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Old 15th June 2011, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lack of new blood still a problem for law firms in Singapore

Lack of new blood still a problem for law firms in Singapore

by Teo Xuanwei
04:47 AM Jun 14, 2011


SINGAPORE - In a few months, the pioneer batch of law graduates from the Singapore Management University (SMU) will be entering the workforce. But the shortage of young lawyers is still felt keenly, especially by the smaller law firms.

Said Parwani & Co sole proprietor Vijai Parwani: "The tendency of the new graduates in recent years has been to gravitate towards the larger firms as they are perceived to be the 'in' place to be. So the smaller firms have generally had difficulty in employing fresh good graduates."

Yesterday, SMU said in a press release that almost all 106 students from its first Law School cohort have secured practice training contracts three months before graduation - with Big Four firm Rajah & Tann taking the biggest number of students.

The SMU Law School was established in 2007 after the Government had concluded - following a review - that there was a shortage of lawyers here.

Apart from SMU, the National University of Singapore (NUS) also offers a law degree and demand for its graduating batch of law students was similarly high.

In response to Today's queries, a NUS Law faculty spokesperson said: "As far as we are aware, most, if not all, 223 students in the graduating cohort who intend to practise law in Singapore secured their training contracts last year."

Bernard & Rada Law Corp director Bernard Doray noted that it is a struggle for small firms to replace lawyers "who leave for bigger firms and bigger pay or quit the profession".

All fresh law graduates have to complete six months' supervised training at law firms or three years in the Legal Service before they can be called to the Bar.

For now, law firms - big and small - are still uncertain about whether the additional supply from SMU will solve the crunch because of the high attrition rate in the profession.

Said TSMP Law Corporation joint managing director Stefanie Yuen Thio: "Since SMU started adding to the numbers of new lawyers joining the market, and given the liberalisation of the legal practice in Singapore, the lawyer shortage has significantly eased. The significant issue the industry faces is the high attrition rate among lawyers, many of whom feel that the stress is just not worth it and leave the profession to pursue other opportunities."

She added that these are often "mid-seniority" lawyers with four to eight years of experience who cannot be replaced by fresh graduates.

Mr Parwani added: "The additional graduates (from SMU) will not have a large impact on the employment crunch when you consider that there are over 700 law firms around, big and small."

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore...s-in-Singapore

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Old 15th June 2011, 01:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Lack of new blood still a problem for law firms in Singapore

Unfortunately, not a lot of people are interested or passionate in the fields of Law and Politics.
The Legal Industry has to come up with some sort of incentives to lure potential lawyers and politicians.

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