Provide more details on pay in smaller law firms

Law is a very interesting career option ("UniSIM law school gets overwhelming response"; Feb 28).

Law graduates have consistently raked in one of the highest starting salaries, at up to $7,000 per month ("Entry-level lawyers earning slightly less amid glut: Morgan McKinley"; Feb 2).

The future seems rosy for SIM University law undergraduates, given the projected shortage in criminal and family lawyers.

However, potential law students need to think carefully about pursuing this career option.

In the United States, law graduates are claiming that their schools presented rosier employment figures than what the job market offered, resulting in graduates being unable to secure full-time jobs and getting stuck with student debt. Those who do find jobs often toil in drudgery or have less than hugely successful careers.

Lawyers who have their own practice and do largely family and criminal work have told me that after deducting costs such as rental and staff pay, they take home between $3,000 and $4,000 per month.

Perhaps the Government should release salary details for lawyers in smaller law firms and in these fields. This would be useful career guidance for a potential law student.

I would also add that even though there is a high demand for lawyers' services, the question is whether this is for paid services or pro bono work.

My friends in the legal sector have remarked that although most pro bono clients are grateful, there are some who get angry at not being acquitted, complain about being billed for third-party disbursements and even default on the disbursements.

Some lawyers end up having to spend time defending the complaints, forgoing income and even having to foot the disbursement bills.

Tan Suan Tiu