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  #421 (permalink)  
Old 26-09-2015, 11:58 AM
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Is it true that a major local firm here has officially cut salaries of its associates?? not naming any names yet but thats what I've heard. anybody can confirm this?

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  #422 (permalink)  
Old 26-09-2015, 07:36 PM
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Yes W**** has cut its starting salary to about $5k. R** starting salary has been cut to $4k+. D*** and A** have not yet moderated their salaries significantly, although there are hints that the starting salary is SLIGHTLY lower than before, ranging from $5.5-5.8k.

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  #423 (permalink)  
Old 27-09-2015, 12:49 PM
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Yes W**** has cut its starting salary to about $5k. R** starting salary has been cut to $4k+. D*** and A** have not yet moderated their salaries significantly, although there are hints that the starting salary is SLIGHTLY lower than before, ranging from $5.5-5.8k.

Winter is coming.
Question. Cut pay cos of oversupply or market bad.

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  #424 (permalink)  
Old 27-09-2015, 10:45 PM
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Yes W**** has cut its starting salary to about $5k. R** starting salary has been cut to $4k+. D*** and A** have not yet moderated their salaries significantly, although there are hints that the starting salary is SLIGHTLY lower than before, ranging from $5.5-5.8k.
Sounds like it is time to explore the international firms. International firms' salaries have become much more attractive by comparison.
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  #425 (permalink)  
Old 28-09-2015, 07:33 AM
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Protected industry. The starting pay is so high compared to peers. I welcome more competition from overseas applicant to push the salary lower to match their peers.
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  #426 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-2015, 01:17 AM
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Protected industry. The starting pay is so high compared to peers. I welcome more competition from overseas applicant to push the salary lower to match their peers.
The pay isn't high when you count on a per hour basis, and in the current situation, the salary is already being depressed due to the overseas Singaporean law students applying for TCs back home. Some students are already without TCs as the market simply cannot take in any more. More competition is certainly not what is needed at this time.

Also, just who are these peers which are being used as a comparison, if I may ask? And in what way is it a protected industry, aside from the requirements of a bar examination which is the case in any other jurisdiction?
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  #427 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-2015, 02:57 AM
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The pay isn't high when you count on a per hour basis, and in the current situation, the salary is already being depressed due to the overseas Singaporean law students applying for TCs back home. Some students are already without TCs as the market simply cannot take in any more. More competition is certainly not what is needed at this time.

Also, just who are these peers which are being used as a comparison, if I may ask? And in what way is it a protected industry, aside from the requirements of a bar examination which is the case in any other jurisdiction?
The guy who posted the comment that you quoted is clearly an idiot. However, I disagree with you. The essence isn't the competition, it is the Singaporean mentality of trying to get everything at a cheaper price.

Look at the US, there is a glut of law graduates, yet top NYC law firms still start at USD$160k. Look at the UK, similar situation, but salaries have been rising. All these firms could all easily collude and cut salaries but they don't. The same cannot be said of the Sgrean firms.

Competition is good in any industry, it raises the standards of future batches of lawyers. The glut has made everyone more zealous in trying to better their CVs to stand out from the crowd. This is surely a good thing, as those that get in to the top firms (aside from connections, which is something we have to addressed) are those that are truly motivated to seek out opportunities.
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  #428 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-2015, 02:12 PM
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The guy who posted the comment that you quoted is clearly an idiot. However, I disagree with you. The essence isn't the competition, it is the Singaporean mentality of trying to get everything at a cheaper price.

Look at the US, there is a glut of law graduates, yet top NYC law firms still start at USD$160k. Look at the UK, similar situation, but salaries have been rising. All these firms could all easily collude and cut salaries but they don't. The same cannot be said of the Sgrean firms.

Competition is good in any industry, it raises the standards of future batches of lawyers. The glut has made everyone more zealous in trying to better their CVs to stand out from the crowd. This is surely a good thing, as those that get in to the top firms (aside from connections, which is something we have to addressed) are those that are truly motivated to seek out opportunities.
Hi, I'm the writer of #427 here. Perhaps I wasn't being too clear, as my reply was directed to #426. So I'll take this chance to explain myself further.

My point isn't that competition is bad per se, it's that the current state of affairs is perhaps going too far. Minister Shanmugam noted in 2014 that 650 graduates were competing for 490 TCs (://.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-is-facing-a-glut-of-lawyers-shanmugam). And this is only about TCs, much less being retained as associates. Many firms don't retain their trainees, maybe for reasons of penny pinching as well (as trainees are paid less than half of what associates get). Where do those that fall through the cracks go then?

To make matters worse, this trend of increasing droves of students seems to be going up, with the current 2015 batch of Part B students being much larger than the one last year which our law minister referred to. Furthermore, with many trainees and fresh associates in the firms already, there is less of a need for these firms to hire more trainees in future batches, and some smaller firms simply do not have the capacity to do so, or retain them. Hence, to say that more competition is needed is really missing the point entirely. This was what I was getting at in my reply to #426.

