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  #411 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2015, 06:15 PM
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I got a AAB for my A Levels. It has always been my dream to become a lawyer so since I can't get into he national uni with my result, I went for the next best option - private institution. I didn't know that UOL degree can't be called to the bar, as confirmed by my cousin.

UOL degree though good enough to be called to the bar in other countries, is only good enough to be paralegal or legal officer. Why so unfair? UOL degree is widely recognised amongst commonwealth countries! Why is Singapore the exception?

The only reprieve for me from this discussion is that I got to know from my school that I am amongst the top 10 student in Malaysia and Singapore and UOL will award one scholarship spot to the top performing student. I have every chance to get to UK for my 2nd year of studies onwards, and with a proper UK degree I can be called to the bar here. And that's what I am working for at this moment!
one scholarship spot and you're in the top 10? good luck with that.. too many wannabes around here. It's either you make it or break it in the law industry here :

1. Local Law Grads
2. Rich parents to fund your overseas LLBs

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  #412 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2015, 01:47 PM
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Just wondering, newly qualified lawyers at law firms start off with fee earning? Does it mean fee earning + Basic salary or just solely based on fee earning?
its just a basic salary. no fee earning. not sure where you get this idea. google lawyer's salaries for more info.

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  #413 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2015, 03:37 PM
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Firstly, to all who wish to become lawyers: please do your research before jumping the gun and enrolling in a a non-qualifying institution. You are not cut out to be a lawyer if you can't even enrol in the right school! I hate to be a wet blanket, but you really need to re-examine your aptitude for law if you are careless enough to overlook such basic things. Would you remember to ask preliminary questions relating to jurisdiction and time bar before jumping into a case? If you REALLY wish to become a lawyer for God's sake please enrol in a qualifying institution (and please get the most updated list of scheduled institutions). If you can't qualify for NUS/NTU, you'll need to go overseas and it won't be cheap. If you aren't from a wealthy family, you'll need to consider funding before diving in. Getting into a qualifying institution is the absolute first step on your path to becoming a lawyer!

Secondly, if you think you can qualify in a foreign country and come back to practice, you are very much mistaken. You will come back as a foreign lawyer registered with AGC, and this is essentially a glorified paralegal role if you join a local law firm. As for foreign lawyers being admitted to the Singapore Bar, this occurs only on a discretionary basis, and only in the rarest of circumstances, such as when the practitioner is an undisputed market leader with decades of expertise in his area of practice. It's not going to happen.

Thirdly, even if you take your first few baby steps by enrolling in a qualifying institution, you'll need to be very realistic about career prospects. There are lawyers and there are lawyers. If you don't know what this means, look it up. Some lawyers start their careers with five figure paychecks (by completing training in a Big 4, and taking up an offshore firm's offer instead). At the other end of the spectrum, you'll have NQ lawyers joining one-man outfits entering at $3,000 a month. Getting your degree and crossing the bar simply gives you the right to embark on a legal career - it does not by any means guarantee that it will be a decent career, or that you will even get a job in the first place. The fact that you had trouble entering SMU/NUS suggests to me that that the qualifying institution that you may eventually join would be a low or lower-mid tier institution, which would in the natural course of things land you in a small or small-mid sized firm rather than a glitzy large corporate firm.

Lastly, even if you secure a good role and embark upon a decent career path, there is no guarantee that it will be a satisfying or sustainable path. We have one of the highest attrition rates across the various industries, and statistics show that more than half of all qualified lawyers will burn out and leave practice within the first three years. Even if you should find yourself on the coveted path to a promising legal career, I'm not sure if you'll like what you see as you walk down that road.

There are so many hurdles in your path that I cringe even thinking about it. And you haven't even reached the first hurdle!

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  #414 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2015, 10:42 PM
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Thirdly, even if you take your first few baby steps by enrolling in a qualifying institution, you'll need to be very realistic about career prospects. There are lawyers and there are lawyers. If you don't know what this means, look it up. Some lawyers start their careers with five figure paychecks (by completing training in a Big 4, and taking up an offshore firm's offer instead). At the other end of the spectrum, you'll have NQ lawyers joining one-man outfits entering at $3,000 a month. Getting your degree and crossing the bar simply gives you the right to embark on a legal career - it does not by any means guarantee that it will be a decent career, or that you will even get a job in the first place. The fact that you had trouble entering SMU/NUS suggests to me that that the qualifying institution that you may eventually join would be a low or lower-mid tier institution, which would in the natural course of things land you in a small or small-mid sized firm rather than a glitzy large corporate firm.
Disagree. There are many paths to success in the legal profession and not all of them involve travelling along the gilded road of big firm practice.

