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  #3751 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2018, 02:51 AM
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How much does the EY and PWC -linked law firms pay? More than BM and CC?
Considering that EY PWC pay their accountant fresh grads 2.8k, they are obviously not generous with their salaries. I believe the starting pay for law firms linked to them would be about high 4ks / Low 5ks

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  #3752 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 03:46 AM
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I've been following this thread for a long time, and as a graduate from one of the UK 'degree mills' that are so maligned here, I'd like to speak up for us.

First, I think many of you misunderstand what it takes to get FCH from one of these schools. In most cases it's not a walk in the park. I didn't study at KCL (a school which for some reason everyone thinks churns out FCH) but having studied in London, I think a fair assessment of KCL is that though in truth its exams may not be as rigorous as the other London schools, the FCH graduates it produces are of as high a quality as those you'd find anywhere in the UK. Many of them go on to take the BCL/Cambridge LLM. Conversely you see PSC scholars at KCL who don't manage to get a first. All that is meant to say that it's not as easy as everyone seems to think.

Second, even if I'm wrong and in fact FCH from these schools don't mean anything, I don't know why people think Part A isn't a sufficient screen for overseas graduates. Correct me if I'm wrong, but around half of us failed the most recent Part A exams. So for each UK grad that's 'stealing your jobs', there's another UK grad that didn't even qualify to practice in SG. And that's not something that having connections can help with.

Third, it's not like all of us have connections. In fact I would say most people don't have connections strong enough to get them a TC with a big firm. In most cases, that "connection" means that you might get an internship that you otherwise might not. True, it's an advantage to get your foot in the door, but after that you still have to impress lawyers at the firm enough that they'd want to work with you. And we certainly lose out to Singaporean students, who by virtue of living in Singapore can attend open days, networking events, reach out to lawyers for coffee, etc.

But to be honest, I don't really think making all these comparisons between UK/SG is worthwhile. In some senses it's an apples and oranges comparison. UK grads might have an easier time in law school, and in some cases enjoy privileges and connections that make it easier to get a job, but Part A is difficult, and not being in SG makes it harder to connect with SG lawyers and firms. SG grads have a tougher time at NUS/SMU, may not have as many connections, but don't face the Part A obstacle and can network much more effectively in SG. Who's to say which group is better off, can find jobs more easily, or will become better lawyers? Take a quick look at the CVs of leading lawyers in SG, and you'll find that they vary greatly. Not everyone got FCH, or went to a top law school, or studied overseas. But each of them, by some combination of hard work and fortuitous opportunity, managed to succeed in their own way.

My advice to anyone, UK or SG grad alike, who thinks that the system is stacked against them, is this: take ownership of your life. Don't be resentful - that gets you nowhere. Everyone's story is different - there's no reason to think that someone's a better/worse lawyer simply because they're from a UK 'degree mill' or NUS/SMU.
How dare you post such a reasonable, measured answer. Get your objectivity and fairness out of here.

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  #3753 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 08:34 AM
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I've been following this thread for a long time, and as a graduate from one of the UK 'degree mills' that are so maligned here, I'd like to speak up for us.

First, I think many of you misunderstand what it takes to get FCH from one of these schools. In most cases it's not a walk in the park. I didn't study at KCL (a school which for some reason everyone thinks churns out FCH) but having studied in London, I think a fair assessment of KCL is that though in truth its exams may not be as rigorous as the other London schools, the FCH graduates it produces are of as high a quality as those you'd find anywhere in the UK. Many of them go on to take the BCL/Cambridge LLM. Conversely you see PSC scholars at KCL who don't manage to get a first. All that is meant to say that it's not as easy as everyone seems to think.

Second, even if I'm wrong and in fact FCH from these schools don't mean anything, I don't know why people think Part A isn't a sufficient screen for overseas graduates. Correct me if I'm wrong, but around half of us failed the most recent Part A exams. So for each UK grad that's 'stealing your jobs', there's another UK grad that didn't even qualify to practice in SG. And that's not something that having connections can help with.

