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  #6151 (permalink)  
Old 13-06-2020, 06:15 PM
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Yes and no. I think it depends on figuring out what you want in your career. Different pathways are "good" for different things.

If you want to print money, the law is really not for you.

If you want to enter a particular industry or area of law, you need to plan accordingly. Arbitration work is very difficult to get, in part because arbitrating parties do not need to appoint representatives from the Singapore bar. The big 4, international firms/JVs, and/or local arbitration specialists, are probably your best bet. If you want to do community work, Big 4 is probably not for you.

If your goals are autonomy in terms of lifestyle, handling your own clients/files, I think a smaller firm/CT firm is more likely to get you there faster. You progress to handling your own files quicker, and get to do "higher level" work (as in, less drafting research memos, more drafting pleadings, doing hearings solo, etc). Larger firms tend to be more hierarchical, structured, and can sometimes foster a lot of anal attitudes.

If you're the kind of person who thinks, "Don't bother me about the nitty gritty, let me just do what works", probably try a smaller firm.

The downside of this is that sometimes, smaller firms may lack instructional/teaching processes, and/or the partner himself may not be aware of, or has not implemented, proper file management processes, or client management processes, or may have developed some very bad, uncorrected bad habits, etc. If you only ever handle small-value files for clients who can't really afford to turn around and sue you, you may get away with all kinds of questionable habits and not know you're doing anything wrong, until you get a Law Society complaint.

So if you tend to work for someone who's less anal, or who isn't very strict, you should still keep it in the back of your mind that you have professional and ethical obligations, and you have avenues for asking for advice other than your boss. Sometimes it sucks to tell your boss "I won't do that because I think it's wrong", but once you're qualified, you can't shift blame for ethical breaches to your boss.

What works for each individual lawyer is probably going to depend a lot on what they want, and how they learn, and how they work. Some of my friends in Big 4 really hate it because they feel like tearing their hair out everytime someone nags them about formatting errors in their documents. OTOH, I started in smaller firms, and got frustrated at the lack of explicit instructions: you just try your best and nobody will tell you how to get things done, but they'll still tear you a new one if you do it "wrong"; I transitioned to Big 4 and I appreciate that there's always someone around who has an answer (even if it's not always THE answer, or the correct answer).

One thing you might want to consider is also how much support you get. Larger firms tend to have better support for lawyers. A Big 4 assoc can just send 5,000 pages of stuff in soft copy to a different department and everything gets printed, bound, tabbed, and sent off, with no further involvement from him. On the other hand I have literally sprinted to Court with a bundle of documents that I printed, bound, and tabbed myself, so I could tender it in time.

Hours are likely to be bad either way, but I'd rather be spending my late nights doing research or drafting than standing in front of the photocopier.
Yea thanks so much for taking the time to type out this long reply, really appreciate the different perspectives that you've depicted. Very helpful.

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  #6152 (permalink)  
Old 13-06-2020, 11:23 PM
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Default Archaic WC detrimental to SG's birth rate

The government wants people to get married and make babies...two at least, but more if you can afford. They are not concerned with "love" but are very pragmatic about it: either we replace our aging population through natural births, or we have to bring in more and more new citizens.

However, for that to happen, I think they have to have the guts to pass a bill to remove the onerous parts of the WC for the men. Then we can see a potential increase in men tying the knot, and the babies coming. As it is now, and with more and more men being much more educated than their fathers, and hence are much more well read and informed, the WC is a major deterrent to marriage. Young men are increasingly choosing to remain single. Women less so, but because the men do not want marriage, the women remain single.

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  #6153 (permalink)  
Old 13-06-2020, 11:39 PM
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The government wants people to get married and make babies...two at least, but more if you can afford. They are not concerned with "love" but are very pragmatic about it: either we replace our aging population through natural births, or we have to bring in more and more new citizens.

