Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cane Irresponsible Employers of Foreign Workers



Part I

Part II


1. Some years ago, the leading broadsheet of Singapore dedicated a whole section to foreign workers who had prospered in Singapore and returned to their respective countries to build beautiful homes and families. That story, as these documentaries show, has now changed.

2. What is even more shocking is the regulator's reaction to such mistreatment of foreign workers. The documentaries portray them as a manipulated eunuch. They come across as powerless. They appear to have failed to discharge their duty as guardians of these workers. They seem unsuccessful in protecting Singapore's reputation as a responsible state.

3. An example should be made of irresponsible employers, who allegedly lace their pockets with the debts of these foreign workers and put to risk hundreds or thousands of lives beyond the shores of Singapore.

4. Singapore was quick to introduce corporal punishment to stem the inflow of illegal immigrants into Singapore. The government says it has worked. Perhaps, employers who irresponsibly bring into Singapore workers but have no jobs for them should be treated the same.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Review Your Employment Contracts

In the past months, at least two friends have approached me about their employment contracts.

They told me, "I am not covered by the Employment Act. How?"

As they held management positions with their base pay exceeding S$2,500.00, they were right.

From the website of the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore:

"The Employment Act covers every employee (regardless of nationality) who is under a contract of service with an employer, except:
a) Any person employed in a managerial or executive * position
(However, managers and executives earning $2,500 basic monthly salary and below are covered for the purpose of salary protection. All other provisions do not apply to them);
b) Any seaman;
c) Any domestic worker; and
d) Any person employed by a Statutory Board or the Government.

Part IV of the Act, which provides for rest days, hours of work and other conditions of service, applies only to:
a) Workmen earning not more than $4,500 basic monthly salaries and
b) Employees earning not more than $2,000 basic monthly salaries."

This does not mean that people like my friends above have no rights. Their rights are usually determined by the employment contract executed between their respective employers and them.

This is why the employment contract is a serious document. I am surprised by the numbers of people who give scant attention to their employment document.

Perhaps, people rush into executing their employment contracts because it is very difficult for job offers to come by in a negative economic climate. But that's really a bad excuse for throwing the baby out with the water!

Before signing an employment contract:

1. Ask for a copy of it to be sent to you in advance.

2. Do some research on what the market practice is, in relation to the particular industry you have applied for.

3. Seek independent legal advice.

4. Propose amendments to the employment contract, if necessary.

5. Make sure you are protected. Secure a 'win-win' employment contract.

6. Review your employment contracts with your employer at the end of your probation period, if they decide to keep you.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Persuading Employers

I have just made an individual pledge to this wonderful private-sector initiative to beat the downturn. Add yours today!

In light of my own pledge, I have had applications from several highly qualified and talented candidates for some of the more recent roles made available here

They have not been able to secure jobs on the basis that they are "over-qualified".

What the employer really means is: "I want to give you this job but I am not convinced that you will remain with me as soon as the market turns for the better."

At the outset, candidates in such situations have an uphill task in persuading employers to take them onboard.

Most I meet haven't really thought about how to address this. Others see this as not their responsibilty to address.

As a result, they end up being invited for many interviews but not securing a position (until the market conditions improve).

Such candidates must take greater personal responsibility for their application. I encourage such candidates as follows:

1. Do not send in applications, unless you can see yourself in the job for at least 2-5 years and you accept that the role will actually help you develop as a person.

2. When you meet the employer, explain your commitment to the role as being part of your 5-year plan, and highlight how you see yourself adding value to the employer in the years to come.

3. Underscore to the employer that it should be a 'win-win' process. Acknowledge the limitations of the employer but impress upon the employer how they can still make a difference to your career. Usually, such employers cannot pay high salaries but they make up for it with training opportunities and less stressful working environments. Simply put, make the most of what is available to you.

