Disclaimer: This article is written tongue-in-cheek and in jest; it is not to be intended to be taken seriously. Please refer to the Career Services Centre for (real) information on your future career prospects, and also visit the Law Careers Fair when it comes round. On that note, do tell the Law Club what you’d like to see at the Law Careers Fair here.
It’s easy to start wondering whether you’re really made out for law school when you’re sitting there in Contract tutorial, lost in a morass of academia about whether the Rule of Law or Rule of Construction approach applies to fundamental breaches of contract. In the midst of the awkward silence that hangs in the air after your LAWR tutor asks a question, you can’t help but wonder if you can survive another semester of this or whether you should just cut your losses now and drop out of law school. “Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy?” – your mind starts to wonder as you procrastinate on your LAWR assignment due tomorrow.
We’ve had plenty of such thoughts which is why we’ve compiled, in no particular order, 5 of the best potential career alternatives for a Law Student if you decide to get a life – eventually.
Everyone knows that lawyers are fantastic actors. Or perhaps, actors make fantastic lawyers (not quite sure about the causality of this relationship). But it’s hard to deny how we’ve been honed to become fantastic actors ever since our admission interviews, saying with deep, burning conviction in our eyes, “I want to uphold social justice and defend the weak!” Moving forward, we instinctively pick up survival skills such as looking interested and engaged in class while surfing Facebook – and still get an A+ for class participation. Then there’s also the mock trials – where we get all suited up and pretend to be Harvey Spector (while being a nervous wreck on the inside), passionately praying that our hypothetical client’s appeal be granted. And when that is over, we also act as Trial Advocacy witnesses for our seniors on the offer of a “free lunch” – although you may hear the refrain, “no intention to create legal relations” afterwards.
Some of the established names in the entertainment industry started out studying law, and maybe even practicing a little – Adrian Pang went Swimming With Sharks, Selena Tan suited up as a Dim Sum Dolly, and Ivan Heng founded “Singapore’s sexiest theatre company”.
These days, with platforms like blogs and Youtube, it’s never been easier to be under the media spotlight. From seeking to please the court to courting pleasure, Law school has equipped us to be more than calefares in The Pupil, although it’s going to take a bit more to be on Suits.
Everyone in Law school has an opinion on anything – the Law Student is especially willing to give his fifty cents’ worth on what good food is. Just look at the amount of food reviews we have on Justified. “Mmm, the previous Summit’s teh had a milkier flavour profile” (said with pinky in the air), “this cream cheese bun has a heavenly light texture”. We love to rave about our very own Summit. We compare the colour and consistency of the teh to that of the Upper Quad after a Lawrence Quahe soccer match, update each other on the Ingredient of the Day on Overheard, declaring their nutritional benefits (protein or zinc). The gustatory prowess of the Law Student is unrivalled, having been accustomed to the diverse range of offerings by the revolving door of canteen operators.
Some of us have even gone on to start our own restaurants and have become renown restauranteurs: Willin Low is the owner and chef of Relish at Cluny Court and Lyn Lee started the Awfully Chocolate franchise.
People in Law school, as a general rule, dress well. Every day is an opportunity to make a sartorial statement as we walk into the lecture theatre fashionably late while everyone’s eyes are temporarily averted to the flamboyant interloper. These days, Law students even garner mainstream (if you read Stomp, that is) press coverage for pushing the boundaries of fashion. We take fashion so seriously that we even set themed days for ourselves – just to add a little bit more of a challenge to dressing up.
Some of us take so much pride in our fashion sense that we plan our wardrobe weeks in advance to make sure we follow the age-old maxim of never wearing the same outfit twice. There’s the stress of hoping that you never wear the same outfit as another person – and if you do, at least be the one who wears it first (first in time prevails, right?). While some of us struggle with even the simplest of mathematical logic, surfing blogshops and ASOS has given us so much practice that we’ve mastered the skill of converting exchange rates and calculating the best “item to shipping fee” ratio, all the while paying careful attention in lectures. We have so much affinity with blogshops that some of us appear on them, and sometimes even own them.
4) River Crabs: Defenders of the Social Fabric
Law Students are vanguards for freedom of speech (it is, after all, guaranteed in the constitution by which we live our lawyerly lives). It must therefore seem strange to suggest that we might fall on the other side of the line. In fact, we abhor the censorship that stifles our speech, especially since most of us intend to earn our keep by making speeches in the future.
Yet, we also know that you will (and should) always find lawyers in trenches on both sides of a war and there should therefore be no surprise that some of us could end up defending the delicate fabric of our multi-cultural society, regardless of race, language or religion. In the name of harmony, some of us will have to be river crabs.
If you do feel like trying your hand at river crabbing, Law Annual is always open to having more Overheard moderators! Click here to sign up! You will get the exciting opportunity to maintain a safe, loving and courteous online community and white wash acrimonious tensions!
Perhaps you crumble under the piercing gaze of the mock-trial judge, have the tendency to stammer and then shakily call the opposing counsel “Your Honour”. We get that not all of us make it as litigators; persuasive oration and rhetoric just isn’t your cup of teh. But oh, how your LAWR tutor loves your memos; all four submissions! You have a flair for constructing compelling and realistic case theories, and the plot twists you “put [it] to” the opposing counsel’s witnesses catch them totally off-guard. In your imagination, you are a kick-ass lawyer-to-be, as debonair as Harvey in a suit and as brilliant as Mike. You’re just not that good at executing; in reality, the world is unfair.
The literary world is your oyster. After all, you have been a voracious reader and writer, especially so since you’ve entered law school. Case judgments are fodder for your next crime novel as you conjure vivid depictions of gruesome murders, conspiracies, fraud and jealous transvestites (who can forget PP v Soosay?). It’s not plagiarism if they were inspired by real-life events right? Add in some court room drama, throw in a scandal or two, and romance between prosecution and defence counsels; Law school is fertile ground for inspiration and a veritable source of drama about the human condition – just look at our tutorial hypos! Once you’re done, adapt your masterpiece into a TV show a la Suits or The Pupil.
Our professors don’t just write academic articles you use to quote in your essays. Prof Walter Woon (’81) has written The Advocate‘s Devil (2002) and The Devil to Pay (2005), Prof Simon Tay (’86) is a prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction, Prof Eleanor Wong (’85) is an esteemed playwright and some even write poetry for Valentine’s Day. Adrian Tan (’91), Director for Dispute Resolution at Drew & Napier, wrote The Teenage Textbook and The Teenage Workbook while studying at NUS Law, and he made them into movies too. (We also found out that he was part of the creative force behind The Pupil.) One day you may even win a Book Prize (hopefully, maybe, also the Deans’ Lister kind).
with contributions from the Law Annual team.