Getting a callback to interview for law school is incredibly exciting. How should you prepare for NUS/SMU/SUSS law school interviews?
1. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
It is common sense to prepare for the interview. But what exactly should you do?
First, get acquainted with the subject matter - law. Start with the broad basics. Read about Singapore's legal system (read a quick primer, figure out the difference between common law vs. civil law legal systems, what is the rule of law?). The good news is that information is available online about virtually everything these days, so there's no excuse not to do some background preparation and reading!
You don't need to know everything about law (that's what law school is for), but you do need to know something.
If you have more time, borrow a book from the library about any area of law. Choose a beginner text. You don't need to be an expert, you just need to dip your toes in the water.
If you have less time, but still want a measure of depth, read a court judgment about an exciting case. Choose an area you're already interested in, and follow that trail to find out more - it could be criminal law, intellectual property, contract law etc.
Check out what's happening in the news. There's always something exciting happening - and you will quickly realize that everything is linked to the law.
Make sure you are aware of contemporaneous events in the legal sector as well (i.e., important news, big developments, major reform & legislation etc.) This is also an excellent way to come up with good questions when your interviewer asks you if you have any questions at the end of the interview.
In this series, SuccessGoGo interviews successful professionals from banking, consulting and law to provide helpful insights on climbing the corporate ladder. In this interview, SuccessGoGo sat down with Mel, a litigation lawyer who is a senior associate at a leading firm in Singapore.
What's the best part about being a lawyer?
The intellectual challenge, cases / disputes are interesting, and other litigation lawyers make fun colleagues.
Did anything at school help prepare you for the job?
The law clinic module at NUS was helpful! For general litigation, contract, credit security, torts, equity and ICA modules were useful. Moots are also useful experience for litigators / good for your CV and definitely do internships during vacation time.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, with hundreds of law students flooding the market, grades are usually the first indicator that law firms use to shortlist their candidates.
Adopting smart study habits is very important. Ask your seniors for advice. Often, it is about having the correct mindset and determination to stick to a study schedule. Learn to understand (not just memorize or regurgitate), and enjoy the process. If you have a process-oriented mindset, results will follow.
If you have any questions about law firm internships, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Part 3 of our Training Contract Guide (See Part I (How to get a TC) and Part II (Fatal Mistakes to Avoid)).
In contemplating which firm to apply to, we often get questions as to the differences in the law firms in Singapore. We have put together a list of Pros and Cons that can further inform your choice.
1. Leaving out important information
Many candidates assume that employers will read their CV in conjunction with their cover letter, and leave out important information like education background in their cover letter. This is a fatal mistake because employers may actually choose to stop reading at first glance of your cover letter.
Secondly, it is always beneficial to repeat your key achievements. The reader is first introduced to your key achievements and skill-sets in your cover letter, and this is fleshed out in your resume later. This creates a multiplicity effect to boost your chances of your key strengths being remembered by your potential employer.
Lawyers from the Big 4 and international firms have come together to produce this helpful guide for law students and impart valuable advice on how to secure a Training Contract in the competitive legal market today.