Firm's culture helps her cope with workload

Professor David Llewelyn, deputy dean of SMU School of Law, and Ms Beverly Lim Tian Ying were among the 483 lawyers called to the Bar at Mass Call 2017. Prof Llewelyn, who was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1985, is an expert in intellec
Professor David Llewelyn, deputy dean of SMU School of Law, and Ms Beverly Lim Tian Ying were among the 483 lawyers called to the Bar at Mass Call 2017. Prof Llewelyn, who was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1985, is an expert in intellectual property law and commercialisation.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

As a newly minted lawyer, Ms Beverly Lim Tian Ying understands that the work ahead can become daunting at times.

But her six-month experience as a practice trainee has shown her that a firm's culture can go a long way towards helping young lawyers cope with the volume and pace of legal work.

For instance, at Gloria-James Civetta & Co, where she completed her training contract and where she now works, lawyers are not expected to work overtime unnecessarily, she said.

The 24-year-old noted that this may not be true at firms elsewhere, where lawyers are expected to work till the wee hours.

Ms Lim also found that she had the flexibility to manage her own work and schedule.

 

She told The Straits Times: "Some days, I leave at 7pm. On others, I may have to take work home or work on weekends, " she said. "Ultimately, beyond office hours, the firm has no hard and fast rule on what time I go home."

She added: "You have to complete the work. But it is really about time management, which is important in the industry."

WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Some days, I leave at 7pm. On others, I may have to take work home or work on weekends. Ultimately, beyond office hours, the firm has no hard and fast rule on what time I go home. You have to complete the work. But it is really about time management, which is important in the industry.

MS BEVERLY LIM TIAN YING, a newly minted lawyer working at Gloria-James Civetta & Co, on the firm's work culture.

In addition, senior lawyers at her firm have also been a source of guidance and support.

This arrangement has enabled Ms Lim to devote time to sports, such as running and competitive weightlifting.

She started weightlifting a year ago, and recently bagged the third prize in the novice category of the Singapore National Open Championship.

The National University of Singapore law graduate was among the 483 lawyers called to the Bar this year.

At an event on Monday to formally admit these new lawyers into the profession, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon spoke about the need to pay attention to the emotional well-being of young lawyers.

The rigour of law school can also be stressful, said Ms Lim. She said she was a straight-C student and had thought about giving up on the profession then.

But her training at the law firm led her to find a calling in family and matrimonial law, giving her a deeper meaning to her work and more confidence to pursue a law career.

"I found that family law is relatable, and it is an area where you can put yourself in the client's shoes and empathise," she said.

"I realised how fragile relationships can be, but also what I can do to help broken families find closure. And this keeps me going."

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'Firm's culture helps her cope with workload'. Print Edition | Subscribe