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  #5121 (permalink)  
Old 25-04-2020, 11:27 PM
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how far will personal connections get you in this industry? are there actually lawyers who have had this advantage?
Let's be real, at the end of the day it's a service industry so clients will come to you if they know you through personal connections. If your family member is a big client of a firm, the door for career advancement is always open.

You can get a double-starred first (kudos), but if you can't get clients at the later stage of your career you'll earn less than a 2:2 with personal connections everywhere.

If you're not, then tough luck, you'll have to work your way up and burn your nights getting there. No big deal, that's just life not just in this industry but everywhere else.

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  #5122 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 12:04 AM
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Why are there so few local grads who make partners at the big international law firms based in SG? Would it not make more sense to hire locals, since they are based in SG after all??
Here are my observations, make what you will, I don't seek to offend anyone. I agree that there seems to be some kind of preference involved.

Local grads are great hires, but at the end of the day if your client base is in the UK or the US, do you think the firm will prefer that you studied in the UK with some knowledge of English law, or Singapore with no knowledge of English law? Let's leave aside where you trained (UK, US or Singapore) for a moment.

Sure you might argue that the UK bar is the biggest leveller of the playing field but it's also the fact that you'd have spent 3 years learning UK law prior to getting UK qualified vs 1-2 months at Bar school without learning UK law.

And to add that to the mix, the international firms have partners from the UK and US. Who would fit more?

Local grads are definitely not disadvantaged in terms of calibre, but it's just that the composition of the international firms stack the odds in favour of an overseas grad. You might think that the Singapore partners should determine recruitment, but no, in most setups it's the overseas HQ of that firm that usually makes the call. Where did those partners study? Probably Ivy, Oxbridge, other feeder schools.

There'll also be some from the 'delisted schools' some pricks on this forum keep deriding based on a misguided sense of intellectual sword waving. It doesn't matter at all.

In the international firm scene, the biggest glass ceiling is that they value having trained/worked at the Magic Circle/Skadden Arps/Latham etc more than anything. You don't even need a law degree to join a Magic Circle, train there, get qualified and then transfer to the Singapore office - you'll be more valuable than anyone else.

No one cares if you did a science or engineering degree even. It may even be an advantage if you do biology, get qualified, and join the IP patents team which has the big pharma companies as clients.

My qualifications: There are some exceptions. One of them is arbitration. If you do international arbitration and in particular, with a top rated team, it doesn't matter where you train at. Some of the SG firms have very good arbitration practices. Everything else the preference seems to run this way -

Magic Circle/top US > Silver > A&G > Other big 4

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  #5123 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 11:26 AM
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Why are there so few local grads who make partners at the big international law firms based in SG? Would it not make more sense to hire locals, since they are based in SG after all??
This is a dumb question. If I'm a white brit expat partner in an international law firm here, who do you think i'd much rather hang out with, and by extension, work with?

1. Uptight, humourless, kancheong spider local overachiever Asian partner who is technically proficient but totally a bore?
2. Interesting, charismatic, charming angmo partner who I can jio for Happy Hour at Boat Quay on Thurs/Fri and cycling on Sat mornings?

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  #5124 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 11:59 AM
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This is a dumb question. If I'm a white brit expat partner in an international law firm here, who do you think i'd much rather hang out with, and by extension, work with?

1. Uptight, humourless, kancheong spider local overachiever Asian partner who is technically proficient but totally a bore?
2. Interesting, charismatic, charming angmo partner who I can jio for Happy Hour at Boat Quay on Thurs/Fri and cycling on Sat mornings?
LOL this is such a stupid statement on so many levels and does not reflect offshore firm culture in the slightest.

Let me guess - white-worshipping small local firm junior assoc with a second upper from some unheard of uk uni?

