Archive for the ‘eLawyer Features’ Category

Sometimes Your Choices Are More Important Than You Working Hard

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

career growth

(This article is written by Eddie Law, the recruitment director of eLawyer Recruitment and was published in RE:LEX Malacca Bar Magazine Feb 2015 issue)

Growing up in an Asian culture means that our parents or elders always told (or tell, depending on how adamant they are) us that working hard is the key to success Yes,  in many ways, hard work does pay for success. No one should ever be taught to be lazy. The degree of hard work is also likely to affect the speed with which you achieve your goal . However, have you ever thought that making the right choices is as important, if not more important than merely working hard

Everyone has that friend in school – the one who did not seem to work as hard as you did but achieved more than you ever did? Why?

Allow me to illustrate this concept with the following analogy:

A person who wants to succeed is determined to get from where he is to where he wants to be, that is, from Point A to Point B. A few options are available for this person. He may choose to RUN. He may work very hard on it, and get closer to his destination with each painful step, perhaps at 5 kilometers an hour.

Alternatively, he may choose to DRIVE to Point B at 100 kilometers an hour. Finally, he may choose to fly at 1000 kilometers an hour.

Which which mode of transportation would you choose to reach your destination? When put this way, is the answer not obvious

Choosing the right platform or means to your goal not only helps you reach your destination in a shorter time, it also allows you the liberty of spending quality time with your love one during the journey.

The old school of thought was that the one who seems to be putting in the most effort is to be lauded (for example, the one who chooses to run would definitely sweat more and seem to be working very hard), and the one who does not seem to be putting in as much effort is frowned upon (for example, the one who takes the plan seems more comfortable). However, in today’s competitive world, perhaps a paradigm shift is due.

Applying this to your legal career, you have probably worked very hard to get through law school. Upon your graduation, there is myriad of options and possibilities for your legal career. For instance, you can venture into private practice or work as an in-house lawyer, serve the government, become an academician, or do something totally unrelated to law.

The choice you make matters! If you choose the right job, the right area of practice, the right firm, the right employer, the right career path or even the right partner and clients, these right choices will make a significant impact in sending you off to the road of success more quickly and smoothly. Choosing the right platform will save you some unnecessary hard work However, if you make the wrong choice, no matter how hard you work and how much effort you put in, you will still be shying away from where you want to be. Working hard per se is insufficient if you do not choose the right direction or platform.

(more…)

From Lawyer to eLawyer

Monday, July 14th, 2014
(This article has been published in Praxis April-June 2014 Supplement )

Interview with Eddie Law about his journey from a practising lawyer to an entrepreneur and legal recruiter. He shares his thoughts and experience on recruiting lawyers, as well as his observations on the legal career market trends etc.  

Mr. Eddie Law

Q: Hi Eddie, can you briefly tell us about your career before you started eLawyer.com.my (“eLawyer”)?

Ans: I was in private practice for two to three years. My main areas of practice were in corporate and conveyancing. Thereafter, I left private practice and joined an IT company as their group legal counsel cum PA to the Chief Operating Officer. Due to the financial instability of the company, I decided to leave the job after almost two years. At that moment, I was so fascinated with the unlimited possibilities of online business, I thought I’d take a chance and set up my first dot com company in 2006 with a programmer. It was a failure due to a lack of experience in the business. I persevered and continued to pursue my online business dream. I joined a web development company as their project manager and later invested in the company. There was where I started eLawyer.com.my in Nov 2007 together with Larry Lam, who was the owner of the said web development company.

 

Q: Why did you start eLawyer? How did such an idea come about?  

Ans: I realised that people are the main asset of law firms and only with good people a law firm is able to deliver quality work to its clients. More often than not, getting good/suitable people becomes a “headache” for many law firms. Recruiting requires sourcing for the right candidate and scanning through many resumes, and if a resume looks good, then time has to be taken to arrange an interview with them. As I am a legal person myself and understand a legal firm’s needs, I thought I could take over the tedious work of finding good candidates for them.

 

Q: What are the services provided by eLawyer.com.my?

Ans: Legal recruitment is our main product. We provide online job advertisements, online resume search and placement services. Law firms or corporations can advertise their job vacancies on our website and also search for online CVs (with the permission of the potential candidates) via our website. Our placement service is like an executive search service where we help employers search for prospective candidates and conduct the first round of interview with them before recommending the shortlisted candidates to the employers for their interviews.

Apart from providing legal recruitment services, lawyers and law students can also sell their used law books via our website. This service is free. In addition to that, visitors to our site can also browse articles posted on our law blog which discuss legal career tips, news on legal market trends, legal events and others.

 

Q: Who are your clients? 

Ans: As of today, we have more than 400 law firms using our services, including advertising their job vacancies on our website and engaging us to recommend suitable talents for their firms. We also have clients from various industries, including but not limited to, oil & gas, banking and finance, insurance, technology, tobacco, property, regulatory bodies, hotel, pharmaceutical, shipping, infrastructure, manufacturing, etc.

 

Q: You have more than six years of experience in legal recruitment, what are the current market trends and observations you can share with us?

Ans:

1. Rapid increment of remuneration – interestingly, the pupillage allowance and lawyers’ salary has shot up rapidly over the past five years. From RM1,500 to RM2,500 (for pupillage allowance) and from RM2,500 to RM4,200 (First-year lawyer’s monthly salary). It has close to doubled over this five-year period; it definitely beat the annual inflation rate. I can safely foresee that a first-year lawyer’s monthly salary will hit RM5,000 very soon. I guess such rapid increment may be due to the shrinking talent pool.

2.  Change in motivating factor to work – Gen Y lawyers are no more motivated to work just for money, they want more than that, including but not limited to, having a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose in their work.

3.  Work-Life-Balance – many drop out from the legal profession for want of work-life balance.

4. Mobility of workforce – more and more young lawyers are very keen to work overseas.

5. Decaying quality in young lawyers – although there are more law schools and law students than before, based on feedback from the market, the quality of young lawyers being churned out is not meeting most employers’ benchmark.

6. Lawyers are more enterprising – I noticed that many young lawyers tend to set up their own firms within one to three years after they are called to the Bar. This was pretty rare when I was in practice.

 

Q: In your opinion, what should law firms do to retain talent?

Ans: There are many things a law firm can do to retain talent. Paying a good or competitive salary is just one of them but not the most important factor (as the saying goes, money is important in life but not the most important thing). Ultimately, it boils down to knowing the needs of your people and trying your best to fulfil those needs. For instance, the need of being understood/cared for should be fulfilled by genuine engagement, the need of learning should be fulfilled by training, the need of belonging should be fulfilled by creating a more cohesive working environment, etc.

 

Q: What is your top career advice for young lawyers?

Ans: Let me answer this with the three “Fs”.

First: Finding the right platform – knowing your strength/personality and choosing the right area of practice which matches your strength will make you stand out from the crowd. In many cases, making the right choice is more important than working hard in an area which is not your strength.

