In 2012, our Firm established the Allen & Gledhill scholarship at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore during the occasion of our 110th anniversary. This scholarship is bond-free and supports undergraduates at the faculty who perform exceptionally well in their studies, but are financially needy. It is a delight that every year, we are able to help a deserving student realise his or her dreams of starting a career in the legal industry.
In 2022, our Firm renewed its commitment to support legal education in Singapore through a donation of $1 million to the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Yong Pung How School of Law of the Singapore Management University (SMU). The donation will see each school receiving $500,000 over the course of five years starting from 2023, that will go towards scholarships for promising legal students, as well as academic support programmes such as book prizes and mooting competitions.
In addition to the monetary contribution for the A&G scholarship, our Firm has also extended efforts to maintain relationships with our scholars through internships and training contracts, as well as collaborating with the respective law schools to develop courses on novel areas of the law and supporting student programmes based on initiatives that NUS and SMU will be proposing.
In 2019, we started the practice of hosting a tea session with past winners of the A&G Scholarship. Partners of our Firm had a tea session with three of our A&G scholars – Ng Shao Yan, Joshua Foo and Victor Lim. It is also with much pleasure to note that Victor, a Senior Associate at our Firm, joined us upon graduating law school.
In 2020, despite it being a year of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we held a virtual engagement session with winners of the NUS: A&G Scholarship as well as winners of the NUS: A&G Prize in Company Law, and SMU: A&G Prize for the Top Student in Law of Business Organisation. Some of the scholarship and prize winners shared about their thoughts of Allen & Gledhill and how they foresee themselves impacting the legal community in the future.
In applying for the firm’s scholarship, I was drawn to its values and its focus on creating a conducive climate for practitioners. The firm nurtures and grooms its lawyers to further their skills. This approach to promote excellence is what drew me to apply for the firm’s scholarship. I hope to impact the legal community in the future by pushing for the idea that taking on pro bono or low bono cases to give back to the rest of society should be more normalised. Understanding the demands of practice, I would like to see a more widespread practice of lawyers taking on such cases whenever possible to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
My strongest impression of A&G would be its culture of excellence, evidenced in the quality of work it produces. Within the firm, the Partners are approachable and nurturing. Additionally, based on my experience, there is a strong sense of comradery within the teams, where they work hard, but also know how to play hard. Being in the legal profession is a privilege that should not be taken lightly and should be used to benefit others. In the same way that the A&G scholarship has allowed me to benefit, I hope to be able to further the spirit of giving back to the community through pro-bono work.
I think one of the most important ways I wish to impact the legal community is by alleviating the information asymmetry that exists within the legal community. Within the school, I am part of the team that set up je.helpimlawst.com, a repository of notes collated from generations of law students. One of the main impetus for setting this up was that I didn’t want students who didn’t show up in school or who weren’t as well connected to be disadvantaged- a concern that has always been around but gained prominence as NUS Law pivoted to online teaching the same way the rest of the world did.
I hope to contribute creativity and empathy to the legal community. The practice of law is difficult, not merely in terms of the subject matter but also as a lived reality for practitioners and their clients. Empathy is vital to see the emotional depth of what might superficially be a mere legal problem, which is in turn crucial to a holistic solution. The complexity of problems that extend beyond the law thereafter requires creativity to solve. I hope to bring these traits to my work in the future and impact the legal community in whatever way I can.
A&G has many brilliant lawyers at all levels of the company – from associates to its most senior partners. During my short time interning with the firm, I came away with a very strong impression that the partners in the firm take their role as mentors seriously, though they all have their own individual takes of what a good mentor ought to be.