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  #4261 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:35 AM
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I mean the local firms are not able to get good quality and profitable work.
Ahh. Can't disagree. That is why some of the local firms start merging with big international law firms to get more profitable work. Or else, it is no longer milk and honey like the 80s

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  #4262 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2019, 03:28 AM
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Based on your academic profile, if you come back directly after graduation, you may have trouble even getting into a local Big4 firm. The sad reality about practice in SG is that local firms here expect to pay peanuts for diligent, highly qualified warm bodies. US firms generally do not take pupils into their SG offices, preferring to poach trained associates from their competitors.

Also, US firms here generally do not pay Cravath, save for two (Lathamís and Milbank). All the rest pay either local Magic Circle rates or a funky mysterious mid-Atlantic rate which sits between MC rates and proper Cravath rates. They use the tax differential/cost of living argument as justification for this difference.

So if youíre looking to earn NY scale salaries in SG, your best course of action would be to fight for a job in the US market in a mobile area of law which would allow you to move back to SG such as cap markets, B&F, Project Finance etc. I donít know anything about the NY legal market so I canít say much. I imagine youíd face strong competition there, though quite certainly not as fierce as the fight youíd face here!

You face an additional complication due to the need to consider family. Thatís a tough one which youíve got to decide on your own. Iíve turned down many amazing overseas job offers throughout my years in practice, for the sake of family. Iíve always felt short term regret, but in the long run I think staying is the right thing to do. I donít think I could face myself if Iíd allowed my aged parents to die alone in their twilight years. On the other hand, it does seem silly to come back to this cheapskate, crowded market and take local firm salaries when you could potentially be earning literally 4 times as much in a US firm (and note, this is not an exaggeration).

Thank you and the other anon dude so much for your advice! It sounds like I really have to do a couple years in NY (if I actually get a job) before lateralling back huh... I guess I'll do that if that's what it takes.

And I'm glad you chose your family over money! I hope I can do the same too.

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  #4263 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2019, 04:39 AM
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Srry but is doing a jd in the us really viable for a Singaporean? As i understand it, scholarships are mostly off limits for international students and u most likely have to pay full sticker? Although i can see the merits of practising law in the us. Just genuinely curious about yr situation over there...
Yup I'm here to help! Though I'm just a blur sotong 1L so take my words with a pinch of salt.

I actually didn't study law for undergrad in NUS and had zero knowledge of the legal industry in Singapore, so I can't really do a comparison between the viability of the US and Sg legal markets for you... I can definitely talk about the scholarship issue though!

International Students CAN get scholarships
Unlike in Sg where most scholarships are granted by the government and comes with a bond, US law school scholarships are granted by the individual schools themselves and have no bond. I'm a recipient of one of these scholarships!

Named scholarships
Scholarships can be "named" scholarships like the Darrow scholarship at UMich, or the Ruby (stands for Rubenstein or something) scholarship at UChicago, or the AnBryce scholarship at NYU, etc. These named scholarships are usually more atas, are full-ride (meaning you pay zero tuition fee!) and some even come with a stipend (they pay you to attend school gosh). They are open to everyone, including international students. But I'm like a nobody haha so I never even bothered to apply to them. You should definitely try though!

Regular merit-based scholarships
Apart from those rare atas named scholarships, schools also give out regular merit-based scholarships. Regular merit-based scholarships are based on the strength of your application package. Your LSAT score, college GPA, Personal Statement, Diversity Essay, Resume, and Interview are all part of your application package. Merit-based scholarships can range from as high as a full-ride (0 tuition fees!) to maybe as low as 10k or 30k. You may also get no scholarship at all (paying sticker price)

Need-based scholarships
Out of the over 200 USA law schools, only the top 3 (Harvard/Yale/Stanford) provide need-based scholarships. Meaning no matter how poor you are, they will make sure you can study at their schools. I'm not at HYS, so I'm not exactly sure of how it works, but basically if you get accepted into one of HYS, you can put your immediate worries about whether you can afford to attend aside and just let the school settle things for you.


As for my situation... I don't really wanna doxx myself so I'll just speak in generalities haha. I'm at a lower T14 school that is NOT RECOGNIZED by Singapore's MinLaw, so even if I wanted to practice Sg law I can't do it :'(. This means I have to practice US law, be it in the US, or back in Asia in a foreign office of a US firm (which is what I hope to do as I wish to be closer to my family).

But not to worry for you, there are four T14 schools that are recognized by MinLaw, so if you do not have an NUS/SMU llb, but you wish to leave the option of practicing Sg law open, I would recommend going to those instead. They are Harvard/Columbia/NYU/Michigan.

If you are on this forum, that means you are likely from NUS/SMU law. This means you're definitely smarter and more hardworking than me, and I hope you can get better outcomes than I did! I would highly recommend going to a T6 rather than a T14 like I did. Top 6 schools generally assure you of getting a biglaw (i.e. 190k USD starting pay) job, while if you are attending a lower T14 school maybe only around 60% of their students each year manage to get a biglaw job. Grades are the number 1 factor in terms of determining whether you get offered a biglaw job, though networking also helps a lot. I'm like an introvert who doesn't network and my grades are crappy so things aren't looking so well for me... (but don't let that demoralize you, most Singaporeans do really well in US law schools, I'm just... not the typical hardworking Singaporean)

It certainly is a huge time (3 years) and money (I'm spending maybe around 200k SGD of my parents' money, even with my significant scholarship, not to mention the loss of income from 3 years of not working) sink. I can't say for sure that taking this route will make you more or less money overall compared to simply walking the standard sg law path... but I will say that this is an experience that I will treasure.