Second: Finding purpose in your career – many talented young lawyers gave up practice due to challenges faced at work (eg feeling constantly burnt out, lack of self-confidence due to harsh criticism, etc). At such vulnerable moments, they may see their work as meaningless. In order for them to empower themselves, they have to find a sense of purpose in their work. Possessing such a sense of purpose is like the wind that will move the sail boat to its destination instead of drifting on the vast sea without a direction.

Third: Finding a career mentor – having someone whom you trust to journey with you in your initial career is such a pleasure. Your career mentor can be your peer, your boss, a senior lawyer or a legal career adviser. A mentor is able to listen, to encourage, to enlighten, to give you a different perspective when needed and to inspire you in your practice journey. On this note, I would like to share that many young lawyers like to talk to me about their careers and I am always happy to listen and give advice.

 

Q: What is your most satisfying recruitment assignment?

Ans: I placed a partner who was working in a mid-sized reputable firm with a smaller-sized firm, thus enabling her to spend more time with her young family, and at the same time also increase her income within a certain time, which she would not have achieved it if she had continued to stay with her previous firm. I truly felt that she is a happier person now. I also recruit for corporations and there was one instance where the whole legal team was recruited through me, including the head of legal, which is really satisfying to know. They are able to work very well with each other. I believe the leadership of the head of legal plays a very important role and I also believe that since I know all of their characteristics/personalities, I was in a better position to find the right match for the team.

 

Q: What have you learned from the journey from lawyer to eLawyer?

Ans: I find this journey so rewarding as it has widened my perspectives of life and it has also allowed me to know myself better than ever. I would say that having the Right perspective on things that we do and things that we see is so crucial as the Right perspective will bring the Right action and the Right action will generate the Right result. The wisdom of having the Right perspective is gained from your experience in life and your ability to reflect on the experience and through thoughtful discussions with wise people. I must say this is a life lesson.

 

Q: What makes you different from other recruiters?

Ans: Drawing from my lawyering experience in both law firms and a corporation, I am able to share first hand information with my candidates about the differences in both working environments. Also, due to my nature of work, I have the privilege to talk to different levels of lawyers, including very successful senior lawyers and in-house counsel. This allows me to have a macro, yet micro insight to a lawyers’ career (both in private practice and as an in-house lawyer). I believe these are all very insightful information that I am able to share with candidates.

 

Q: What are your future plans for eLawyer?

Ans: eLawyer still has a long way to go. I have many plans for eLawyer. To mention a few: I hope to someday set up an eLawyer Scholarship to help deserving students accomplish their dreams to become a lawyer. I also plan to create an eLawyer Community to compliment the Bar by providing assistance and resources to lawyers in various areas. We dream to be the leading and trusted service provider to lawyers through HR, technology and networking in Malaysia and beyond. On this note, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to those who wish to understand more about eLawyer and those who wish to join us in furthering eLawyer’s dreams to contact me directly at eddie@elawyer.com.my.

Why Lawyers Should Learn How To Count

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

 

This article is reproduced with the permission of Raphael.

There is an old running joke that lawyers can’t count. A joke that lawyers themselves embrace in good nature, so much so that many may even believe it to be true.

What load of nonsense! Lawyers should know how to count, and count well. If they don’t, then they suck as lawyers. There are no two ways about it. Previously, when I was in practice, I took meticulous care in breaking down a client’s claim (or claim against my client) into hard numbers. Right now, I get annoyed when external counsels fail to spot anomalies or keep pushing back queries to me, on things that can be detected and resolved by anyone who has basic grasp of logic and mathematics.

This is not a rant against lawyers. Rather, this is a timely, well-intentioned open message to the lawyers (so that they treat their ability to count seriously) and to the layman (so that they be wary of lawyers who don’t).

1. Law is based on logic

1+1=2. That’s mathematics. Drop the numerical digits, and the result will not differ. If I have one apple on my right hand, and another apple in my left, I therefore have two apples. That’s logic.

People often lament that studying law is hard, since it involves heavy memory work. That’s not quite true. Yes, most legal principles are laden with tons of legal authorities (full judgments of previous cases – that can run from 10 to 50 pages on average – written by judges to explain the reasoning behind their decisions). But when you think about it, most legal principles are ultimately based on logic.

Take contract, for instance. If a person breaches a contract, such person must compensate the other person, usually by doing something (such as paying money) to restore the innocent person to the position had the contract been properly performed. If they sign a written contract, then later verbally agree to make changes and act on these changes, neither person will be allowed to go back on their second verbal agreement and insist on the strict terms of the original written contract.

Next, take tort. If you buy a bottle of ginger beer, only to find a dead snail inside, you are entitled to sue the manufacturer. If you enter a supermarket, and the ceiling collapses onto your head, you can sue the owner. In both cases, there is no need for the victims to prove that the manufacturer or the owner neglected to take steps to maintain the safety of their products or premises. The facts speak for themselves. The burden shifts to the defendants to explain why they should not be held responsible.

Take away all the fancy jargons like ‘estoppel‘ and ‘res ipsa loquitor‘, and law becomes simple to understand. A former boss once told me that where you perceive there is injustice, there is surely a legal authority to address such injustice. That’s how a legal mind ought to function. Start with what you think the legal principle is, then search for the legal authority to support it – and not vice versa. Or in scientific terms – start with a hypothesis, then find the proof.

Complex principles are simply made up of basic principles. Legal solutions are deduced by weighing the facts of the case and legal principles together. It’s not exactly an arithmetic exercise (unless you’re calculating damages), but it’s certainly an exercise grounded on logical thinking.

A great lawyer is a master of logic. A master of logic certainly knows how to count. Work that logical chain backwards, and it follows that a lawyer who doesn’t know how to count well makes a poor lawyer.

2. Law involves probabilities and predictions

In real life, legal issues aren’t exactly like mathematical problems, in that there is not necessarily one right answer to every legal issue (although Ronald Dworkin begs to differ). Take the supermarket example. What if the victim was a burglar who broke into the supermarket in the dead of night? Would it be right for him to demand compensation for his injuries?

The hardest part of a lawyer’s job is not so much to identify the applicable legal principles (for and against his client’s case), but to inform his client with a high degree of confidence, if not certainty, the relative strength of the client’s case. Some lawyers shirk from giving firm answers, often taking refuge behind vague catchphrases like “good, arguable case” and “remote likelihood of liability“.

What do these phrases even mean? Can they not be expressed in raw numbers, like percentages, which everyone can relate to? “No,” lawyers doth protest, “because there are too many variables and permutations”. Fair statement, but isn’t it a lawyer’s job to sift through legal complexities? So what if there are conflicting legal authorities and scarcity of evidence (internal factors), or that the judge is hopelessly incompetent and the opposing party is represented by a sneaky lawyer (external factors)? No matter how many variables are there, probabilities of legal outcomes can always be quantified, if one analysed hard enough.

Whenever queried by a client, I have never held back from expressing my estimation on the success rate of a case. Either I specify a number (60%) or at the very least, a narrow range (60%-70%). If the case is complex – say, it involves five issues – and if the client really wants to know, I could even go a step further and predict which way the judge will rule on all five issues. That’s how meticulous and confident I can be.