Third, it's not like all of us have connections. In fact I would say most people don't have connections strong enough to get them a TC with a big firm. In most cases, that "connection" means that you might get an internship that you otherwise might not. True, it's an advantage to get your foot in the door, but after that you still have to impress lawyers at the firm enough that they'd want to work with you. And we certainly lose out to Singaporean students, who by virtue of living in Singapore can attend open days, networking events, reach out to lawyers for coffee, etc.

But to be honest, I don't really think making all these comparisons between UK/SG is worthwhile. In some senses it's an apples and oranges comparison. UK grads might have an easier time in law school, and in some cases enjoy privileges and connections that make it easier to get a job, but Part A is difficult, and not being in SG makes it harder to connect with SG lawyers and firms. SG grads have a tougher time at NUS/SMU, may not have as many connections, but don't face the Part A obstacle and can network much more effectively in SG. Who's to say which group is better off, can find jobs more easily, or will become better lawyers? Take a quick look at the CVs of leading lawyers in SG, and you'll find that they vary greatly. Not everyone got FCH, or went to a top law school, or studied overseas. But each of them, by some combination of hard work and fortuitous opportunity, managed to succeed in their own way.

My advice to anyone, UK or SG grad alike, who thinks that the system is stacked against them, is this: take ownership of your life. Don't be resentful - that gets you nowhere. Everyone's story is different - there's no reason to think that someone's a better/worse lawyer simply because they're from a UK 'degree mill' or NUS/SMU.
I think the fact that 50% of overseas grads failed part A, as you said, proves exactly the point. There's lots of chaff from the wheat from overseas.

If you studied in a London degree mill but not in kcl, then the only degree mill I can think of is soas. Nobody here has ever said that ucl or lse are degree mills. Cheers

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  #3754 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 01:03 PM
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I think the fact that 50% of overseas grads failed part A, as you said, proves exactly the point. There's lots of chaff from the wheat from overseas.

If you studied in a London degree mill but not in kcl, then the only degree mill I can think of is soas. Nobody here has ever said that ucl or lse are degree mills. Cheers
UCL IS a degree mill and a joke. LSE isn't. Cheers.
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  #3755 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 09:21 PM
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I think the fact that 50% of overseas grads failed part A, as you said, proves exactly the point. There's lots of chaff from the wheat from overseas.

If you studied in a London degree mill but not in kcl, then the only degree mill I can think of is soas. Nobody here has ever said that ucl or lse are degree mills. Cheers
I donít think thatís a fair assessment. Most of these guys failed cos of WWís eccentricity. Personally Iím from NUS, and I work in an international firm. The UK grads around are just as good as the local grads.
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  #3756 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 11:01 PM
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I donít think thatís a fair assessment. Most of these guys failed cos of WWís eccentricity. Personally Iím from NUS, and I work in an international firm. The UK grads around are just as good as the local grads.
WW isn't eccentric. Company has the highest failure rate because its the most substantive and content heavy Part A subject, followed by Evidence.

And I think its really telling of how unequipped the foreign grads are in an academic sense. Most of them are hardly used to that level of academic rigour that the NUS or SMU kids are used to.

The UK law schools teach law in a very touch and go fashion; hit all the right points and you'll get an "A" in your exams. At NUS, if you just hit all the right points without any critical analysis, you'll be lucky to get a B - or C+ on the bell curve.

I've seen the Part A syllabus and papers. Its really touch and go, due to time constraints obviously. Overseas grads don't grapple with the subject material half as much as the NUS or SMU kids did in their 1st or 2nd years.
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  #3757 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2018, 11:17 PM
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WW isn't eccentric. Company has the highest failure rate because its the most substantive and content heavy Part A subject, followed by Evidence.

And I think its really telling of how unequipped the foreign grads are in an academic sense. Most of them are hardly used to that level of academic rigour that the NUS or SMU kids are used to.

The UK law schools teach law in a very touch and go fashion; hit all the right points and you'll get an "A" in your exams. At NUS, if you just hit all the right points without any critical analysis, you'll be lucky to get a B - or C+ on the bell curve.