The right answer is probably that the offshore firms dont practice litigation here, which local expertise (that cannot be found overseas) is concentrated in. Corporate work like M&A, intl arbi, banking, ECM/DCM - foreign lawyers can come into SG and do it just as well if not better than local lawyers. The low numbers of local partners in these firms is a matter of statistics and the traditional ways these firms hire i.e. from their headquarters. There are only 4-5k lawyers in Singapore -> far fewer than can do work at the level of an offshore firm. This would be the big 4 trained corp lawyers (or really only two of the big 4 firms, local corp assocs would know what Im talking about)
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  #5125 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
This is a dumb question. If I'm a white brit expat partner in an international law firm here, who do you think i'd much rather hang out with, and by extension, work with?

1. Uptight, humourless, kancheong spider local overachiever Asian partner who is technically proficient but totally a bore?
2. Interesting, charismatic, charming angmo partner who I can jio for Happy Hour at Boat Quay on Thurs/Fri and cycling on Sat mornings?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
This is a dumb question. If I'm a white brit expat partner in an international law firm here, who do you think i'd much rather hang out with, and by extension, work with?

1. Uptight, humourless, kancheong spider local overachiever Asian partner who is technically proficient but totally a bore?
2. Interesting, charismatic, charming angmo partner who I can jio for Happy Hour at Boat Quay on Thurs/Fri and cycling on Sat mornings?
LOL this is such a stupid statement on so many levels and does not reflect offshore firm culture in the slightest.

Let me guess - white-worshipping small local firm junior assoc with a second upper from some unheard of uk uni?

The right answer is probably that the offshore firms dont practice litigation here, which local expertise (that cannot be found overseas) is concentrated in. Corporate work like M&A, intl arbi, banking, ECM/DCM - foreign lawyers can come into SG and do it just as well if not better than local lawyers. The low numbers of local partners in these firms is a matter of statistics and the traditional ways these firms hire i.e. from their headquarters. There are only 4-5k lawyers in Singapore -> far fewer than can do work at the level of an offshore firm. This would be the big 4 trained corp lawyers (or really only two of the big 4 firms, local corp assocs would know what Im talking about)
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  #5126 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 05:56 PM
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LOL this is such a stupid statement on so many levels and does not reflect offshore firm culture in the slightest.

Let me guess - white-worshipping small local firm junior assoc with a second upper from some unheard of uk uni?

The right answer is probably that the offshore firms dont practice litigation here, which local expertise (that cannot be found overseas) is concentrated in. Corporate work like M&A, intl arbi, banking, ECM/DCM - foreign lawyers can come into SG and do it just as well if not better than local lawyers. The low numbers of local partners in these firms is a matter of statistics and the traditional ways these firms hire i.e. from their headquarters. There are only 4-5k lawyers in Singapore -> far fewer than can do work at the level of an offshore firm. This would be the big 4 trained corp lawyers (or really only two of the big 4 firms, local corp assocs would know what Im talking about)
Lame. Talk so much, like as though we dunno all these trite nuggets.

If you think the fact that you are Asian doesn't play a part in determining who gets made up at the end of the day, you are naive and idealistic in the extreme.
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  #5127 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 07:18 PM
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LOL this is such a stupid statement on so many levels and does not reflect offshore firm culture in the slightest.

Let me guess - white-worshipping small local firm junior assoc with a second upper from some unheard of uk uni?

The right answer is probably that the offshore firms dont practice litigation here, which local expertise (that cannot be found overseas) is concentrated in. Corporate work like M&A, intl arbi, banking, ECM/DCM - foreign lawyers can come into SG and do it just as well if not better than local lawyers. The low numbers of local partners in these firms is a matter of statistics and the traditional ways these firms hire i.e. from their headquarters. There are only 4-5k lawyers in Singapore -> far fewer than can do work at the level of an offshore firm. This would be the big 4 trained corp lawyers (or really only two of the big 4 firms, local corp assocs would know what Im talking about)

Okay, I'm not the poster you responded to but I'm the one before. I've worked in both international and Big 4 and my school is well-known. Whatever you say does not apply to me or offend me in the slightest bit.

