer work but only need give allowance".

Maybe that's why the boomers want to increase the TC period to 1 year. They find it too difficult to hire associates so they outsource the paperwork to trainees at a lower cost.

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  #21102 (permalink)  
Old 16-04-2024, 10:49 AM
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Not the person you quoted but my suggestion would be to keep the current TC programme of 6 months. Increasing it to 1 year is not going to make a difference. Experience is also gained after getting called to the bar. Increasing the TC by another 6 months is just making the law graduates' lives miserable with no added value.

No one honestly thinks a freshly called to the bar lawyer knows much anyways. The problem is when these newly called to the bar lawyers try their best in court, the Judges are less than empathetic to them and demand perfection as though they are not newly minted lawyers and have no idea how Judges expect the trial to be run.

I foresee the quantity and quality of lawyers in the future dropping even more if this kind of effort persists. This industry is filled with misinformed, out of touch boomers who cannot keep up with the trends of society.

Current generation of young adults do not care about progressing to partner or MD etc. They want work life balance and would give up the "prestige" in a heartbeat, not that the current law progression has any in the first place. Its all a facade. My point being the current generation will choose to do something more worthwhile and meaningful than slog their 5-6 years in law school and bar exams only to be given a wage lower than computer science by 1-2k with worse working hours and being treated like a slave, exploited and verbally abused daily.

I think its pretty easy to tell that this industry is failing considering how 10 years ago the boomers were saying there was a shortage of lawyers, and then 5-6 years later changing that narrative to "oh there's a glut of lawyers now" so we need to gatekeep. Look where we are now, we are in a shortage again of 3-5 pqe lawyers because lesser people are looking to join this industry and the numbers of people being burnt out and leaving before 5 pqe increases. Even 0-2 pqe lawyers cant take it anymore and firms are finding it harder and harder to find new associates.

One of my juniors went for an interview in early 2023 and the interviewer asked him "by any chance do you know if there is still a glut of lawyers?" and my junior instantly knew that that law firm was having trouble finding a new associate. It was a mid sized firm of 30 lawyers iirc.

When I asked my interns what A level score they got to get accepted into SMU Law or NUS Law, they told me they only required 82-83/90 which I believe.. says a lot about how the industry has fallen since back in my time we all required AAA/AAA and had a competitive interview looking into our achievements bullcrap etc.

But I mean these are just tell tale signs that it is failing, the boomers probably dont give a **** because they are living in their ivory tower ass world and they know they wont be the one suffering when everything goes to ****.

Ask anyone if they would want to pay 50k-100k for 4 years of depression in law school and to spend another 6-7k for another 2 years of bar exam (Part B and TC) only to get a starting pay lower than their peers and be verbally abused and exploited for 14-16 hours a day. I thought so.

"Law is a calling" my ass
Is your junior within the 0-3 PQE range? I am asking because I was also called recently (2years ago) and when I just got called to the bar, I was looking for a job so I sent in my resume to firms who specialised in areas I wanted to in the future.

I received an offer from WongP, a few mid sized firms and some small firms. At that point I just wanted a job that could offer me guidance so I can stand on my own two feet in future you know, so pay was not that big of a dealbreaker for me albeit it has some pull factor.

tldr: was offered 6.8k, 6k, 5.5k and this mid sized firm was the last interview I had. When I went for the interview, I am pretty damn sure I would get the job if I wanted because everything they were asking for, I could do easily i.e. billables etc.

The interviewer asked me if I have received any offers and I told her the truth, the names of the law firms that offered me a position and the pay offered. She then had the cheek to say we can offer you around 4k and working hours are until 11pm or so. It would be a great opportunity for you if you want to learn from us.

Honestly I chuckled to myself a little bit but I kept my composure because I did not want to come off as rude. But the arrogance of the law firm to think they can offer 40-50% of what is already being offered to me without the promise of ensuring better guidance than what a up and coming big4 could give.

If I was going to choose a job and slog it out till past midnight everyday, surely anyone in their right mind would pick a 7k salary over a 4k one if all other conditions are the same (big assumption to begin with).

This industry is going down fast.

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  #21103 (permalink)  
Old 16-04-2024, 07:19 PM
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any big 4 JPs here can share what your compensation package is like? How much is base? How much is variable?

