Home > News > Regional
Monday August 18, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday August 18, 2014 MYT 7:24:46 AM
Over just four years up to March last year, the number of practising lawyers here leapt by nearly 25% to more than 4,400.
Another 1,500 are expected to join them in the next three years. And there has been a sharp rise in those heading overseas to study law. In Britain alone, the number of Singapore law students more than doubled from 510 to 1,142 between 2010 and last year.
Law Minister K. Shanmugam dished out these numbers yesterday as he warned that Singapore could soon have more lawyers than jobs for them all.
He urged law students to temper career and salary expectations, and maybe even consider other jobs.
Speaking at the Criminal Justice Conference organised by the Singapore Management University (SMU) and National University of Singapore, which both have law schools, he said the number of lawyers is expected to grow by nearly a third in the next three years.
But “the market is not going to grow by 30%”, he said, pointing out that this year, nearly 650 graduates will compete for about 490 practice training contracts at law firms, to get the training they need before being admitted to the Singapore Bar.
“About 150 students will have difficulty getting a training contract, let alone employment after that,” said Shanmugam. “The study of law provides an excellent training of the mind, so I don’t want to be seen as discouraging people ... but you have to have a realistic understanding of the market, the economy, the total structure.”
While Singapore is trying to “grow the legal market” through initiatives such as the Singapore International Commercial Court to handle dispute resolution, students could go into fields like banking, business, public service and even politics with their law degrees, he suggested.
Rules governing training contracts could be changed to make it easier for more students to get them, “but there is a limit to how much the government can intervene in the market”, he said.
He added that those who do get jobs should be realistic about their salaries: “You see headlines that top lawyers make ‘x’ million dollars, but there is a huge difference between what the top two or three lawyers make, and what everyone else makes.” — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Tags / Keywords:
lawyers, glut, singapore
Bill proposes that lawyers disclose pro bono hours
Lawyers appeal after Australia-born baby denied refugee status
Lawyer in underage sex case a hotel regular
Counsel for Delhi gang-rape convicts may lose licence
A-G: We should act as whistle-blowers on dubious practices
Alarm over fin-ishing business
India’s SpiceJet grounds fleet after running out of fuel
Pakistan court grants bail to alleged Mumbai attacks mastermind
Shame in China as village votes to expel HIV-positive boy
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Looking out for your ears
TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice for Destinations on the Rise 2015
Bigger and better event being planned for next year
'Pixels': Pac-Man and Space Invaders attack
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)