Laying the First Brick
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” - Henry D. Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
UKSLSS in the year 2007, shared a crisis similar to the 1965 newly-independent Singapore - one of survivorship. With limited resources but one vision (that of bridging the gap between our members and the Singapore legal fraternity laid in place by our immediate predecessors), this Exco sets off with a mission to ensure the continual relevance of the Society.
In the UK, we co-hosted a drinks reception with Contact Singapore where our members were able to touch base with Singapore officials. We also assisted the Overseas Singaporean Unit in their Distinguished Business Leaders Series which featured Mr Davinder Singh, SC. In Singapore, we participated in the annual British Council Pre-Departure Fair and organised the inaugural Singapore Legal Forum which featured many prominent practitioners and members of the judiciary. In the midst of these projects, we have also not forgotten the importance of image and created an official coat-of-arms, business cards, and a professional website to give formality. Our magazine Lex Loci has also undergone a massive revamp in terms of contents and design, not to mention a substantial increase in page numbers.
While progress is good, as the Chinese saying goes, "to start a business is hard work but to maintain it is harder." So we need more than just groundbreaking initiatives, we need able successors too. With this in mind, the Exco unanimously infused a meritocratic scheme into our election last year where nominees had to go through a panel interview made up of members of the legal fraternity. It is only through this scheme that we are able to secure the best talents for the job and maintain a certain level of standard in an essentially student-run society.
Prior to our AGM, we were also fortunate to have been invited by The Law Society of Singapore to participate in their annual Law Awareness Week where our members were given an opportunity to experience pro bono work in the legal clinics. Through this project, we hope we have instilled in our members the values of the law, one that comprises not just technical competence, knowledge and judgment but also compassion, service and humility. As we move forward, I urge us all to remember why we chose the most honoured and prestigious profession; and in so remembering that we may endeavour to study and practise the law in the most distinguished way possible.
In closing, I thank you for supporting the UKSLSS in her most crucial and trying year. We made it through the rain but like Singapore, we did not just survive, we flourished. Looking back now, I am glad we dreamt big and laid the first brick.
I wish you the very best for your future studies with the law - and beyond the law.
Executive Committee 2006-2007
United Kingdom Singapore Law Students' Society