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  #21104 (permalink)  
Old 16-04-2024, 10:49 PM
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Is your junior within the 0-3 PQE range? I am asking because I was also called recently (2years ago) and when I just got called to the bar, I was looking for a job so I sent in my resume to firms who specialised in areas I wanted to in the future.

I received an offer from WongP, a few mid sized firms and some small firms. At that point I just wanted a job that could offer me guidance so I can stand on my own two feet in future you know, so pay was not that big of a dealbreaker for me albeit it has some pull factor.

tldr: was offered 6.8k, 6k, 5.5k and this mid sized firm was the last interview I had. When I went for the interview, I am pretty damn sure I would get the job if I wanted because everything they were asking for, I could do easily i.e. billables etc.

The interviewer asked me if I have received any offers and I told her the truth, the names of the law firms that offered me a position and the pay offered. She then had the cheek to say we can offer you around 4k and working hours are until 11pm or so. It would be a great opportunity for you if you want to learn from us.

Honestly I chuckled to myself a little bit but I kept my composure because I did not want to come off as rude. But the arrogance of the law firm to think they can offer 40-50% of what is already being offered to me without the promise of ensuring better guidance than what a up and coming big4 could give.

If I was going to choose a job and slog it out till past midnight everyday, surely anyone in their right mind would pick a 7k salary over a 4k one if all other conditions are the same (big assumption to begin with).

This industry is going down fast.
Don’t keep us in suspense! Where did you accept in the end?
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  #21105 (permalink)  
Old 17-04-2024, 04:54 PM
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Default In-house TC/Internships?

Thoughts on in-house stints or internships? Particularly interested, seeing as in-house experience may now be counted towards PTCs

1. How useful would they be (to you/the law firm when you return to pp)?

2. Is it even possible to get such experiences? Through which avenues?
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  #21106 (permalink)  
Old 18-04-2024, 08:49 AM
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Thoughts on in-house stints or internships? Particularly interested, seeing as in-house experience may now be counted towards PTCs

1. How useful would they be (to you/the law firm when you return to pp)?

2. Is it even possible to get such experiences? Through which avenues?
I think you should start out at a law practice and get some PQE first

You can try out in house internships during Uni if you’d like
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  #21107 (permalink)  
Old 18-04-2024, 11:22 AM
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I think you should start out at a law practice and get some PQE first

You can try out in house internships during Uni if you’d like
OP here, I appreciate that you tried to help. I understand that the "tried and tested" way of going in-house is to get a few years of experience in practice and then moving in-house.

My premise is, however, different in that I think of such in-house experiences as a way to understand legal/operations from the client's perspective (where they focus on the commercial drivers and deal with stakeholders coming from different backgrounds- e.g. management, commercial teams, technicians such as engineers, etc.) which is contrasted from the regular trainee/assoc-partner relationship and dynamic.

My thinking is that gaining experience in such a setting (as well as developing a working relationship with the in-house team there which you could hopefully bring back to your firm) will stand you in good stead for private practice in which you can be distinguished from your pure pp peers who have no such experience, or alternatively give you the chance to move in-house from then on.

My questions (1) and (2), and particularly (2), therefore relate to the above premise which would be helpful to all involved.

This is especially prevalent in that future PTC trainees can now seek in-house stints as part of the PTC requirement. So, as someone interested in potentially taking up that path, I was curious if anyone has heard of how law students/trainees in particular have managed to land such roles (in contrast to young assocs who have worked with such in-house teams in their capacity as external counsel, and thereafter move to join them).
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  #21108 (permalink)  
Old 18-04-2024, 12:54 PM
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OP here, I appreciate that you tried to help. I understand that the "tried and tested" way of going in-house is to get a few years of experience in practice and then moving in-house.
I would suggest only doing so if you're going into a niche in-house role that can make you stand out when trying to pivot back to PP. If you're going gencorp in-house, PP first puts your career in better stead. Got to get your legal chops first before worrying about the client's legal/operations, but it's a great mentality to maintain even when starting out in PP.
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  #21109 (permalink)  
Old 18-04-2024, 02:07 PM
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OP here, I appreciate that you tried to help. I understand that the "tried and tested" way of going in-house is to get a few years of experience in practice and then moving in-house.