Not all my predictions turn out to be accurate, of course. Nevertheless, I do make many more right calls than wrong ones. A few of my superiors have remarked that I have a good sense of judgment and intuition. Occasionally, they even frame their strategies loosely based on my predictions.

A great lawyer dares to make bold predictions on legal outcomes. After all, what every client really wants to know is not what the law is, but what does he stand to win or lose.

3. Law is about managing risk and client expectations

Law is not built on absolute formulas and fixed variables. There is always information hidden from us, and outcomes happening beyond our control. No legal solution is completely free from the element of risk.

Risk – now, that’s a concept that everyone understands. To the layman, law is merely a means, not an end by itself. There is a host of legal instruments created specifically for the purpose of risk-management, such as mortgage (managing the risk of a debtor defaulting) and insurance (managing the risk of one falling sick or injured).

For example, take a simple contract of goods. Your client is the buyer. He pays a deposit to the foreign seller. The seller fails to deliver the goods, and absconds with the deposit. Your client is livid. He instructs you to sue the seller. But you advise him not to sue, write-off the loss, and move on with life – your preliminary detective work revealed that the seller is a shell company devoid of any assets. Your opinion does little to placate him. “Is there no way the law can help me recover my money?” he rages.

Actually, there is. Or rather, there was. For this transaction gone bad, it’s a bit too late. But for future transactions, there are a few legal devices that could be used to avert this from happening again. The easiest way is not to pay a deposit, and agree on cash-on-delivery (COD) terms. Or instead of a deposit, your client could have provided the seller a letter of credit (LC) issued by a bank which undertakes to pay the seller only if the conditions of the contract are fulfilled. Of course, there are drawbacks – the seller may hike up the price for COD transactions, procuring an LC would incur additional cost.

It is not enough for a lawyer to identify risks, but also to compare and quantify them. Saying that risk-management is not within your expertise is poor excuse. Lawyers are expected to have multi-disciplinary skills. A lawyer is mindful of practical matters – the effectiveness of foreign courts to enforce judgments, the reliability of trustees or stakeholders handling your client’s assets, and the behaviourial traits of your client’s counter-parties. Through a mixture of common sense and experience, a lawyer must warn his client of all possible pitfalls on a specific matter, flagging key areas with varying levels of risk (e.g. green, yellow or red).

A great lawyer is able to see the multiple facets to a legal problem, and not just the legal technical facet. He appraises his client of legal risks in practical and economic terms, and recommends cost-effective solutions to minimise those risks.

Beyond The Law

Why are lawyers so averse to numbers, probabilities and risks? Perhaps it’s because lawyers, by their very nature, tend to be perfectionist. They fear the unknown, and hate to lose and be proven wrong.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fortune favours the brave. Win some, lose some. That’s life. Lawyers should not be afraid to take chances in making bold predictions and strong recommendations. If one is truly sound in logic, one will eventually make more right calls than wrong ones, and help more clients prosper than suffer. After all, according to the law of large numbers, results of random events will even out close to average expected value over the course of numerous attempts. If you’re good, statistics will be on your side.

So lawyers, please stop thinking that you don’t need to count, and start learning how to count. The better you count, the more your clients will count on you.

Essential Tips for Law Firm Job Interviews – Part Two

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

This article is reproduced in this blog with the permission of LoyarBurok website.

Lord Bobo has been greatly disturbed by reports of appalling job applications and interviews involving law graduates in Malaysia. His Supreme Eminenceness in all his benevolence proceeded to mind-control five minions to sit their busy (but undoubtedly well-formed) bottoms down and type up these essential tips for law firm job applications, targeted at applicants for pupillage or first/second year associate positions. 

The contributors are Donovan Lee Shyun Hyn of eLawyer, Fahri Azzat of Messrs Azzat & Izzat, Goh Siu Lin of Shook Lin & Bok, Lee Shih of Skrine, and Marcus van Geyzel of Peter Ling & van Geyzel. They represent the full spectrum of the legal employment market in Malaysia – big firms, medium-sized firms, small firms, and a legal recruitment agency. Part One addressed job applications, and if you stuck to the tips in that article, then you will find this Part Two relevant, as it deals with job interviews. These tips are required reading for anyone applying for a pupillage or junior associate position in a law firm – you no longer have an excuse for that shoddy job application/interview!

How important are first impressions when it comes to job interviews? What are the things that make an immediate impression (positive/negative) on employers when conducting an interview?

Donovan: Just like applications, first impressions are also very important when it comes to interviews. You would have worked hard to get shortlisted for the interview and you will need to pass this final hurdle now to nail that job. Do continue to impress your potential employer if you really want that job.

The things that make an immediate impression on employers when conducting an interview are the interviewee’s punctuality, the way the interviewee presents him/herself from the beginning to the end, and especially the first sentence that comes out of the interviewee’s mouth.

Fahri: What I said about first impressions in Part One also applies here, and you should go and re-read that.

How the candidate is dressed is the most immediate impression I will have – so it’s important they are suitably dressed. Showing up in a jacket that is too big or a poorly cut suit gives the impression of a lack of meticulousness and care. That impression will assume to be extended to the quality of your work. As someone once said, “If the jacket ain’t right, it’s thank you and good night!” (Actually I made that up, but things sound more authoritative when they rhyme.)

The quality of conversation during the interview is crucial. It gives some insight into the quality that can be expected of their language and thinking abilities, and whether they are kind to their parents. But by far the most immediate of impressions I will have is whether the candidate is aware of his body odour. And I don’t think anything more needs to be said on that.

Lee Shih: Too late, too early – It sounds very basic but it still occurs where the applicant arrives at the interview late. This leaves an immediate bad impression. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t be there too early. Arriving 10-15 minutes early is good. But once you stretch into the region of 30 minutes to 1 hour earlier than the scheduled time, that is too early.

Smell well – A small interview room is a bad combination with overpowering perfume or body odour. Please do not go overboard on the perfume, but do ensure that you smell pleasant as well.

Dress well – When in doubt, err on the side of conservative dressing. For the men for example, you cannot go wrong with a plain black or navy blue suit, long sleeved plain shirt and a plain tie. Read “How to Dress Like a Lawyer”.

Social media – Assume that your interviewer would have done some cursory check on your social media presence online. So if you maintain a blog, have a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account, or if you have written for LoyarBurok, assume that the interviewer has read some of these posts and may have already formed an impression of who you are.

Marcus: As I mentioned in Part One, by the time you step into the interview room, the decision on whether or not to hire you is usually already 60% made. The point of the interview is just to get to know the applicant better, to confirm whether the applicant is “the right fit” for the firm. You should ensure that you do not jeopardise your changes by making basic, avoidable errors.

Being called for an interview means that the employer was sufficiently impressed by your application to set aside some time to speak to you. Do remember that your interviewers are law firm partners and their time is valuable. The worst thing you could possibly do is to be late for the interview. I would recommend being there 10 minutes before the scheduled time (and please don’t be too early either, which can be irritating – if you happen to get there early, kill some time in the car or around the area).

