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The Singapore Law Gazette

To A Newly Called Lawyer:

You are never too young to stand up and be counted. One third of the legal profession comprise you and your peers. 

You are never too young to have a voice. The Law Society Council working through, and together with, its Young Lawyers’ Committee (YLC) intentionally hosts an annual forum to reach out to junior lawyers en masse. The meeting is conducted under Chatham House rules to preserve the anonymity of individuals giving feedback.

You are never too young to be counselled. Confidential counselling via Law Care exists. It is gratis for you. No one, not even Law Society Council or staff, know who is sharing and what is shared. We only write the cheques for those sessions!

You are never too young to seek protection from bullying and harassment. The Law Society has a zero-tolerance for the same. Our MACH hotline at 6530 0213 is the helpline. Alternatively, e-mail us at [email protected] 

You are never too young to be trained. Typically, you need to earn 16 CPD points (of which at least eight are Public CPD points) for a given calendar year.

You are never too young to be trained within your law firm. The Young Lawyers Task Force Report commissioned by the Law Society in 2016 revealed a desire by young lawyers for a structured training curriculum within their firms; particularly to include competencies (skills training) and also soft-skills training (e.g. marketing and business development).

You are never too young to receive counsel on professional practice. Practice mentors from our PracMentor Scheme are available to guide you on niche topics that you need a handle on.

You are never too young to face a complex ethical conundrum, be at career crossroads or require stress management tips. Relational mentors impart wisdom and give guidance on these three areas.

You are never too young to take responsibility for the highest standards of ethical conduct. Junior lawyers have unfortunately been referred for disciplinary inquiries due to ethical transgressions.

You are never too young to catch the eye of the Court if you show lapses of proper decorum, standards of conduct or etiquette. Greeting judicial officers with an informal “Hi” and waving and saying “Bye” or “See you” on departure is not on!

You are never too young to do pro bono. Volunteer opportunities abound even during this nascent stage of your career. Talk to our Law Society Pro Bono Services to find out more.

You are never too young to participate in Law Society committee work. We encourage our Committee Chairs year on year to infuse junior lawyers into their committees.

You are never too young to play an invaluable part in thought leadership. Law Society Junior Council Member Sui Yi Siong has played a vital role in drafting law reform papers for Council.

You are never too young to be a rising legal eagle soaring in our courts. The SAL Young Amicus Curiae programme caters precisely to those aspiring advocacy dreams and our young amicus curiae consistently earn rave reviews for their quality legal assistance.

You are never too young to be a shining star. In Singapore Business Review’s list this year of most influential legal luminaries aged 40 and under, two young lawyers in their 20s were featured and feted. Alcina Lynn Chew, a disputes practitioner, and Ng Yi Wayn, a corporate practitioner. 

You are never too young to be the Law Society’s ambassador outside our shores. The Law Society sponsors four young lawyers per year to attend international legal conferences.

You are never too young to speak to your peers in an international forum for young lawyers. Law Society Junior Council Member Christine Low will be our representative in an international working group session titled “Young Lawyers: Future Options and Opportunities” during the International Malaysian Lawyers’ Conference in August 2018.

You are never too young to be internationally recognised for your legal abilities. Our YLC Co-Chair Remy Choo Zheng Xi received the IBA’s Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award in Washington DC on 19 September 2016.

You are never too young to inspire the next generation of aspiring law students. Between March to June last year, YLC members participated in career fairs at Hwa Chong Institution, Serangoon Junior College and Xinmin Secondary School.

You are never too young to lose passion about your hidden dreams. Keep your passion alive. They will give you hope during the trials and tribulations of practice.

You are never too young.

This article is part of the August 2018 Special Issue produced for the newly called lawyers of Mass Call 2018.

Partner, Dispute Resolution
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
Immediate Past President
The Law Society of Singapore