My premise is, however, different in that I think of such in-house experiences as a way to understand legal/operations from the client's perspective (where they focus on the commercial drivers and deal with stakeholders coming from different backgrounds- e.g. management, commercial teams, technicians such as engineers, etc.) which is contrasted from the regular trainee/assoc-partner relationship and dynamic.

My thinking is that gaining experience in such a setting (as well as developing a working relationship with the in-house team there which you could hopefully bring back to your firm) will stand you in good stead for private practice in which you can be distinguished from your pure pp peers who have no such experience, or alternatively give you the chance to move in-house from then on.

My questions (1) and (2), and particularly (2), therefore relate to the above premise which would be helpful to all involved.

This is especially prevalent in that future PTC trainees can now seek in-house stints as part of the PTC requirement. So, as someone interested in potentially taking up that path, I was curious if anyone has heard of how law students/trainees in particular have managed to land such roles (in contrast to young assocs who have worked with such in-house teams in their capacity as external counsel, and thereafter move to join them).

In house lawyer here.

Good mentality.

But I would still recommend going PP first because there are skills you should learn as a freshly called lawyer at a PP where you still can have the "im new" card.

I was in PP for 3 years before moving in house and the first 2-3 months of moving in house, I could already see myself displaying skills/attributes I gained over the course of 3 years in PP in my new role. Things I learnt from my mentor in PP were put to good use, even in the mundane stuff like replying emails with precision, labelling attachments etc.

Some people scoff at such comments but a good lawyer knows that we as individuals, do not sell a physical product. We advertise and offer our skillset in knowing the law, how to explain it to laymen, how to apply it in situations.

I would bet my left testicle that any corporate company would appreciate an in house who is able to reply emails with qualitative feedback over someone who did not gain all those skills under mentorship at a PP and went straight in house after being called (in fact you may not even need to be called to go in house under the new regime).

All jokes aside, I regretted the nights I slogged away at PP but I never regretted going to PP first even though I knew my end goal was always to move in house. Given the same situation, knowing that I would have learnt what I know now only at PP, I would do the same thing again.

Made my life a lot easier in house with what I learnt at PP. I hope you go through the same path and have an excellent career ahead.
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  #21110 (permalink)  
Old 18-04-2024, 02:52 PM
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OP here, I appreciate that you tried to help. I understand that the "tried and tested" way of going in-house is to get a few years of experience in practice and then moving in-house.

My premise is, however, different in that I think of such in-house experiences as a way to understand legal/operations from the client's perspective (where they focus on the commercial drivers and deal with stakeholders coming from different backgrounds- e.g. management, commercial teams, technicians such as engineers, etc.) which is contrasted from the regular trainee/assoc-partner relationship and dynamic.

My thinking is that gaining experience in such a setting (as well as developing a working relationship with the in-house team there which you could hopefully bring back to your firm) will stand you in good stead for private practice in which you can be distinguished from your pure pp peers who have no such experience, or alternatively give you the chance to move in-house from then on.

My questions (1) and (2), and particularly (2), therefore relate to the above premise which would be helpful to all involved.

This is especially prevalent in that future PTC trainees can now seek in-house stints as part of the PTC requirement. So, as someone interested in potentially taking up that path, I was curious if anyone has heard of how law students/trainees in particular have managed to land such roles (in contrast to young assocs who have worked with such in-house teams in their capacity as external counsel, and thereafter move to join them).
Depends on the department / firm.

If you are in a local firm, the runway to Partner is short, and inhouse stints may result in PQE cuts. Less so for intl firms. Generally, the mindset is most law firms is still that 100% practice is the way to make partner.

However, depending on practice area, from a substantive/work pov, inhouse exp is likely to be very useful for more "operational" and/or "specialised" fields, and less useful for more "project-based" fields. For instance:

Disputes - inhouse exp is not useful at all
M&A - limited use, unless you are inhouse in a company that does M&A on a regular basis
Funds - prob quite useful, as fund structuring is all about the underlying commercial considerations
Finreg - useful, as alot of Finreg is about understanding the business and how that relates to regulations
Projects - prob quite useful to understand the underlying commercial realities

You probably also can take max 2 yrs inhouse before firms consider that you are too detached from practice
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