Obviously you should be well-groomed. Dress professionally – you are applying to work in a law firm, and you should dress like a lawyer. If you stick to the tips in “How to Dress Like a Lawyer” you will be fine.

Be confident with the first words that you say – firm handshake, don’t mumble, show that you can carry yourself well and are keen on impressing.

Siu Lin: Be on time. Don’t observe Malaysian time.

First impressions are visual. Dress conservatively and professionally. Minimal make-up and accessories for the women. This is not the time to be a fashionista or decide to push fashion boundaries. A dark-coloured suit is the safest choice. For women, be careful about skirt lengths. It is very rare for candidates called for interview in my firm to fail in this department. Use basic common sense.

Be courteous and warm, make eye-contact, greet the interviewer followed by a firm handshake. Appear confident, not arrogant. If you are an associate seeking a change of firms, the interviewer will enquire the reason for doing so. In this kind of situation, resist the temptation to criticize or bad-mouth your current employer. It’s unprofessional and indiscreet. Focus instead on other non-emotive issues leading to your decision to change firms, which may include a recommendation received, a change of practice area or preference for a different law firm set-up.

If you are an associate with a few years of practice, show some knowledge of current affairs and legal issues. Talk about your past legal experience and the types of work handled and if you enjoyed it, share what aspects you found interesting and how it has enhanced your legal skills. Try to build some rapport with the interviewer who is using this short time to gauge your personality and fit to the firm. In my office, usually those called for an interview have satisfied the minimum academic requirements and we are assessing in the interview the unwritten qualities of the candidate and the manner in which he/she responds to questions posed.

Should the interviewer ask a question on a topic about which you know nothing about, be candid and say so. There was one candidate who tried to “fluff” around a banking law topic to her detriment. She was unable to answer follow up questions, and this made her appear incompetent.

I recall one London University candidate whom we interviewed on Skype, pre-GE13. She spoke with passion about her editorial experience with Loyarburok (a plus point?). By highlighting this interest, she showcased her flair and command of English and knowledge of some of the issues happening back home.

Name three common things in job interviews which would ensure a rejection.

Donovan:

1. Bad-mouthing your previous employers. Regardless how unhappy you are with them, you should never utter any unpleasant things about your former employers in front of your potential employer. Your potential employer will think that there is a possibility of you doing the same in future to them, which puts their reputation at stake.

2. Giving the impression that you’re not serious about the job. Arriving late, not bringing your CV (never assume they have printed the copy that you sent them!), not switching off your phone (busted when someone calls/ messages you during the interview!), lacking eye contact and giving single word answers. These are actions which will convince your potential employer that you are not serious about getting the job.

3. Over confidence. Having self-confidence is good; but over confidence or over ambitiousness is not good, as it may make the interviewer feels that you do not clearly understand your ability. Moreover, when you are over confident, the interviewer may feel that you are cocky and not teachable.

Fahri:

1. Baring one’s prejudices openly. Happened before with a couple of male candidates who had the gall to be dismissive of my female colleague who conducted the interview with me.

2. Poor speaking and thinking abilities. Unfortunately, the quality of language is a big problem – in both languages – verbal and written abilities.

3. Lack of ethics. This is not common, but every once in a while, a candidate proposes a crooked way out of a problem question I pose to them.

Lee Shih: Again, I can only think of two.

1. Bad command of English. If the applicant’s spoken English is poor, this would very likely result in a rejection. The interviewer and applicant should be able to engage in a fluent conversation, and where at the initial stages, the interviewer would often be asking open-ended questions to start a conversation and if the applicant struggles in speaking in English, that quite quickly brings the interview to an end and with a rejection letter to follow soon after.

2. Not being able to explain your CV. If questions are asked about specific parts of the CV, the interviewer would expect the applicant to know their CV inside-out. So for instance, I have had a case where I asked the applicant the title of the final year dissertation paper and the applicant struggled to remember exactly. When I asked the applicant to describe, in a nutshell, what the conclusion of that dissertation was, the applicant again struggled to explain.

Marcus:

1. Poor communication skills. If you are unable to carry out a simple conversation in English, you will not be hired. I don’t expect you to be able to show extraordinary diction or turns-of-phrase, but you must be able to confidently engage in a conversation. If you think you are unable to do so at the moment, there are many classes/courses which you can enroll in to improve – if you are serious about a career in the law, you should spend the time and effort to better yourself in this essential skill.

2. Bad attitude. We want to hire people who are not just good lawyers, but also good people. Some examples of a bad attitude are bitching about former employers or colleagues, insisting on only working on major/important transactions or very specific practice areas, being argumentative or confrontational, appearing arrogant or using unnecessarily foul language.

3. Lack of focus. Some interviewees turn up with an overly-casual or unfocused attitude. They do not know what areas of practice interest them, or expressly say that they just want to “try out” being a lawyer. This can also be gleaned from the list of firms they have applied to (I always ask), which sometimes comprise of firms of different sizes and in completely different practice areas. If you do not show that you know what you’re looking for, then you are almost certainly not the candidate an employer is looking for.

Siu Lin:

1. Inability to converse in English or intelligently articulate an idea/conversational topic.

2. Overly boastful and arrogant interviewees. For example, an interviewee continuing to defend his erroneous point of view despite having been told otherwise by the interviewer.

3. Display of low confidence and low energy levels. Poor social skills. Weak eye contact and handshake.

What are your top three tips for interviewees?

Donovan:

1. Be prepared. Please visit the firm’s website or read the job scope in order to understand more about the firm and the job. Prepare some questions to ask about the job and the firm to show your interest in the job and the firm. For example, one good question to ask during the interview is “What do you expect from a candidate who assumes this role?” This question demonstrates that you care about meeting the expectation of your potential employer. Try to impress your potential employer with what you know about them e.g. the notable cases/deals that they have handled or advised which will make your interview outstanding.

2. Do not raise the issue of salary before the interviewer raises it. If you raise it first, your potential employer will think that your motivation of applying to join them is merely financial gratification, although it may not be the case. If your potential employer does not raise it at all, it essentially means that it is premature for them to even discuss this with you.

3. Do not avoid any question. Be honest and if you do not have a particular experience, just admit it, but do not just stop there. You should qualify by saying that you are willing to learn and you believe you can pick up the new skill fast based on your experience and skills acquired. Never ever beat around the bush in answering questions that you do not know the answer to. Your potential employer would have the answer already. This is to test your level of knowledge.

Fahri:

1. Be presentable. Dress well. Invest in your wardrobe. For men, try to have at least one quality tailored suit to use.

2. Learn to speak well and clearly. Use short sentences. Keep things simple. Get help if you need to.

3. Be interesting. Think about what you want to tell the interviewers. Think about why you want to do your pupillage, and at that firm; why do you want to practice law?

Lee Shih:

1. Show us your passion. I do like to be able to get a sense of passion from the applicant. A pupil applicant for instance may not be entirely sure of the area of work they want to chamber in, and that is perfectly fine. But I want to be able to understand what subjects interested you during your law degree and why. If you have done attachments at law firms, explain to me what was interesting for you.