If you have seriously thought about the role and addressed your "over-qualification" with the right level of humility, you will win over most employers and they will you make an offer of employment.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Friday, May 15, 2009

When You Apply For A Job

It may be useful to share three things I have learnt from job-seekers for this role:

1. Recognise the difference between a resume and a "CV". Keep your resume brief, that is not more than 3 pages. Two pages are ideal. The resume should give a snapshot of you and its primary purpose is to give the employer a relevant basis to invite you for an interview. Address the requirements of the role in both your resume and cover note. If you need help with your resume, you may wish to write to me for assistance or seek help from career coaches.

2. Please be accessible at your contact number if you apply for a job. If for any reason you become unavailable at that number, give callers the option of leaving you a message. Check back every 1 - 2 hours for messages that may have been left for you by potential employers. It does not create a good impression if a potential employer attempts to contact you and is unable to get you for hours. When you do get in touch with the employer, do apologise for not being available to take the call earlier and offer a reasonable explanation to justify your unavailability.

3. When you send in an application for a job and do not receive an acknowledgement after 2 days, get in touch with the employer to check that the resume has been received. You can use the opportunity to find out if and when they will be getting in touch with you for a possible interview. Ensure you have a polite disposition when you make that call. Leave a positive impression on the person you speak to. The person may well turn out to be a person who plays a key role in influencing the decision to employ you or may even be the person who makes the decision to employ you.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Help AWARE raise funds

I have been following developments in the AWARE saga from a distance, unlike other members of the legal fraternity. A non-exhaustive list of articles following this development is available here. Many, including the Honourable Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong, have written about the lessons that we can draw out from this experience.

I have been particularly disturbed by the $90,000 spent by AWARE in the short period that its past executive committee was in power. I hope that this expenditure will be looked into by AWARE and more information will be shared about it with AWARE members. I also hope steps will be taken by the current executive committee to recover the money spent, either through legal action (if so advised by AWARE's lawyers) or other fund-raising activities.

In the same vein, I was particularly pleased to learn that a Singapore company, Archer Marketing & Development (S) Pte Ltd, has launched a special website, Printeet.com, to help AWARE raise some funds.

Initially, I was concerned about the credibility of the payment system on this website and whether the funds would eventually go to AWARE. I spoke to Dionis of Printeet.com today and sought to clarify these matters.

I have learnt that:
a. payments are being accepted by Paypal; and
b. buyers do not need to have or create an account to make purchases at Printeet.com; and
c. about 70% of profits from the sale of AWARESG t-shirts or $7 from the sale of each t-shirt will go to AWARE; and
d. Printeet.com will be providing a statement disclosing details of its donations to AWARE.

Having received this clarification, I feel assured enough to buy a t-shirt at Printeet.com. I hope others will consider doing the same too.

Let's help AWARE to recoup its losses and raise some funds to continue its good work in the community.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Younger Lawyers Respond To Senior Lawyer

In the past week, I have received a range of reactions from different sections of the legal fraternity in relation to the AWARE coup.

Firstly, there are those who consider themselves "God's Children" and see it as their religious mandate to do all that they can to endorse the work of those who wash away their sins and of those around them.

Secondly, there are others who are absolutely appalled by the intolerance and immaturity displayed by some very senior members of the profession. The letter below is one example of those in this category.

Another lawyer is going further and initiating a customers' revolt. He writes, "I am going to call up DBS and terminate my credit cards. The DBS person on the line will ask me why (they always ask for that kind of customer feedback). And I am going to say that it's because of their Head of Marketing, Josie Lau. I will say that I have a very poor opinion of her behaviour in the Aware saga, and that for that reason, I have decided to stop using DBS credit cards. Furthermore I will request for my feedback to be given to DBS's senior management. It's a matter of principle. I am only one customer. But I will do what I think is right."

Thirdly, there are others who ask me, "Why should I care?"

