I would like to begin by thanking the previous Executive Committee, for the tremendous effort they have invested in leading the Society and serving its interests. I would like to express my gratitude to the previous Executive Committee – Brandon, Hasif, Nicole, Shu Wen, Le Win, Andria, Ji Yang, and Faye for their hard work and constant dedication to the Society. They have kept the interests of the Society in mind throughout the year, and have given the incoming Executive Committee a strong foundation to work from.
On behalf of the incoming committee, consisting of Ashwati, Jieying, Yiching, Chiraag, Carmen, Jean, and Herman, I would like to assure members that we will continue to put our utmost best into maintaining and improving the work of the UKSLSS. We would also like to thank the Board of Advisors for putting their trust in us and giving us the opportunity to serve the Society. The Board of Advisors consists of Mr Paul Tan, Ms Karin Lai, Mr Josephus Tan, and Ms Shobna Chandran. This year, the incoming Committee would like to increase the presence of the Board of Advisors in the Society’s activities.
As many of you would know, the oversupply of lawyers in Singapore and the cut in paid training contract seats, is a worry that will constantly be in the back of our minds. This is coupled with news of the increasing difficulty of the Singapore Bar Examinations. The delisting of several universities from the Scheduled Approved Universities may also be an area of concern for some of you. Despite the trying times ahead, the incoming Committee would like to assure all students, that the Society will continue to serve their needs, regardless of which university they are in. We will also endeavour to cater our events to address these concerns, which will be touched on in greater detail below.
The incoming Committee would like to forge a stronger community and continually provide support for our members, especially given the changes in Singapore’s legal market. We would like to tailor our events to address these issues and we believe that continuing to work with SYNC and our sponsor firms, will help us to achieve this aim. To further face the increasing difficulty in securing training contracts, the Committee intends to expand the areas of law covered during our events.
The incoming Committee has an exciting calendar filled for 2017-2018 and I would like to give you a brief outline of what to expect.
Diversifying areas of law during events
The Committee has recognised that majority of events offered by the UKSLSS are very much focused on the Corporate and Commercial aspect of law. This is something that we will continue to support, but given the high levels of competition in these areas, we believe it would be beneficial to venture into other sectors of law, such as Criminal and Family Law. This is especially relevant, considering the shortage of lawyers Singapore now faces in these areas. Therefore, we would like to provide a platform for students to better understand the works in these sectors, keeping their options open for future career plans.
In order to achieve this, the Committee intends to reach out to small and medium sized firms, to offer more events focusing on Criminal and Civil work. It is our plan to include both formal career and networking based events, as well as slightly more informal, small scale events, to allow students to speak to professionals in these areas and properly understand the realities of working in these sectors. We will also do our best to connect with lawyers in these fields, to contribute to the Society, either through our events or through the publication of articles.
The Committee would also like to diversify the areas of law touched on during the annual Singapore Legal Forum.
This year, the Legal Forum included concurrent sessions, where participants could indicate an interest in a specific area of law. We would like to continue with this, whilst contacting speakers from a wider range of practice areas, to give participants a broader view on potential career options.
Upcoming events for 2017-2018
The CJC-UKSLSS Court Friends Programme was proven to be popular and successful, having received many applicants last summer. Successful applicants went through a three-week rotation in the State Courts and Family Courts, giving them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with Court procedures. The incoming Committee intends to continue this partnership with the CJC and is looking at ways to improve on the structure of the programme, for the benefit of participants next year. This includes the possibility of extending the duration of the programme, allowing participants to spend more time in each department.
On the whole, we also intend to continue events which our members have indicated an interest in, or have found beneficial to them. The VacScheme Helpdesk, Rajah & Tann Tea session, Singapore Legal Forum and Law Ball are just some of the events which we intend to hold. The Committee is currently looking at how we can further enhance these events, as well as trying to increase the number of open days of Law Firms made available to our members this year.
Finally, I would like to assure members that the Committee will be accountable to you, ensuring that our actions and decisions are in the best interest of the Society. If you feel that the Committee is not serving your interests effectively, please do not hesitate to drop us an email as we would like to hear from you personally. We are more than willing to address your concerns via email. The Committee is also accountable to the Board of Advisors and we will ensure that they are consulted before any decisions affecting the Society are made.
Joining the UKSLSS Team
Over the next few days, we will be opening several opportunities for our members to join us in serving the Society. The first opening will be the call for University Representatives, who will be the bridge between the Committee and the students in the respective universities. This will also allow the Committee to get feedback from students, as well as listen to new initiatives and ideas.
Following this, we will be opening an opportunity for members to join our Editorial Committee. This will allow you to work on articles, which will contribute to the final edition of Lex Loci. This year’s edition saw many well-written and academic articles and it is our aim to continue this high standard of writing. We intend to call for applications earlier this year, in order to begin working on articles, which will facilitate the collation and production of the final publication. Please keep a look out for further information with regards to this!
Members will also be given the opportunity to step up and assist us during the Singapore Legal Forum. A number of roles will be made available, which members can sign up for, on a voluntary basis. These roles range from emceeing and ushering, to assisting us in administrative and logistic work. More information with regards to these opportunities will likely be made available after your summer examinations.
The Committee is constantly looking at ways we can improve the Society, or further tailor it to suit the changing needs of our members. As such, I would like to call upon our members to consider these opportunities, as it provides a platform for them to serve their fellow students, but also constantly provide feedback to the Committee. We are also open to suggestions throughout the year from any of our members and General Enquiries can be directed to myself, via email. Specific enquiries with regards to University Representatives and the Editorial Committee can be directed to Jieying (Secretary) and Herman (Editor-in-Chief).
It is my hope that this Society will be one that helps you forge lasting bonds and one that assists you in chasing your aspirations. I wish you all the absolute best in all that you do, be it academic or not, and I hope that you will continue to support the UKSLSS.
Executive Committee 2017-2018
United Kingdom Singaporean Law Students’ Society