2. Be aware of current issues. I would expect an applicant to have some knowledge of current issues in the news, and even some awareness of corporate news. So anything from the Allah judgment or anti-competitive arrangements may be a topic of discussion during an interview.

3. Ask well-researched questions at the end. Please ask questions when invited to do so. That shows that you are interested to find out more about the firm. Ask questions that show you have researched a little bit about the firm, for example about the firm’s professional development program, or the different practice areas, or the rotation system during pupillage.

Marcus:

1. Be honest, and let your personality show. If this sounds familiar, thank you, it means that you paid attention to Part One! This is probably the whole point of the interview, for me. To be completely honest, while a good academic track record is obviously something of value, I prefer to look beyond grades. I have known excellent lawyers who had awful grades in law school, and I have also known first-class, award-winning students who turned out to be rather mediocre lawyers, or who were not really interested in building a legal career. Be yourself, be honest – you really should not pretend to be someone else, because it is difficult, tiring, and impossible to maintain a façade for too long. Be true to yourself, and do your best to ensure that your personality shows in that interview room. Share about your interests, and your passions, and your dreams. I believe that anyone who has a law degree has the basic foundation to be a good lawyer, and that what sets apart the ones who I would want to hire from the ones I don’t are their character and qualities such as willingness to put in the work, desire to learn, humility, and thirst for knowledge and enlightenment beyond the law.

2. Do your background research. Read the firm website. Read whatever you can about the partners, and the work the firm does or has been involved in.

3. Ask questions, but don’t make demands. Interviewees will always be invited to ask questions, so come prepared with a few (about the firm, type of work, work culture, or career path). Do not make demands – employers unsurprisingly do not look kindly upon interviewees who demand flexible working-hours, or to leave the office at 5.00pm everyday, or talk about their expected remuneration package before they’re even offered the job.

Siu Lin:

1. Research your future employer/firm. This shows that you are serious and have put in the effort to learn about the firm’s culture, practice areas. Where possible, speak to pupils/associates/alumni of the firm you are considering to gain better insight. Usually you will be invited to ask questions about the firm and you should do so, talk about current deals/briefs the firm is handling or which appear in legal publications. It is also to be appraised on news items on legal issues reported in the press. Other common questions would relate to career progression in the firm.

2. Show that you are serious and committed to a long-term legal career in the law and are prepared to work hard. In this day and age, there is more emphasis on work-life balance. However, to raise this concern at the threshold of one’s legal career (unless you are a young mother/father or a care-giver for someone with special needs) sends a negative message, conveying a lack of commitment.

3. Be well-groomed and convey a professional image. Send out a positive energy which is displayed through your facial expression, voice and overall body-language. As lawyers, we need to interact with people on a daily basis, be it clients, judges, court-personnel, governmental agencies, firm staff. Develop good people skills. Be approachable and not aloof and this will go a long way.

Donovan Lee is a Recruitment Consultant with eLawyer, the leading legal recruitment agency in Malaysia. His portfolio includes sourcing legal talents for law firms and corporations. He was in private practice for a short stint wherein he was exposed to litigation, corporate and conveyancing before he decided to take a leap of faith and do other things in life which are close to his heart – headhunting, dragon boating, fitness instructor, etc. He is reachable at donovan@elawyer.com.my.

Fahri Azzat is an actor who plays the role of a professional advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya during office hours and during official business of the same name at the firm of Messrs Azzat & Izzat. The role of court going lawyer for this series is with the director’s consent. At all other times plays he plays the role of his namesake to his family, friends and foes. He performs on occasion as @LBMinion1 for LoyarBurok and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights events and initiatives. He has not performed in any other role and has yet to be nominated for any acting award despite critical acclaim (mainly from his mom).

Lee Shih is a corporate litigator and partner at Skrine. He has recently been spending a lot of his time looking at pupillage applications and sitting in interviews. He tweets at @iMleesh and blogs at leeshih.com.

Marcus van Geyzel is a founding partner of Peter Ling & van Geyzel, a corporate/commercial law firm. He believes that lawyers (and all workers/employees in generally really) would be a whole lot happier if we stopped measuring success by how “busy” we are, and striving for more and more money and titles just because that’s what everyone else is doing. There are more important things in life. He hasn’t quite figured out what these more important things are, but believes that finding out is part of the fun. He tweets at @vangeyzel, and is almost permanently mind-controlled by Lord Bobo to run the most awesome blawg in the known and unknown universe, LoyarBurok. He rather enjoys referring to himself in the third person.

Goh Siu Lin is a daughter, wife and mother of two young children. Partner of Shook Lin & Bok, Chair of the Practitioners’ Affairs Committee, Kuala Lumpur Bar, Vice President of the Association of Women Lawyers. Mensan. Budding interest in women’s issues. Addicted to Latin Dancesport. Tweets at @ChachaSiu.

 

Essential Tips for Law Firm Job Applications – Part One

Friday, November 8th, 2013

This article is reproduced in this blog with the permission of LoyarBurok website.

Lord Bobo has been greatly disturbed by reports of appalling job applications and interviews involving law graduates in Malaysia. His Supreme Eminenceness in all his benevolence proceeded to mind-control five minions to sit their busy (but undoubtedly well-formed) bottoms down and type up these essential tips for law firm job applications, targeted at applicants for pupillage or first/second year associate positions.

The contributors are Donovan Lee Shyun Hyn of eLawyer, Fahri Azzat of Messrs Azzat & Izzat, Goh Siu Lin of Shook Lin & Bok, Lee Shih of Skrine, and Marcus van Geyzel of Peter Ling & van Geyzel. They represent the full spectrum of the legal employment market in Malaysia – big firms, medium-sized firms, small firms, and a legal recruitment agency. This Part One will address job applications, and if you stick to the tips in this article, then you will also find Part Two (which will be published next week) relevant, as it deals with job interviews. These tips are required reading for anyone applying for a pupillage or junior associate position in a law firm – you no longer have an excuse for that shoddy job application/interview!

How important are first impressions when it comes to job applications? What are the things that make an immediate impression (positive/negative) on employers when receiving an application?

Donovan: VERY crucial! First impressions either make or break you, as they stay the longest in someone’s mind. If you make a great first impression, you have won half the battle. Whether or not you get shortlisted depends on the presentation of your CV.

When employers receive an application, most expect to see your cover letter and CV/resume together. The immediate impression will come from the cover letter, CV and the way your email is written. A neatly presented CV and cover letter which are free from grammatical errors, and with a detailed description of your working experience will certainly capture the employer’s attention. Referring to or citing where you saw or heard about the job opening will give a positive impression that you are serious about applying.

Fahri: Contrary to popular belief and widespread advice, don’t waste your time with first impressions, especially if they are not true to your character and lifestyle. If your first impression is false, you will be found out eventually. That’s what the probationary period is for – to evaluate whether you are the real deal or a fake. And even if you are confirmed, your quality will soon become apparent.

Instead, cultivate qualities that leave a lasting impression with whomever you meet and speak to. Develop your emotional intelligence, practice delayed gratification, cultivate politeness, read widely and indiscriminately, engage with cleverer people, mouth closed and eyes open, ask why often, do the right thing – doing these things often enough would go a long way to moulding you into a person that often leaves a lasting impression.

