Dear Amicus Agony,
I am a junior lawyer. Recently, I have been working on a contentious matter. The opposing counsel is a senior lawyer whom I must interact with frequently. The senior lawyer has been very condescending. It is evident from the way he writes his e-mails and interrupts me. He even shouted at me twice over the phone. I feel very intimidated by him. However, he is not rude to me when my boss is around. What should I do?
I am sorry to hear about your experience. You should not be treated differently because you are more junior. I suggest you talk to your boss. I am sure he/she will be happy to intervene and speak with the opposing counsel on your behalf. If things do not improve, you may wish to file a complaint with the Law Society of Singapore. According to Rule 7(2) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015, a legal practitioner must treat other legal practitioners with courtesy and fairness.
Dear Amicus Agony,
I enjoy private practice but the rigours of practice have taken a toll on me. I am not spending enough time with my children (an infant and a toddler). I no longer go on dates with my husband and I do not check in on my mother as often as I wish to. Should I leave practice and go in-house?
Dear Working Mother,
Being a parent is the most fulfilling but challenging job one can have, and of which you cannot quit.
I do not think that moving in-house is the only solution. Some in-house roles are so demanding that the hours may be as long, or longer than in practice.
If you enjoy practice, may I suggest you speak with your supervisor about flexible working arrangements such as shorter working hours or work-from-home arrangements? Alternatively, you can join a law firm that provides a more supportive environment for working mothers.
At the same time, talk to your husband and get the family to help. You can invite your mother on play dates with your children and spend time together as a family. You can go on mini-dates with your husband (think a 30-minute stroll in the park after dinner).
It is challenging being a daughter, wife, and mother, but you will prevail.