However, for that to happen, I think they have to have the guts to pass a bill to remove the onerous parts of the WC for the men. Then we can see a potential increase in men tying the knot, and the babies coming. As it is now, and with more and more men being much more educated than their fathers, and hence are much more well read and informed, the WC is a major deterrent to marriage. Young men are increasingly choosing to remain single. Women less so, but because the men do not want marriage, the women remain single.
The WC was only relevant in a previous era when women did not work, but today with equal opportunities to study, parents even send their daughters for enrichment classes and hire private tutors for them if they can afford it. Many women have poly diplomas or university degrees and are financially independent. Just like their covid performance, our million dollars lawmakers have not caught up with the times.

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  #6154 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 08:15 AM
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Default Should I do a tc or stick to current job?

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I think he's saying his salary is 4 ish, not his PQE. OP, if I am not wrong you are currently a legal exec working inhouse earning 4 ish and you are asking us whether you should go do your TC or stay in your current position?

Yup. A legal exec now. I heard most small and mid-sized firms are not intending to retain after TC due to the economy. I guess it would be advantageous to work at a big firm for the credentials if the plan is to transition back to in-house after a few years?
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  #6155 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 09:42 AM
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surely, remuneration is not as high doing admin work as you could earn as a lawyer doing community law? So reduced pay and enjoyment of work (from what im sensing from your post)?
To be honest I earn slightly more now compared to the typical chinatown pay for 1-3 pqe. Difference is that if I stick it out I may end up with $7-10k/ mth in the long run. Whereas in chinatown one is less assured even of that. I'm OK with the work here...the work I do now is perhaps more "support" rather than full on admin (we still have an admin staff to photocopy, post items etc.)

I know that $7-10k is starting pay in some of the better/foreign firms but let's not go there. In chinatown it was $3k/mth freshly called, at least for me.
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  #6156 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 10:33 AM
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Yup. A legal exec now. I heard most small and mid-sized firms are not intending to retain after TC due to the economy. I guess it would be advantageous to work at a big firm for the credentials if the plan is to transition back to in-house after a few years?
Yes, the only difference being Big 4 is harder to get into both at the PTC and associate level. There are 2 reasons why retention rates are high there - attrition and pre selection, revenue considerations aside. The mid sized traditionally have had lower retention rates anyway, with or without Covid.

So if you get a place in Big 4, that's great but the jump from any FLA / small mid sized is there.
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  #6157 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 11:31 AM
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Yes, the only difference being Big 4 is harder to get into both at the PTC and associate level. There are 2 reasons why retention rates are high there - attrition and pre selection, revenue considerations aside. The mid sized traditionally have had lower retention rates anyway, with or without Covid.

So if you get a place in Big 4, that's great but the jump from any FLA / small mid sized is there.
I came across a post on LinkedIn that one of the Big 4s is hiring for a corporate position...there are 200+ applicants. I give up.
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  #6158 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 11:32 AM
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Yes, the only difference being Big 4 is harder to get into both at the PTC and associate level. There are 2 reasons why retention rates are high there - attrition and pre selection, revenue considerations aside. The mid sized traditionally have had lower retention rates anyway, with or without Covid.

So if you get a place in Big 4, that's great but the jump from any FLA / small mid sized is there.
I saw a post on LinkedIn that one of the big 4s is hiring for corp position. Has like 200 plus applicants. I give up.
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  #6159 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 11:47 AM
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The government wants people to get married and make babies...two at least, but more if you can afford. They are not concerned with "love" but are very pragmatic about it: either we replace our aging population through natural births, or we have to bring in more and more new citizens.

However, for that to happen, I think they have to have the guts to pass a bill to remove the onerous parts of the WC for the men. Then we can see a potential increase in men tying the knot, and the babies coming. As it is now, and with more and more men being much more educated than their fathers, and hence are much more well read and informed, the WC is a major deterrent to marriage. Young men are increasingly choosing to remain single. Women less so, but because the men do not want marriage, the women remain single.
Which are the parts of the WC that are onerous on men?
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  #6160 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2020, 11:50 AM
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I saw a post on LinkedIn that one of the big 4s is hiring for corp position. Has like 200 plus applicants. I give up.
Huh really? I thought anyone can get into big 4 quite easily. I expect many applicants for internationals or in house, but not big 4..
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