The most immediate impression I glean from the application is the academic results because it is so prominently displayed, and really the only thing they give us by way of evaluation. The candidates would make a big impression if they explained why they wanted to specifically pupil at that firm.

Lee Shih: In most cases, the first thing I will scroll and look at will be the covering email if there is one. I have seen some very effective covering emails which immediately grab my attention. So for example, in one short introductory sentence the applicant states “I am a First Class graduate from the University of … and I would like to apply for pupillage at your firm.” On the other hand, I have seen applicants not leverage off their strengths, with weak covering emails not showing off their good academic qualifications.

Next will be an examination of the CV. I want to have a snapshot of the law degree classification, the university, and the CLP or BPTC degree classification. A CV with a professional-looking photograph does help an applicant stand out. But a photograph lifted off your Facebook profile or cropped from a group picture may not assist you much.

It is unfortunate that I find it rare to find well-formatted CVs. Elements such as the addition of a  bit (emphasis on a bit) of colour, the good use of white space, details like page numbers, headers and footers, do help to make a good impression.

Marcus: First impressions are important, but are not the be all and end all of the application process.

My first impression of an application is always the cover email (we don’t really get traditional cover “letters” anymore). Your email subject must be clear and simple – something like “Application for the position of an Associate” is just right, and much better than “FOR YOUR ATTENTION: MY APPLICATION FOR POSITION OF LEGAL ASSISTANT IN YOUR ESTEEMED FIRM”. An eloquent cover email makes a very good first impression. Keep it simple and to the point. Don’t be overly verbose or use big words that you don’t usually use and which are obviously out of place. Stick to writing like how normal human beings write to each other on a day-to-day basis.

Moving on to the CV/resume, formatting is important – be conscious of using an appropriate font and font size (Comic Sans 12 makes an awful impression, unless you’re applying to be the office clown). Stick to commonly-used fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Verdana, or Garamond. Use paragraphing, indents, headings, and tables to make the reader (your potential employer) happy to read your CV/resume.

I always ask that a photograph of the applicant be included. There is no excuse for using a badly-taken or inappropriate photograph. No selfies in bathroom mirrors, or a cropped image from a group photo from a night out. Any applicant should have a smartphone with a decent camera (or have a friend who has one) – put on something professional, and take a photo. It makes a difference.

Siu Lin: Your job application is the first step to creating a relationship with your future employer. Therefore, in crafting a resume, yes, first impressions are highly important.

Impeccable English is a must. If a photo is required, then make sure that it looks professional. Some candidates have in the past used playful, casual photos.

Next, decide on an attractive resume format that is uncluttered, sleek and easy to read. Make use of headings, spacing and write in short simple sentences. There is no need to use bombastic words as this will more likely annoy rather than impress. Avoid long wordy paragraphs, devoid of punctuation and small fonts at all costs, unless you are prepared to face the ire of impatient and short-sighted partners!

I frequently encounter candidates who submit cookie-cutter type resumes. This reflects a lack of effort. Tailor each resume to the prospective firm according to the firm’s practice areas and skill-sets, and this will obliquely convey the message that you are keen to be part of their legal team.

Strive to be concise in highlighting your academic credentials or past work experience. Focus on your relevant achievements and provide some elaboration on past work experience to showcase your strengths (be it writing flair, oratorical prowess, leadership ability or organizational skills).

There is a delicate balance to be struck, as a candidate who excessively blows his/her own trumpet is off-putting to the reader. Always be honest and do not over-inflate your abilities. For example, a common mistake among fresh undergraduates would be to say, “I am well placed to contribute to your organization.” It would be more relevant instead, to indicate that you are prepared to work hard, under stress, are committed and willing to push yourself to contribute to the firm’s / client’s well-being.

Excellent results are a given and I often look at the candidate’s extra-curricular pursuits to have a better idea of the candidate as a person. However, listing unusual hobbies may back-fire by attracting too much attention, deflecting discussions on your legal ability.

Name three common things you have come across in job applications which ensures an immediate rejection.

Donovan:

(1) Kangaroo CV. Although you have good academic results, if you change jobs like changing clothes, the potential employer would not have confidence in your working ability and commitment. In most cases, the best way to understand someone is to understand that person’s history.

(2) Bad English. A CV which is full of grammatical mistakes and/or with improper use of language shows that you are a careless person, and that you may not be able to communicate effectively with your clients and others. The ability to communicate effectively and the ability to be meticulous are both essential qualities in lawyering.

(3) Applications to multiple employers. If a particular employer receives your application with other employer(s)’ email addresses as recipients, it provides a very negative impression that you are not professional, do not understand basic work ethics and more importantly, not serious about joining the employer’s firm.

Fahri:

(1) An emailed application that encloses the resume without any written introduction or explanation. “Do I look like I’m begging here?”

(2) An emailed application sent en masse with all the law firms emailed to baldly stated in the “To” field. “Delete.”

(3) Poorly written cover letter/email for the application. “I don’t want to deal with the language issues.”

Lee Shih: I could only think of two very common things I keep seeing crop up:

(1) Missing the grade – where the applicant fails to provide details of the degree classification of his law degree, CLP, or BVC/BPTC degree. These details are especially important for a pupillage application. If there is an omission to state these details, I would have to assume that the degree classification must be low or that the applicant is embarrassed.

(2) This may spell your doom – bad spelling or bad grammar in the covering email/letter or your CV will weigh heavily against you. Examples would include “I graduated from the Unversity of London”, “Being a graduate who have completed his LLB, I would like to apply to your firm”, “I would like gain exposure in different area of laws” and “Your firm has intentional (presumably, it should have read international?) practice areas.”

Marcus:

(1) Horrible English. This is probably the most common deal-breaker. Language is an important tool for lawyers. It is fair to assume that a cover email and CV/resume would have been written and double-checked before being submitted. If it is still full of grammatical errors, then it shows that the applicant is incapable of writing in English at a reasonable standard. Also bad (as I mentioned in the previous section) is over-writing; using big words which have obviously been picked up from a thesaurus, or are misused and don’t even make sense.

(2) Not addressing the application properly. This may seem obvious, but is painfully common: Ensure that you have sent the correct application to the correct firm – I will not read an application which is sent to me but addressed to another firm. Also, when emailing, don’t put multiple addressees in the “To” field. If it’s too much to ask that you write a fresh email for each firm (and it shouldn’t be), at least use the “Bcc” field. If your application is attached to an email and all the email says is “See attached”, all your application will see is the Trash folder. If you want to be a lawyer, mistakes like this are inexcusable.

(3) Irrelevant hobbies/interests. I love it when applicants have interests outside of the law – we are after all not just looking to hire “good lawyers” but also hopefully people who will make good colleagues and friends, and be a part of an interesting and vibrant office culture. However, some applicants make the mistake of listing too many hobbies, and some which they only dabbled in. I don’t need to know what your favourite television shows are.

Siu Lin:

(1) Weak academic credentials.