To think that that is the only measure of success is naive and superficial in the extreme.

Those who think that way haven't practiced long enough in the legal profession to know that its not where you practice, but how you do what you do and whether you enjoy it.

Not every lawyer gets listed in the Legal 500. The vast majority don't. But that is by no means indicative of a subpar career or second tier practice.

Take it from someone who has practiced in both the glamorous and the grittier sides of the profession.
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  #415 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2015, 01:39 AM
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This is the person who posted #414 here. I can sense a lot of self righteous fervour in your post. All I can say is that you're getting all worked up over nothing. If this were a standalone post, you might well be justified in assuming that I am a snob who's under the misconception that only top tier Big 4/QFLP equity partners are successful lawyers.

I am certainly not under that impression. I am well aware there are a great many partners running highly successful and highly lucrative boutique law firms doing what they love doing. And for the even smaller 1 to 2 man outfits, they're happy doing what they do even if they don't become immensely well-to-do, and they are indeed more successful than many of their unhappy Big 4 counterparts. Any happy legal career is a successful legal career, since a great many of us face the sad fate of hating our jobs and leaving the industry.

May I however direct your attention to Post #394, where the mistakenly-enrolled UOL student intimated a wish to join the Big 4 firms?

Quote
No chance for A&G, WongP etc? I am determined and willing to put 12-15 hours everyday if required. Ask me start from the bottomest position at 2k I also can take it if they give me chance.

Legal exec as in in-house counsel? I don't mind also. Have one cousin doing in-house counsel for an O&G company, every time see her Facebook flying around the world makan who's food! But I thought need to clock some experience first?
End Quote

My post is grounded in the context of advice rendered to someone who has asked about his chances of entering "glitzy big firm" practice. I am not looking down on small firm practice. I am simply letting the recipient of advice know that his chances of getting where he wants to be are not good. Hopefully this clarifies?

Perhaps a little more contextual background would be in order before jumping to premature conclusions.


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  #416 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2015, 09:57 AM
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You have written well. Enjoyed reading your post. In my opinion those are rather neutral and sensible advice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
This is the person who posted #414 here. I can sense a lot of self righteous fervour in your post. All I can say is that you're getting all worked up over nothing. If this were a standalone post, you might well be justified in assuming that I am a snob who's under the misconception that only top tier Big 4/QFLP equity partners are successful lawyers.

I am certainly not under that impression. I am well aware there are a great many partners running highly successful and highly lucrative boutique law firms doing what they love doing. And for the even smaller 1 to 2 man outfits, they're happy doing what they do even if they don't become immensely well-to-do, and they are indeed more successful than many of their unhappy Big 4 counterparts. Any happy legal career is a successful legal career, since a great many of us face the sad fate of hating our jobs and leaving the industry.

May I however direct your attention to Post #394, where the mistakenly-enrolled UOL student intimated a wish to join the Big 4 firms?

Quote
No chance for A&G, WongP etc? I am determined and willing to put 12-15 hours everyday if required. Ask me start from the bottomest position at 2k I also can take it if they give me chance.

Legal exec as in in-house counsel? I don't mind also. Have one cousin doing in-house counsel for an O&G company, every time see her Facebook flying around the world makan who's food! But I thought need to clock some experience first?
End Quote

My post is grounded in the context of advice rendered to someone who has asked about his chances of entering "glitzy big firm" practice. I am not looking down on small firm practice. I am simply letting the recipient of advice know that his chances of getting where he wants to be are not good. Hopefully this clarifies?

Perhaps a little more contextual background would be in order before jumping to premature conclusions.
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  #417 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2015, 06:41 PM
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I am a junior associate working in a big four/QFLP firm. I would like to respond to the following quote:

Quote
No chance for A&G, WongP etc? I am determined and willing to put 12-15 hours everyday if required. Ask me start from the bottomest position at 2k I also can take it if they give me chance.

End Quote

Just wanted to share that at the junior lawyer level, most people start from trainee positions at 2k and put in roughly 12-15 hours minimum each day. I have worked an average of 12-15 hours every day since I started my job. There were weeks that I left office at 5am every day, doing research, writing legal opinions or doing some menial mundane task for my clients. This may apply even if you aren't in the "glitzy law firms".