Yes, I agree with you that competition in general helps to improve the industry, which would ensure that those who get into the big firms are those who are the truly passionate and zealous ones (leaving those getting in via connections aside). However, it might not really be a good thing like you said in the context of Singapore. Consider: if one works hard, beats the competition amongst fellow students, and gets into the big firms, and beats the competition to be retained, only to realise that pay has been decreasing, how does that help for one's motivation in the end? The good ones may end up jumping ship to work for foreign firms, which seems to be the case already.

So maybe you are right that the penny pinching mentality is perhaps a bigger problem, but both are contributory factors at the end of the day, mashed together with a slowing economy. This is also why I asked the writer of #426 to clarify the peers which he compared Singaporean lawyers to - is it the lawyers in say, Malaysia or the rest of SEA who earn much less than their Singaporean counterparts, or those in London/NY which you referred to, or those in HK... or perhaps the writer of #426 was having other unrelated industries in mind.

Hope I have clarified my position!
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  #429 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-2015, 02:24 PM
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Yes W**** has cut its starting salary to about $5k. R** starting salary has been cut to $4k+. D*** and A** have not yet moderated their salaries significantly, although there are hints that the starting salary is SLIGHTLY lower than before, ranging from $5.5-5.8k.
-----------------------

Leaner times for lawyers as firm slashes bonuses?

Source: Straits Times
Date: 28 Sep 2015

They haven't been reduced to earning chicken feed - at least not yet - but times are getting tougher for the country's legal eagles.

A leading law firm is said to be slashing front-loaded bonuses for its lawyers from next month.

The cutbacks come amid a slowdown in the legal industry as firms grapple with the property slump, the dearth of new share-market listings and a slowing economy.

It remains to be seen if other top law firms here will follow suit.

A lawyer's basic salary is typically supplemented by a front-loaded bonus paid monthly. Unlike the basic salary, this is a discretionary component that can be more easily adjusted by the firm. At least one large law firm has already moderated its remuneration package for newly qualified and junior lawyers, The Straits Times reported earlier this month.

A few mid-sized firms have made similar moves or reduced their number of trainees because of an oversupply of law graduates.

- See more at: ://.singaporelawwatch.sg/slw/index.php/headlines/70476-leaner-times-for-lawyers-as-firm-slashes-bonuses#sthash.Topqk2Cc.dpuf

-----------------------

Just posting this here to give that post more backing and context. If I have flouted any rules by posting that article here, moderators, please remove this post.

And also, are the lawyers expected to earn "chicken feed" eventually?
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  #430 (permalink)  
Old 30-09-2015, 04:36 AM
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Hi, I'm the writer of #427 here. Perhaps I wasn't being too clear, as my reply was directed to #426. So I'll take this chance to explain myself further.

My point isn't that competition is bad per se, it's that the current state of affairs is perhaps going too far. Minister Shanmugam noted in 2014 that 650 graduates were competing for 490 TCs (://.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-is-facing-a-glut-of-lawyers-shanmugam). And this is only about TCs, much less being retained as associates. Many firms don't retain their trainees, maybe for reasons of penny pinching as well (as trainees are paid less than half of what associates get). Where do those that fall through the cracks go then?

To make matters worse, this trend of increasing droves of students seems to be going up, with the current 2015 batch of Part B students being much larger than the one last year which our law minister referred to. Furthermore, with many trainees and fresh associates in the firms already, there is less of a need for these firms to hire more trainees in future batches, and some smaller firms simply do not have the capacity to do so, or retain them. Hence, to say that more competition is needed is really missing the point entirely. This was what I was getting at in my reply to #426.

Yes, I agree with you that competition in general helps to improve the industry, which would ensure that those who get into the big firms are those who are the truly passionate and zealous ones (leaving those getting in via connections aside). However, it might not really be a good thing like you said in the context of Singapore. Consider: if one works hard, beats the competition amongst fellow students, and gets into the big firms, and beats the competition to be retained, only to realise that pay has been decreasing, how does that help for one's motivation in the end? The good ones may end up jumping ship to work for foreign firms, which seems to be the case already.

So maybe you are right that the penny pinching mentality is perhaps a bigger problem, but both are contributory factors at the end of the day, mashed together with a slowing economy. This is also why I asked the writer of #426 to clarify the peers which he compared Singaporean lawyers to - is it the lawyers in say, Malaysia or the rest of SEA who earn much less than their Singaporean counterparts, or those in London/NY which you referred to, or those in HK... or perhaps the writer of #426 was having other unrelated industries in mind.

Hope I have clarified my position!

Haha. We clearly disagree. My point is simple: the legal profession should not be protected just like all the other professions. The recurring theme of the 21st century is that there are in general a glut of graduates in all industries and in all professions everywhere around the world, the way I see it is for graduates to be adaptable and flexible. If an individual who reads law can't secure a TC, there are many other jobs out there and they have to tailor their expectations. If an individual who reads accountancy can't secure a place at an audit firm, they have to adapt too.

Anyway, from your tone, you sound like a law student worried about the TC situation. If you are indeed one, good luck for the hunt!
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