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The Singapore Law Gazette

Members’ Tea Session

The Law Society of Singapore is pleased to have held the first of our monthly Members’ Tea Sessions at Yang Coffee & Toast on 21 January 2020. These Sessions are aimed at strengthening member engagement, to allow the Society to better attune our initiatives to support law firms. The event was attended by some members of the Council and Secretariat of the Law Society of Singapore, as well as lawyers practising in the vicinity of Beach Road, Golden Mile, Suntec City and City Hall. The discussion revolved around means of encouraging efficiency and increasing the capabilities of firms with initiatives such as the Tech-celerate for Law scheme, SmartLaw Recognition scheme, SmartLaw Guild, Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Professional Executives (Legal Support) as well as Lawyers Go Global (LG2).

Director of Legal Productivity and Innovation Ms Stefanie Lim started the event with a sharing on the Tech-celerate for Law scheme, a support scheme that helps Singapore Law Practices (SLPs) adopt and integrate technology into their practices. Now, more than ever, technology is key in ensuring the continued success of firms. The scheme’s objective is to prepare SLPs for future disruptions and ensure the efficiency and quality of legal services delivered. It features seven pre-scoped categories of technology solutions (ranging from baseline to advanced) with products powered by advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. Under the Scheme, eligible SLPs can expect up to 70 per cent funding support in the first year of implementation. Mr Tito Isaac, Vice-President of the Law Society, and Mr Paul Seah, Council member, emphasised that leveraging the available schemes can allow law firms to strengthen their capabilities. They urged members to apply for the Tech-celerate for Law scheme before the application period closes on 1 May 2020.

In this age of digital disruption, constant adaptation and re-invention are crucial to relevance. The SmartLaw Guild meets this need by serving as a platform to share strategies, best practices, trends and resources to ensure that law practices are adequately prepared for future challenges. Complimentary membership is available to SLPs that are SmartLaw-certified or are successful applicants of the Law Society’s past and/or present technology support schemes. Concurrently, the SmartLaw Recognition scheme aims to recognise SLPs who have adopted technology to improve productivity and increase business capabilities. SLPs who meet the criteria will be recognised as a “SmartLaw” SLP and can use the SmartLaw logo on their website and marketing collaterals. Mr Lim Seng Siew, a Council member of the Law Society, illustrated the benefits of this commitment to re-invention with a pertinent anecdote on how the work flow of his law firm was transformed upon the implementation of more sophisticated legal technology solutions, leading him to bid his fax machine goodbye. He highlighted that disruption is inevitable, and members must learn to adapt in order to move forward.

The Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Professional Executives (Legal Support), a joint initiative by Law Society, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), was also introduced. By equipping mid-career Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) with the necessary competencies to take on new job roles, the programme mitigates the lack of prior experience and skills faced by PMETs starting their careers as Paralegals and Legal Secretaries. Law firms which intend on hiring new Paralegals and/or Legal Secretaries and meet the eligibility criteria can receive up to 90 per cent funding support on course fees and the salaries of the new hires.

Ms Lee Wei Yan, Manager, International Relations & Lawyers Go Global, also highlighted the Lawyers Go Global (LG2) programme, a joint effort by the Law Society of Singapore (‘LawSoc’), Ministry of Law and Enterprise Singapore. The programme aims to connect Singapore legal expertise with global opportunities through overseas mission trips, training, branding and marketing. LG2 has been a strategy of Law Society to propel Singapore lawyers to international markets and is a platform to establish networks between Singapore lawyers and lawyers/businesses abroad. A participant of the inaugural LG2 Mission to Guangzhou expressed that the trip allowed him to interact with lawyers from Guangzhou, which provided him a unique opportunity to forge strategic partnerships and increase global competitiveness.

The Law Society appreciates all feedback provided by members during the tea session. It was deeply heartening to witness the community coming together. By furthering these conversations, the Law Society hopes to better tailor future initiatives to continue engaging and assisting members of the legal profession in Singapore.

For more information on Tech-celerate for Law, the Professional Conversion Programme(PCP) for Professional Executives (Legal Support) and other SmartLaw initiatives, please visit the Law Society’s Legal Productivity and Innovation micro-site here.

group photo, tea session

Group photo taken during the tea session.

Paul Seach speaking at table

Mr Paul Seah, Council member of the Law Society, emphasising how law firms can benefit by leveraging the various schemes available.

Vice President of Law Society

Mr Tito Isaac, Vice-President of the Law Society, urging members to apply for the Tech-celerate for Law scheme before 1 May 2020.