I must have bored the others in this forum to tears with my rambling, so I'll stop here. But if you are really keen on this route, feel free to ask more questions, I'm willing to help . I wish someone had been around to help me when I was going on this path some years back, instead of trying to do this all by myself. I'll be glad if I can make things easier for you!

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  #4264 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2019, 05:54 AM
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What are the options for fresh NQ in singapore?

Are international firms hiring?
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  #4265 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2019, 12:31 AM
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What are the options for fresh NQ in singapore?

Are international firms hiring?
For now, markets are a little uncertain. Deals are slowing down, so firms are a bit hesitant to hire. Imo try to do cross disciplinary work. Pure law is not going to get very far in this era.
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  #4266 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2019, 04:15 AM
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Default Worried

I am a rising fourth year law student (local) and I still have not found a training contract. I wna do corporate work but Iíve received no replies at all (Iíve applied to quite a number of firms). Any advice?
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  #4267 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2019, 08:28 AM
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I am a rising fourth year law student (local) and I still have not found a training contract. I wna do corporate work but Iíve received no replies at all (Iíve applied to quite a number of firms). Any advice?

How are your grades? If they are tak bagus, start as paralegal position first and work your way up.
Personally I recommend going to apply int firms.
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  #4268 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2019, 09:10 AM
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Anyone has updated info on the starting pay/bonuses of LSO? I am currently in private sector (1PQE) and looking to switch to legal service.
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  #4269 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2019, 01:39 PM
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Anyone has updated info on the starting pay/bonuses of LSO? I am currently in private sector (1PQE) and looking to switch to legal service.
IIRC 3.5k for 2:1 (without NS allowances). not including all the bonuses + legal allowance, which probably totals up to a healthy 5k a month.
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  #4270 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2019, 03:11 PM
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Yup I'm here to help! Though I'm just a blur sotong 1L so take my words with a pinch of salt.

I actually didn't study law for undergrad in NUS and had zero knowledge of the legal industry in Singapore, so I can't really do a comparison between the viability of the US and Sg legal markets for you... I can definitely talk about the scholarship issue though!

International Students CAN get scholarships
Unlike in Sg where most scholarships are granted by the government and comes with a bond, US law school scholarships are granted by the individual schools themselves and have no bond. I'm a recipient of one of these scholarships!

Named scholarships
Scholarships can be "named" scholarships like the Darrow scholarship at UMich, or the Ruby (stands for Rubenstein or something) scholarship at UChicago, or the AnBryce scholarship at NYU, etc. These named scholarships are usually more atas, are full-ride (meaning you pay zero tuition fee!) and some even come with a stipend (they pay you to attend school gosh). They are open to everyone, including international students. But I'm like a nobody haha so I never even bothered to apply to them. You should definitely try though!

Regular merit-based scholarships
Apart from those rare atas named scholarships, schools also give out regular merit-based scholarships. Regular merit-based scholarships are based on the strength of your application package. Your LSAT score, college GPA, Personal Statement, Diversity Essay, Resume, and Interview are all part of your application package. Merit-based scholarships can range from as high as a full-ride (0 tuition fees!) to maybe as low as 10k or 30k. You may also get no scholarship at all (paying sticker price)

Need-based scholarships
Out of the over 200 USA law schools, only the top 3 (Harvard/Yale/Stanford) provide need-based scholarships. Meaning no matter how poor you are, they will make sure you can study at their schools. I'm not at HYS, so I'm not exactly sure of how it works, but basically if you get accepted into one of HYS, you can put your immediate worries about whether you can afford to attend aside and just let the school settle things for you.


As for my situation... I don't really wanna doxx myself so I'll just speak in generalities haha. I'm at a lower T14 school that is NOT RECOGNIZED by Singapore's MinLaw, so even if I wanted to practice Sg law I can't do it :'(. This means I have to practice US law, be it in the US, or back in Asia in a foreign office of a US firm (which is what I hope to do as I wish to be closer to my family).

But not to worry for you, there are four T14 schools that are recognized by MinLaw, so if you do not have an NUS/SMU llb, but you wish to leave the option of practicing Sg law open, I would recommend going to those instead. They are Harvard/Columbia/NYU/Michigan.

If you are on this forum, that means you are likely from NUS/SMU law. This means you're definitely smarter and more hardworking than me, and I hope you can get better outcomes than I did! I would highly recommend going to a T6 rather than a T14 like I did. Top 6 schools generally assure you of getting a biglaw (i.e. 190k USD starting pay) job, while if you are attending a lower T14 school maybe only around 60% of their students each year manage to get a biglaw job. Grades are the number 1 factor in terms of determining whether you get offered a biglaw job, though networking also helps a lot. I'm like an introvert who doesn't network and my grades are crappy so things aren't looking so well for me... (but don't let that demoralize you, most Singaporeans do really well in US law schools, I'm just... not the typical hardworking Singaporean)

It certainly is a huge time (3 years) and money (I'm spending maybe around 200k SGD of my parents' money, even with my significant scholarship, not to mention the loss of income from 3 years of not working) sink. I can't say for sure that taking this route will make you more or less money overall compared to simply walking the standard sg law path... but I will say that this is an experience that I will treasure.

I must have bored the others in this forum to tears with my rambling, so I'll stop here. But if you are really keen on this route, feel free to ask more questions, I'm willing to help . I wish someone had been around to help me when I was going on this path some years back, instead of trying to do this all by myself. I'll be glad if I can make things easier for you!
Wow that was really insightful.. thnks! 60% odds isnt too bad. Hope u crush the oci n finals u got this!
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