It gives me great pleasure and honour to be penning the President’s Message for the academic year of 2016/2017. The incoming Committee is excited to be taking over the reins from the previous Executive Committee. I am immensely thankful to Aakash, Shang Hsuen, Clara, Yu Song, Kristin, Daniel, Danica and David, for whom the heartiest congratulations are in order for a job well done.
They have brought the Society to much greater heights over the course of the year, and laid a strong foundation for us, the incoming Committee to build upon. On behalf of the new Committee consisting of Hasif (Vice President), Nicole (General Secretary), Jiyang (Public Relations Director), Andria (Professional and Academic Services Director), Lewin (Marketing Director), Shuwen (Finance Director) and I, would like to affirm our commitment to continue this legacy of excellence and will endeavour to live up to the highest standards of professionalism and efficiency that the previous Executive Committee has set. We would also like to thank the Society’s Board of Advisors for their faith and trust in us. They consist of highly esteemed members of the profession, namely Mr Paul Tan, Ms Karin Lai and Mr Josephus Tan.
By virtue of tradition, the incoming President of the Society gives an overall view of the initiatives that the Executive Committee has in place for our members, but before that I would like to touch base with the underlying principle that ties our initiatives together. It is our sincere wish that we converge as a community this year and go beyond the career aspect of things. We believe building bonds within the society is very important to access the level of support we will all need when times get hard. These are the bonds we will carry for life and will be critical for longer-term career success.
The oversupply of lawyers within our legal profession back home will no doubt still be a ringing issue within our student body. The delisting of a great proportion of UK Universities from the Scheduled Approved Universities list has been in place for a few years now, and I think it moot to debate the merits or demerits of the move. As students and aspiring solicitors and advocates, we should all aim to place ourselves in the best possible footing to find our place within the profession. The Society will aim to help you in this. We will provide opportunities for you to get involved and meet members of the profession who can offer invaluable advice.
The academic year of 2016/2017 is an exciting one for the Society. Do allow me the opportunity to give you a glimpse into what we have planned.
Remaining Cognizant of Your Needs
I have pushed forth to my Executive Committee that at the end of the day, we are ourselves firstly members. To that end, we must think firstly from the shoes of you, our valued member, and seek constantly to be relevant and cognizant of your needs and aspirations.
It is also imperative that the UKSLSS remains relevant and committed to our valued Sponsors and Partners, and my committee will continue reaching out to them to ensure we serve the diverse needs of our members.
As previously iterated by Aakash, my predecessor, the UKSLSS remains committed and dedicated to the law, providing competent and proficient lawyers to the profession. In this regard, the Editorial Committee will continue to produce articles that are relevant to our members. We will be upgrading the look of the Society’s website, and our “Practice Area Insights” feature will continue to be updated with new insights from members of the profession to ensure you stay up to date with developments in practice areas you are interested in.
Opportunities Beyond Conventional Routes
The legal sector back home is constantly changing and evolving with time, and the Society is no different. We constantly seek to embrace these changes to be in tune with these developments and offer more to our members. The move by the Ministry of Law to open a third law school in SIM University (UniSIM) in the academic year of 2017 is aimed at filling shortages of practitioners within the areas of family and criminal law, and the Society would like to offer our members more opportunities in these areas.
We are considering engaging and reaching out towards small and medium sized firms practising in the fields of criminal and contentious work, to offer our members more opportunities to those who may be interested in these fields of practice. Do look out for our announcements about these upcoming initiatives throughout the course of the year.
This year will also see the return of the popular CJC-UKSLSS Court Friends programme. We had an outstanding turnout last year from the programme, and I believe this has generated significant interest towards the area of community law. We will be pushing forth this programme to our members at the soonest opportunity!
Getting Involved With The UKSLSS
As the society progresses forward, I humbly put out a call to all our members to consider stepping up to serve the UKSLSS. The next few weeks will see opportunities for you to get involved, be it on our Editorial Committee as a contributing editor, or as a University Representative to put forth the interests and views of your fellow peers in law school.
The members of the Committee have undertaken our roles to better serve the Society, and as the saying goes, to “be the change you wish to see in this world”. The legal community both in the UK as well as back home is a tight-knit one, and it is my sincere wish that the Society can help bridge you and the larger legal community. In the end, we all seek to find and make our place in this profession. I hope that you will lend us your support and participate in the Society’s initiatives that we have planned for this upcoming year. The Society is very much yours, as it is ours.
I begin my presidency with the knowledge of the past challenges that we have faced in the last few years, and move towards the future remaining confident that the Society will continue to be relevant and helpful to the needs of our members. It is my hope to make this Society as open and as receptive to the myriad of aspirations and needs of all our members and give you the opportunity to mould the Society into your own as well. The Executive Committee is also constantly open to any potential suggestions or ideas, so please feel free to personally get in touch with us should you have any.
I wish you the very best in the upcoming year ahead, in all that you do and all that you aspire to be. You are not alone in this journey, and together we will build a stronger UKSLSS community poised for the future.
Executive Committee 2016-2017
United Kingdom Singapore Law Students' Society