Thursday, August 12, 2010

What is an effective lawyer?

What is an effective lawyer?

this question was one i found myself asking myself at the end of a simulated negotiation exercise, after we had discussed our various approaches in conducting negotiations. notably, one group was described as' incongruent bastards' who couldn't make up their minds as to whether to be nice or to kill the other side. :P

nevertheless, it was really the lecturer's last throw away remark which struck me - that the lawyer who was naive to believe the wily opposing party was really an ineffective lawyer.

then, the question presented itself : - What, then, is an effective lawyer?

the first thing that comes to mind is "one who gets the job done". this avoids the labels of 'naive', 'aggressive', 'cunning' and so many other adjectives that are thrown about - but it is not entirely helpful.
reflecting on my past legal positions and the advisory capacity of both, i found myself being hemmed in by these labels and the lack of clarity about what i needed to achieve. it seemed a very intangible mess.

therefore, it follows that in order to be effective, you must know your objectives. what you need to achieve. this is so obvious it's something easy to miss (!) esp in the face of impending deadlines and pressures from clients and bosses. and/or incompetent support staff.

the second is the throwing off of unhelpful labels. it is good to retain a sense of equilibrium and self knowledge, in order to escape being trapped by a certain image or portrayal. i wanted to be 'nice' so badly i ended up forgetting that there was a bigger objective requiring my attention. naivete cannot last forever, but it is a burden i'd like to let go of, thank you.

i can't say i will become an effective lawyer immediately, but if i do choose to reenter the arena, you can be sure i would take this into consideration and focus on these - apart from polishing up my legal skills.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Reflections from across the Causeway

Hi there! i'm now in Singapore to further my studies over at NUS, and have been here since last Saturday, making it a week since i've touched down in Changi.

it's only been one week, but i m struck by the differences between SG and MS - for one thing, the road signs are mostly in English and there are hordes more Chinese (whether from Mainland China or Singaporeans). i have been mistaken as Korean, Japanese and even Singaporean. but i am very much Malaysian, thank you! :D

2 more days more to classes starting - and i find i m starting to miss (in no particular order):-

1. my family
2. my friends, particularly my CG - Star of the Sea Starries. so happy to have met Grace up today ... squeee
3. my trusty MyVi
4. my printer
5. Bible study
6.Malaysian food, dammit. SG food can never compare, esp regards Chee Cheong Fun and Hor Fun. Chicken rice here still ok. Nasi Lemak and Rendang.

i m not weeping here, but am a wee bit melancholic amidst all the action.

well, once classes kick in, i'll have no time at all to mope :P