Many young people hope to become lawyers, however, the competition for places in local law schools is intense, and admission requirements are very demanding. To help secondary school students consider whether the law is the right field for them to pursue, Nicholas Chan, partner of Squire Patton Boggs, gave them a glimpse into the legal profession at a Chamber webinar on 7 April.
Chan said that he wanted to become a lawyer to enable him to help others and contribute to society. He told the students that when he was young, one of his neighbours was defrauded. He thought that if he were a lawyer, he might be able to prevent such a thing happening.
Giving the students an outline of the legal world, Chan first explained some of the most common fields of law: corporate, family and international trade law. He then explained the differences between barristers and solicitors, and the different routes of pursuing a career in the legal industry.
To become a successful lawyer, you need to have good language competence and logical thinking skills, he said. Chan explained that drafting contracts is similar to writing computer programmes in that they should be written logically and precisely to prevent disputes. He also emphasized the importance of upholding moral values and professional ethics. Lawyers should always serve the law, and never be tempted to abuse their legal authority.
Throughout the webinar, Chan interacted with the students to answer their questions. As a lawyer with a computer science background, he believes that multi-disciplinary knowledge is very important and useful. He encouraged students to find their passion and gain knowledge in other disciplines, which could be useful in their careers.