On the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend who joined a small firm after graduation and is recently laid off. She is currently interviewing for positions at medium / larger firms now.
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  #418 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Firstly, to all who wish to become lawyers: please do your research before jumping the gun and enrolling in a a non-qualifying institution. You are not cut out to be a lawyer if you can't even enrol in the right school! I hate to be a wet blanket, but you really need to re-examine your aptitude for law if you are careless enough to overlook such basic things. Would you remember to ask preliminary questions relating to jurisdiction and time bar before jumping into a case? If you REALLY wish to become a lawyer for God's sake please enrol in a qualifying institution (and please get the most updated list of scheduled institutions). If you can't qualify for NUS/NTU, you'll need to go overseas and it won't be cheap. If you aren't from a wealthy family, you'll need to consider funding before diving in. Getting into a qualifying institution is the absolute first step on your path to becoming a lawyer!

Secondly, if you think you can qualify in a foreign country and come back to practice, you are very much mistaken. You will come back as a foreign lawyer registered with AGC, and this is essentially a glorified paralegal role if you join a local law firm. As for foreign lawyers being admitted to the Singapore Bar, this occurs only on a discretionary basis, and only in the rarest of circumstances, such as when the practitioner is an undisputed market leader with decades of expertise in his area of practice. It's not going to happen.

Thirdly, even if you take your first few baby steps by enrolling in a qualifying institution, you'll need to be very realistic about career prospects. There are lawyers and there are lawyers. If you don't know what this means, look it up. Some lawyers start their careers with five figure paychecks (by completing training in a Big 4, and taking up an offshore firm's offer instead). At the other end of the spectrum, you'll have NQ lawyers joining one-man outfits entering at $3,000 a month. Getting your degree and crossing the bar simply gives you the right to embark on a legal career - it does not by any means guarantee that it will be a decent career, or that you will even get a job in the first place. The fact that you had trouble entering SMU/NUS suggests to me that that the qualifying institution that you may eventually join would be a low or lower-mid tier institution, which would in the natural course of things land you in a small or small-mid sized firm rather than a glitzy large corporate firm.

Lastly, even if you secure a good role and embark upon a decent career path, there is no guarantee that it will be a satisfying or sustainable path. We have one of the highest attrition rates across the various industries, and statistics show that more than half of all qualified lawyers will burn out and leave practice within the first three years. Even if you should find yourself on the coveted path to a promising legal career, I'm not sure if you'll like what you see as you walk down that road.

There are so many hurdles in your path that I cringe even thinking about it. And you haven't even reached the first hurdle!
Mr/Ms #414 , very well written ,Hire me please.

Mr/Ms #418, whats your point ar ?
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  #419 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2015, 10:45 PM
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Mr/Ms #414 , very well written ,Hire me please.

Mr/Ms #418, whats your point ar ?

#414 and #418 are in all likelihood the same person. I thought the curious use of "quote" "end quote" would've been quite an obvious tell.
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  #420 (permalink)  
Old 14-09-2015, 03:15 PM
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#414 and #418 are in all likelihood the same person. I thought the curious use of "quote" "end quote" would've been quite an obvious tell.
Well, in this case the obvious clue was in fact a false positive, as I am sure the writer of #418 would concur. I wrote #414, and I have no idea who wrote #418. I'm a 5 PQE in a Big 4, not a junior associate in a Big 4/QFLP.

I bungled my way into a Big 4 five years ago, not quite knowing what I wanted to do. Back then, the legal market was far more favourable for graduates. The Big 4s were on a perpetual hiring spree, taking 30-40 pupils every year and retaining almost 95% of them. Mid sized firms struggled to take on pupils, and were sometimes forced to use the allure of higher starting salaries to entice pupils away from the Big 4 players. Smaller firms could only dream about taking on pupils.

Gone are those days. In a short span of four years, training contracts have pretty much dried up, and the NUS law career fairs are now thronging with worried applicants struggling to get in some face time, push resumees and secure internships on the spot. In the old days, we practically had to bribe students with freebies in order to come by our booth. The local students simply weren't interested in the event, as they knew that they were pretty much guaranteed a spot with a simple 2:1. Now, a generic 2:1 from NUS/SMU won't even cut it - candidates need a strong 2:1 just to get noticed and shortlisted for an interview. Firsts, top tier 2:1s, Oxcam grads and white horses are obviously not affected, but anyone outside these categories face a tough fight for the few coveted places. Things have changed dramatically, in just a short span of time, and prospects for current students and fresh grads are simply terrible.

The labour crunch has been further exacerbated by a general slowdown in the legal market, which has been maturing, consolidating and shrinking over the past few years. Squeezed on fees, less bespoke work, fewer glitzy transactions, more fee-conscious clients = fewer associates needed every year. Graduates are facing a painful, two-pronged squeeze from shrinking demand and exploding supply, and I would definitely NOT encourage anyone to embark on a law degree until we see some clarity as to how this squeeze is going to pan out.
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