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Fresh Grad Lawyer

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Penny007
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Fresh Grad Lawyer

Postby Penny007 » Sun, 04 Aug 2013 6:50 pm

Hi Guys! My name is Penny and like the majority in this forum, I recently moved to Singapore with my fiancée (he works here), from Greece. I have been reading the various threads in this forum and so far I have found it very helpful! I am a Fresh Grad Lawyer from a Greek University. I have fulfilled my 18 month training, as it is required in Greece, and I recently passed my bar exams and got called to the Greek Bar. The reason I'm writing this thread is that I would like to know if there is any way/chance to get a job in Singapore, in my sector (law/legal services) as I have no experience in the Singaporean Legal System and also if not, what can I do in order to become qualified to work here as a lawyer/legal counsel/paralegal or even legal assistant/secretary so I can familiarize with the local law and get a position in a firm? I have searched hundreds of job ads online, I have sent tons of applications but either no reply or, in some cases, rejection. Please, if anyone is aware or has ever come across to something similar let me know, I ll be glad. I really love what I studied and practiced and I would love to be able to do it here, or at least something similar.
fyi I am 24 years old and I am an American citizen. (my degree is Greek)

Sorry for the long post. :? :oops:

Thanks a lot

Penny :D

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 8:26 am

In house (corporate) lawyer with a specialty in EU matters is where I would be looking.

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Postby katbh » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 9:25 am

You would be best to apply to one of the foreign registered law firms. These are international firms that are licensed here but limited to certain types of work. Do you have a specialist field that you worked in for your 18months supervised? You should have not problems if you have a business leaning to your degree. But if you are more criminal or family law, you will not have much luck.

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Postby katbh » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 9:25 am

You would be best to apply to one of the foreign registered law firms. These are international firms that are licensed here but limited to certain types of work. Do you have a specialist field that you worked in for your 18months supervised? You should have not problems if you have a business leaning to your degree. But if you are more criminal or family law, you will not have much luck.

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Postby Penny007 » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:19 am

Thx for the quick replies!
Sadly, Katbh in Greece we don't get to do much actual work or specialize in a specific area of law during our training period. We're just helping the older more experienced lawyers with their stuff and trying to understand the procedures on top of that. I have no specialization, at all, and no experience whatsoever. The only thing I thought I could do is something like a legal assistant or secretary in a legal firm, but most of the time they ask for Sg o PR. I have also considered visiting NUS for their LLM Programs. If I try and get accepted in one of these, I might be able to get a job easier, after that.
Is it possible?? What do you guys think??

:)

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Postby katbh » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 12:00 pm

There is a shortage of lawyers in Singapore. It would be a pity to waste your degree working only as an admin staffer. I believe if you go in and talk to the HR departments of the larger firms, you should get a feel for what they would hire you as. At the very least you should be at paralegal level.
If you do LLM, unfortunately, at this stage it will do little to help you with a job. You need experience at this time, not further education. But if you are here as a partner on a DP, and you can not get work, well by all means do the LLM to occupy your time and to show to a potential employer why you have had time off.
If you are here long term, there is a bridging course that you can do to get local admission here. And it is a good course to do. As a common law (not civil law) country, Singapore admission means you can work easier in places like UK, Australia etc. It is probably a better option to do this, than to do a LLM. But what ever you do, do not sit idle if you want to work in law again. Employers do not like years where they can see nothing going on - they will think the worse!
But I would strongly urge you not to go lower than junior lawyer level. Because a step back to admin will look very iffy on your CV.
Good luck and PM me if you need more specific advice

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Postby Penny007 » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 12:47 pm

Well, I'm not on a DP. My fiancé is applying for the LTVP this week. We are not planning on get married yet.
I get your point Katbh. I know I need experience, but in order to obtain it I need to start from somewhere. That's how I've been thinking about it. A Paralegal Position would be ideal in that case, I suppose.
I had no intentions on getting a LLM, but I considered it would be a bridge in order to learn their legal system without having the work experience.
Anyhow, I am interested in the bridging course for the local admission that you referred to. Where can I get more information about it?

Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it. I have been really confused and I don't have a clue on what to do. My Degree is really restrictive and it doesn't give me many choices in other countries except Greece :(.

I am not able to pm yet, I need more post :( . But you can send me your email if you want. Mine is sevdalispanagiota@gmail.com


Thank you!

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Postby katbh » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 1:33 pm

You should contact the Singapore Law Society. http://www.lawsociety.org.sg
They will set out for you the admissions requirements. It is done through NUS (National University of Singapore).
But you may find that as you get into the law 'scene' here through study, that research opportunities etc may come your way.
Good luck

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Postby katbh » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 1:34 pm

Also you may have problems getting a LTSVP so you may like to look at Student pass. It is simpler. But remember that fees will not be cheap.

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Postby Penny007 » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 2:17 pm

But why won't I be able to get the LTVP, we've been engaged and living together for 2 years? In order to get the student pass isn't is required to get accepted in a University first?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 2:27 pm

Penny007 wrote:But why won't I be able to get the LTVP, we've been engaged and living together for 2 years? In order to get the student pass isn't is required to get accepted in a University first?


The receiving of an LTVP for a common law or de facto marriage is solely up to the discretion of the Immigration Officer. They are not required to give one unless they feel like it and you are, in fact, not married. The odds of it not being given are slim, but you will need to make a statutory declaration to the effect that you are in this type of an arrangement. But having said that, it's still very much up to the ICA as to whether or not to give one. All I'm trying to say is always keep a Plan B.

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Postby Penny007 » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 6:28 pm

Thanks for the advice sundaymorningstaple. We have already made a Declaration at our embassy. The only thing that is left to do is submit the application online to the MOM site. He is doing it through the company's account.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 9:27 pm

He is aware that in the case of a breakdown of the statutory declaration of the de facto union, that it may well be possible for you to have a stake in his assets should this break down in Singapore and even possibly in Australia?

Interesting things, Statutory Declarations......

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Postby Penny007 » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 11:16 am

You mean, if I understood it correctly, that in case me and my fiance break up I can demand part of his assets?? But is this Declaration that strong? We are not even married..anyway thats not what It matters right now.. I hope that i get the LTVP so i can earn some more time in order to find a job..

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 11:26 am

Depends on a lot of things, but any statutory declaration that has been witnessed by the Embassy or even a notary, can be upheld in court. Many cases of it in court now days. Back when I was a young man in my early twenties, the neighbouring state of Virgina (US) held that if you spend a night together in a motel you could be considered as common law man & wife and as it was by law, it was the same as having a marriage certificate and all the legal obligations that went with it.

katbh can give you more info on this than I can, as I've no training or experience in this at all (divorce experience? Got)


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