That being said you need to change your childish mindset. Not everything is about 'some unheard of UK uni' having to bow down to you because your school is better than theirs, or you trained or worked at XYZ so you're better. C'mon mate, show a little basic human decency.

Do you feel good deriding those 'unheard of' universities when we do have famous people from those unis and small firms? I'm sure you just offended a few of them.

If you're as good as you think you are, show it but don't talk it. The industry is diverse. Many schools, many firms. Learn not to offend people with your stunted maturity and inflated ego - it offends not only the people you're prejudiced against, but everyone else with good sense.
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  #5128 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 07:31 PM
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Default Inequitable WC

Ex NUS alumni here, currently a lawyer.

Would just like to say to my fellow male peers undergoing divorce to NOT easily give in to women's demands. The layperson who doesn't understand anything always thinks that men MUST give 50% of their assets, but that is not always the case. When deciding how to split assets and in who's favour, one of the considerations is how much has the spouse contributed to the to the family, and in some cases, it is clear that the woman has not contributed significantly to be entitled to what she asks for. Moreover, the women's charter has now also been amended to allow for husbands to get maintenance for their ex wife too (under certain circumstances), so please, do check if you can turn the tables against her, especially in unfair situations.

I have personally helped many of my male peers either settle for a more reasonable maintenance, or even turn the tables against their ex wives, so this is just to give all males out there hope; that divorce isn't the end of your assets. Personally feel that this splitting of assets is hypocritical; you want equal status and treatment in society, but you want men to give your your assets to "compensate" you when things don't go your way? But well, that is how the WC works and for now, I will continue to do my best to help my male peers in need.
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  #5129 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 10:17 PM
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Hi there. Local undergrad here. Just wondering: how important is it to get a TC 2 years in advance? Will it be very hard to get one before graduation?

Seeing as the current situation has led to a lot of disrupted summer internships, thereís less opportunities to intern and leave favourable impressions at firms... so I was wondering if undergrads donít obtain TCs early in advance would it be near impossible to get one later?
Depends on your grades etc and practice area. There's already a glut at the junior levels, and this economy isn't making it easier. For insolvency, places include Big 4 and Blackoak etc. If you're keen on corporate, most places seem to be freezing on retention and are involved in cost cutting (either lowering pay or freezing retention) but trainees are probably welcome.

Commercial litigation may go up, enforcement force majeure etc. Court still goes on for limited matters, liti will be okay after the CCB. Others like white collar family probate are always there.

Arbitration is hit because of difficulties in travel, but there's Zoom.

In this market unless you're really good, corporate/tax doesn't seem to have enough revenue to retain but trainees welcome.

Alternatively, if you really want corporate you can wait until the market stabilises in your grad year. By the time you get called, the economy should be recovering as we move past this climate.
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  #5130 (permalink)  
Old 26-04-2020, 10:18 PM
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Hi there. Local undergrad here. Just wondering: how important is it to get a TC 2 years in advance? Will it be very hard to get one before graduation?

Seeing as the current situation has led to a lot of disrupted summer internships, thereís less opportunities to intern and leave favourable impressions at firms... so I was wondering if undergrads donít obtain TCs early in advance would it be near impossible to get one later?
Important but not crucial. A place is always better than none. But it also depends on your grades etc and practice area. Gotta be stratetic there's already a glut at the junior levels, and this economy isn't making it easier. For insolvency, places include Big 4 and Blackoak etc. If you're keen on corporate, most places seem to be freezing on retention and are involved in cost cutting (either lowering pay or freezing retention) but trainees are probably welcome.

Commercial litigation may go up, enforcement force majeure etc. Court still goes on for limited matters, liti will be okay after the CCB. Others like white collar family probate are always there.

Arbitration is hit because of difficulties in travel, but there's Zoom.

In this market unless you're really good, corporate/tax doesn't seem to have enough revenue to retain but trainees welcome.

Alternatively, if you really want corporate you can wait until the market stabilises in your grad year. By the time you get called, the economy should be recovering as we move past this climate.
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