(2) Horrific English grammar and typographical errors, badly written content.

(3) Overall impression that the candidate is not driven or interested in the profession/firm. For example, the applicant refers to another law firm as the addressee.

What are your top three tips for applicants?

Donovan:

(1) Tailor-make your CV. It is crucial to know/understand the job description before you apply for a particular position. A job description usually contains the job scope and the employer’s requirements in respect of skills, experience, and education. Highlighting your particular experience or strength which matches the requirements and described job scope makes your application outstanding. Needless to say, you must be genuine in doing so. Never state any experience which you do not possess as it can be easily spotted during the job interview.

(2) Explain the reasons you left any previous jobs in your CV. If you have an unstable career track record, briefly state the reasons you left each job. This will eliminate the negative impression/imagination that the potential employer may have.

(3) Apply through a recruitment agency. More often than not, a job application which is submitted through the services rendered by a recruitment agency will result in a higher percentage of getting shortlisted. A professional recruitment consultant not only understands the job scope, required experience, requisite soft skills of a particular job opening, he/she also understands the culture of a particular firm. In most cases, potential employers perceive candidates recommended by a recruitment agency to have at least met the minimum requirements. A recruitment agency also has the capability to recommend other suitable job openings to you if your desired application does not fit you, or is unsuccessful.

Fahri:

(1) Ensure your cover letter/email is properly written. Have someone check it for grammar and typos.

(2) If your language is weak – especially English – please improve it. Sign up for an English course if you have to. Language is a lawyer’s tool.

(3) Explain why you want to pupil specifically at that firm. Why is it important that you pupil at that firm?

Lee Shih:

(1) Show off your strengths – Let your CV be self-contained and show off your strengths. Don’t have the interviewer hunt through your supporting documents. So where you have done well in certain subjects, or where you want to demonstrate that you have taken certain subjects relevant to your intended practice area, or a relevant research paper or dissertation, list out these details briefly in your CV, with the grades obtained.

(2) Check, check and double check – Whether it is your covering email, covering letter or CV, please check the spelling and grammar.

(3) It is not all just about the law – Have your CV show off a bit of your interests outside of law school. There is no need to only list out your mooting. Details such as any sport you play, any volunteering experience, leadership roles, help to give us a better picture of who you are. Gives us a chance to ask you more about these experiences to find out how you work in a team.

Marcus:

(1) Strive for an error-free application. Read what I’ve said in the previous sections. Ensure that your cover email and CV/resume do not contain grammatical or language errors. Make an effort with the formatting. Include a good photograph.

(2) Be honest, and let your personality show. Don’t use words you don’t usually use. Don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not. Avoid meaningless clichés like “I’m a team player” or “I think outside the box” (if anything, including the latter in your application shows that you certainly do not think outside the box). Most law firms receive many, many applications throughout the year – let your personality show, and make your potential employer excited to meet you at the interview. Some may say that the interview is where you display your personality, and that the application should be serious and formal, but I disagree – more often than not, the decision is already 60% made by the time you step into that interview room.

(3) Tell me why you want me. Any employer would appreciate if an applicant really wants to work for that employer, as opposed to taking an “I’m applying for 20 firms and will work at the one which makes me an offer and pays me the most” approach. Information on most firms/lawyers are easily available online. It would help greatly if your application shows that it was written specifically for the lawyer/firm which it is addressed to.

Siu Lin:

(1) Excellent English. Be succinct and sincere.

(2) Tailor your resume. Avoid careless typographical errors, be careful about formatting and lay-out.

(3) Think carefully about your content. Go for quality over quantity. Avoid over-lengthy resumes. I would suggest a maximum of 2-3 pages.

Look out for Part 2 next week: Essential tips for law firm job interviews!

Donovan Lee is a Recruitment Consultant with eLawyer, the leading legal recruitment agency in Malaysia. His portfolio includes sourcing legal talents for law firms and corporations. He was in private practice for a short stint wherein he was exposed to litigation, corporate and conveyancing before he decided to take a leap of faith and do other things in life which are close to his heart – headhunting, dragon boating, fitness instructor, etc. He is reachable at donovan@elawyer.com.my.

Fahri Azzat is an actor who plays the role of a professional advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya during office hours and during official business of the same name at the firm of Messrs Azzat & Izzat. The role of court going lawyer for this series is with the director’s consent. At all other times plays he plays the role of his namesake to his family, friends and foes. He performs on occasion as @LBMinion1 for LoyarBurok and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights events and initiatives. He has not performed in any other role and has yet to be nominated for any acting award despite critical acclaim (mainly from his mom).

Lee Shih is a corporate litigator and partner at Skrine. He has recently been spending a lot of his time looking at pupillage applications and sitting in interviews. He tweets at @iMleesh and blogs at leeshih.com.

Marcus van Geyzel is a founding partner of Peter Ling & van Geyzel, a corporate/commercial law firm. He believes that lawyers (and all workers/employees in generally really) would be a whole lot happier if we stopped measuring success by how “busy” we are, and striving for more and more money and titles just because that’s what everyone else is doing. There are more important things in life. He hasn’t quite figured out what these more important things are, but believes that finding out is part of the fun. He tweets at@vangeyzel, and is almost permanently mind-controlled by Lord Bobo to run the most awesome blawg in the known and unknown universe, LoyarBurok. He rather enjoys referring to himself in the third person.

Goh Siu Lin is a daughter, wife and mother of two young children. Partner of Shook Lin & Bok, Chair of the Practitioners’ Affairs Committee, Kuala Lumpur Bar, Vice President of the Association of Women Lawyers. Mensan. Budding interest in women’s issues. Addicted to Latin Dancesport. Tweets at @ChachaSiu.

 

Legal Career Webinar – What Can You Do With A Law Degree? An Overview Of The Career Paths In The Malaysian Legal Industry.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Dear eLawyer members,

For the first time, I will be sharing with you in a LIVE ONLINE webinar series

Topic: What Can You Do With A Law Degree? An Overview Of The Career Paths In The Malaysian Legal Industry.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 16, 2013 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Fees: Free of Charge (FOC)
Registration Link: http://foundermethod.com/eddie-law/
Venue: It’s online and it’s a LIVE interactive session
Supporting Devices: Any laptops or mobile devices as long as you have wifi connection. For mobile devices, please download the “gotomeeting” application.

I am a lawyer and have been in both private practice and in-house.

5 years ago, i.e. in 2008, I started eLawyer.com.my and I have been helping lawyers to secure better jobs until today.

Drawing from my experience as a private practitioner and later as an in-house counsel, I have successfully placed lawyers with numerous firms and corporations, including but not limited to pupils, legal assistant, partners, legal executives, legal managers and head of legal.

Throughout the years in the legal recruitment business, I received many queries asking for legal career advice, such as the following:

“I am keen to do law after SPM, but how is it like to be a lawyer? What subjects should I pay attention to during my secondary school?”
“How much does a lawyer earns?”
“Which law school should I go to?”
“What are the career options or paths if I take up law or legal related studies?”
“I failed my Certificate in Legal Practice Exam (CLP). What are my career options?”
“After practising for 2 to 3 years, I am not sure if I still want to continue lawyering”
“What are my options if I leave private practice?” “What should I take note of for an interview?”
“How can I make my CV more presentable?”