I've seen the Part A syllabus and papers. Its really touch and go, due to time constraints obviously. Overseas grads don't grapple with the subject material half as much as the NUS or SMU kids did in their 1st or 2nd years.
WW is a good prof and he is clear, concise and to the point. His hypotheticals are what you deal with as a corporate lawyer in practice.
Part A and Part B should be difficult because of many reasons.
Chief of the reasons are that standards should be set very high to retain the prestige and competency of a Singapore qualified lawyer. Wonít go into other jurisdictions but some have very questionable admission standards.
There is no eccentricity in any of the course setters. U go in you have to be competent which also means being knowledgeable. Itís applied knowledge rather than copying prose.
Failure in Part A and B means that individual need to relook at studying methods and strategy.
UK has to be touch and go because the exams are closed book.
Iím sure you are probably not aware.
When you do an open book, everyone has the same material in front of them.
If you give a tick all the points, what value add do you have? Everyone will write the same thing by virtue of open book exams.
Understand the context first before comparing.
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  #3758 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2018, 11:06 AM
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Oh OK so the UK exams are more on memorising the issues and writing them down. I didnít know it was that easy.
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  #3759 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2018, 01:23 PM
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WW is a good prof and he is clear, concise and to the point. His hypotheticals are what you deal with as a corporate lawyer in practice.
Part A and Part B should be difficult because of many reasons.
Chief of the reasons are that standards should be set very high to retain the prestige and competency of a Singapore qualified lawyer. Wonít go into other jurisdictions but some have very questionable admission standards.
There is no eccentricity in any of the course setters. U go in you have to be competent which also means being knowledgeable. Itís applied knowledge rather than copying prose.
Failure in Part A and B means that individual need to relook at studying methods and strategy.
UK has to be touch and go because the exams are closed book.
Iím sure you are probably not aware.
When you do an open book, everyone has the same material in front of them.
If you give a tick all the points, what value add do you have? Everyone will write the same thing by virtue of open book exams.
Understand the context first before comparing.
Everyone is well aware that UK law schools have closed book exams.

Actually the fact that UK schools are closed book again proves the point. We can debate the merits of open book (SG, except Contracts) and closed book (UK) till the cows come home, but I don't think any one will argue that being open book, and forcing you to focus on critical analysis rather than rote memorisation+regurgitation, makes for a superior mastery of the subject material. As you said, applied knowledge. It is also far more reflective of practice reality.

It is ironic then that the SMU and NUS law schools (being in the SG education system) are superior in this pedagogic sense to UK.

On the other hand, this I'm sure you're also not aware: when NUS law was founded, it was out of necessity to train substantive lawyers. So its syllabus had to strike a balance between a broad, general UK style undergrad education, and a hard-nosed American style professional education (because US law schools are post-grad professional programmes).

This has set the tone of legal education in SG and reflects in the sheer number of hard, substantive law subjects on offer in NUS/SMU, eg securities regulation, international arbitration, investor-state arbitration, corporate insolvency, corporate drafting etc.

If you compare with UK law schools, they mostly offer a far more limited selection of substantive law subjects, the most substantive usually being the EU-law related subjects. The rest are tilted towards "fluffy" arts-type subjects like "law and gender", human rights, "law and society" and criminology.

Difference in educational ethos and pedagogy is stark, but has a bearing on the quality of law grads produced also, e.g. compare a Singapore law year grad who has studied and been tested on the Securities and Futures Act and Takeover Code once over, and a UK law year grad who has studied and been tested on the various legal issues facing trangendered people.

We're not even talking about whether those who went to UK to study more or less intelligent than those who studied locally.
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  #3760 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2018, 02:04 PM
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I donít think thatís a fair assessment. Most of these guys failed cos of WWís eccentricity. Personally Iím from NUS, and I work in an international firm. The UK grads around are just as good as the local grads.
I think there is a bit of survival bias there - you're only seeing the best of the best of the UK graduates. You don't see the ones that fail Part A or are languishing in small firms.
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