Various questions come from different groups of people who ask me what are the career options or path that will be best for their future.

Some are SPM students that are uncertain whether law is right for them …
Some are fresh graduates of law school …
Some are young lawyers still working in law firms but are feeling lost in their career …
Some are mid-level lawyers but want to make a career move or change of working environment …
Some are senior lawyers who would like to slow down their career pace…

I tried to answer all their questions by phone, email or sometimes even face-to-face communication but it’s just bits and pieces of information that I am able to provide whenever time permits … If you wish to find out the COMPLETE OVERVIEW of what are the legal career market, career options, career path, interview tips and opportunities the legal industry has to offer, please do not miss out my webinar at the below date and time.

Register and interact LIVE with me … I am here to assist you in your legal career. I will try my best to address as many of your queries as possible.

Date & Time: Saturday, November 16, 2013 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Registration Link: http://foundermethod.com/eddie-law/

See you online,
Eddie Law
www.elawyer.com.my

Please contact my assistant Weng Lee 03-80753215 or wl@elawyer.com.my should you have any queries on this.

 

First Step to Launching your Legal Career

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Reported by Y.A Tan

On 13th October 2012, Eddie Law, the founder of eLawyer, shared with 10 participants the tips on making the right choice of legal career. The attendees consists of fresh lawyers, law graduates and working adults, all with  

Eddie started the session by providing an insight on legal career market, the various types of law firms and corporations, career options, either private or non private practice as well as the variable working culture to be expected.

 

Eddie also shed some lights into the dos and don’ts during an interview sessions. Amongst others, some of the most common mistakes seen in an applicant are raising salary issues too early, dress inappropriately and inadequate understanding on the company one is applying for.

One of the highlight of the day was that participants were invited to fill up questionnaires to profile oneself. Speaking from his experience, Eddie viewed that profiling do ease the job seekers to narrow down the legal career choice. In general, there are 4 types of profiles, namely Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.

Eddie unveils the result on the test in detailed fashion. Briefly, if you are:-

a) High D – tend to be result-focused, ambitious, assertive but could be controlling, or dominating others.

b) High I- tend to be enthusiastic, friendly, thoughtful, persuasive but could be emotional, boisterous or sarcastic.

c) High S –a person who is attentive, calm, consistent, at the same time of a shy, passive and adverse to changes.

d) High C –people who are analytical, self reliant, but may be perceived as pessimistic and overly worried.

Having such assessment, the participants had clearer understanding on its personality traits which serve as useful tool to identify the right career path. The session continued with a fruitful Q & A sessions from the floor, and was dismissed at 4.30pm. 

International Malaysia Law Conference 2012

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The International Malaysia Law Conference 2012 (IMLC) held from the 26th until the 28th of September 2012 attracted exhibitors from 48 different types of institutions and firms.

Our own eLawyer team was part of this distinguished event which was declared open by Right Hounourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak (Prime Minister of Malaysia).

The event also saw attendance of YAA Tun Arifin (Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia), YAA Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Md Raus Bin Sharif (President of the Court of Appeal), YAA Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin ( Chief Judge of Malaysia), Judges of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Court, YB Senator Tan Sri Abu Zahar Bin Dato’ Nika Ujang (President of the Senate), Mr Khairil Azmi Bin Mohd Hasbie (President of the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak), Mr Shin Young-Moo (President of the Korean Bar Association, Ministers, Mr. Lim Chee Wee (President of Malaysian Bar) and Raphael Tay (Chairperson of the IMLC 2012 Organising Committee).

Themed the “Asian Perspectives, Global Viewpoints”, globally-renowned figures such as Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, amongst others delivered inspiring talks to those who attended the conference. Workshops and exhibitions explored the impact of law on business, society and government.

eLawyer focused on resonating with the aim of the conference, that is to display the world rise of Asia and Asian lawyers by creating awareness of the platforms available to lawyers to broaden their horizons and employment prospects. (more…)

Marcus Evans Litigation Asia Summit 2012 and IP Asia Law Summit 2012

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

By eLawyer

The Marcus Evans Litigation Asia Summit 2012 and IP Asia Law Summit 2012 brought together over 120 in-house counsels and practicing lawyers to the exclusive Marina Bay Sands, Singapore for three days of seminars, networking, fun and laughter.

eLawyer is one of the media partners for the event.

It was attended by many in-house counsels and law firms from the region such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, China, India and even from United States of America namely the law firm of Adli Law Group.

The setting of the hall that took place for the event.

The participants chit-chat with each other.

The event was kicked off with a welcome address by Marta Federici of Marcus Evans to the participants of both summits and followed by an opening address by Chris Neumeyer, Senior counsel of Lite-On Technology Corporation.

The IP Law Summit followed suit with an interesting presentation by Andrew Marshall, the SVP Legal & Business Affairs & GC, ESPN Star Sports on how to craft forcefully defensive digital procedure to map, track and half online infringement. He shared on the use of the “IP Fingerprinting” technology to trace users who stream ESPN’s content online.

The entire event had plenty of sharing sessions by knowledgeable and experienced in house counsels from various well known organisations such as ASUStek, Ford, Seagate Technology, Fox Channel, Sony, Motion Picture Association International, Coach Asia, Starhub, eBay and so on. Notably, legal information service provider LexisNexis was present as well.

The sharing session.

One of the main highlights of the event is the One-to-one meeting sessions. Participating law firms and in-house counsels are given to meet the law firms or counsels of their choice in a comfortable and private setting. There, practitioners could share their services to the counsels whereas the counsels can meet the firms of numerous jurisdictions relevant to their needs.

One-to-one meeting session.

Although the daily event officially ends after dinner, some participants took their night further at the bars of Marina Sand Bay Hotel for.

The event ended after lunch on the third day. Participants bade farewell to their new found friends with handshakes and some hugs. We hope that the new found relationships will blossom further into mutually beneficial business relationship.

Please look forward to their forthcoming similar event which will be conducted at Hong Kong in November 2012.

eLawyer Nite 2011

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

 

eLawyer Nite 2011 was sucessfully held on Friday 21st January 2011 at The Bee @ Jaya One.

It was indeed a great pleasure to organize eLawyer Nite 2011 and having the opportunity to meet and network with our members and friends.

We hope you enjoyed the delicious food and drinks prepared.

We thank our lovely speakers, Mr Rodney Koh of Rodney Koh & Associates and Mr Lau Kee Sern of Shook Lin & Bok  for their time in sharing valuable information and advice to our participants.

We also received feedback from the participants that those topics were very relevant to their daily practice.

The participants enjoyed the Ang-Pow Giveaway session with our founder Mr Eddie Law giving out ang pows to participants who aced the questions asked during the Q&A session.

 We thank all who participated in this event, and hope to see more of you in our next gathering!!

Our wonderful speakers Mr Rodney Koh & Mr Lau Kee Sern.

Our participants.

Ang Pow Giveaway session.