Of the three categories of persons above, the third worries me the most. To these persons, I respond with a poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

It is important to care about what happens around us although I wouldn't go as far as the late Winston Churchill. He said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Another young lawyer, Sivarajan Sivalingam, has best summed up the importance of being taking an interest in such issues: "Be AWARE lest you be caught unAWARE."

Dharmendra Yadav

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I write in response to the article titled “Lawyer's key role in Aware coup” (ST, 24 Apr 2009) detailing Dr. Thio Su Mien’s involvement in the AWARE saga. I was disappointed with the contents of the report, and what Dr. Thio had to say on certain issues.

She feels that AWARE has given too much precedence to what she naively calls “promoting a homosexual agenda” – i.e. the fact that “homosexuality is regarded as a neutral word, not a negative word” in AWARE’s secondary school sex education programme. I think this misses the forest for the trees.

Dr. Thio (given her credentials) must be familiar with the ordinary linguistic difference between the passivity of a neutral stance and the element of “activeness” involved in "promoting a homosexual agenda" (quite frankly, a tired turn of phrase). More significantly, it ought to be noted that during the heated debate early last year surrounding the Petition to repeal section 377A of the Penal Code, AWARE unlike the Law Society did not comment on the matter. Most importantly, the examples Dr. Thio cites are all premised on hearsay and carry an element of scaremongering – i.e. “The suggestion is that in this programme, young girls from 12 to 18 are taught that it's okay to experiment with each other. And this is something which should concern parents in Singapore. Are we going to have an entire generation of lesbians?” This undeniably is nothing but hyperbole, and as such, I find it impossible to agree with Dr. Thio’s view.

Her insistence that AWARE “seems to be only very interested in lesbianism and the advancement of homosexuality” is a fallacy that does a great disservice to the previous committee, whose past reports to the CEDAW Committee have been comprehensive in addressing the discrimination that women in Singapore face, and how this can be addressed have been nothing short of impressive. Dr. Thio seems to fixate on the work of one of AWARE's sub-committees thereby effectively ignoring the wide-ranging support AWARE provides to women in Singapore. This is not only inaccurate, but unfair.

It has been repeatedly said that AWARE is a secular and non-partisan NGO premised on the equality of women and furthering the best interests of women. As a woman, I cannot condone an organisation that claims to speak for me while in the same breath claiming that all women are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Puja Varaprasad
25 April 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Educational Art From Family Doctor

In December 2008, I visited my family doctor. My family and I have been seeing him for over a decade now.

He's one of those doctors who takes great pride in what he does. He also likes to empower his patients with knowledge so that they may exercise greater personal responsibility about their health.

It is therefore normal for him to give little nuggets of information for his patients to take back and digest. Many of my family members or friends have had similar experiences with him.

During this visit, I inaccurately described my onset of sinus as a flu bug.

What ensued was something I least expected. He gave me an artistic lesson on the subtle differences between a flu, cold and sinus. Then, he kindly allowed me to take his art piece back royalty-free:


Based on what I can recall, this is how we read my family doctor's illustration:


Usually caused by a virus. Symptoms may include fever; body ache muscle ache (BAMA); sore throat (itchy, scratchy, pokey); running nose; cough; and phlegm.


Usually caused by a virus. Slight fever or BAMA, but less likely. Other symptoms may include sore throat (itchy, scratchy, pokey); running nose; cough; and phlegm.


Usually caused by an allergy, which may lead to an infection. No fever or BAMA. Symptoms may include sore throat and cough (dry and ticklish); running nose; and phlegm.


But please do read what I have shared here with some caution. This may not apply to your individual circumstances. It is in your interest to seek independent medical advice.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reader's Question: 2009 Salaries For Newly Qualifed Lawyers


In relation to this:
A. Wonder if there is any truth or merit to the figures posted?
B. Are young lawyers really willing to sacrifice all their waking hours for a few hundred/thousand dollars more?

Read more about the above question here.


In the past, the United Kingdom Singapore Law Students Society used to publish detailed statistics about the salary and benefit packages offered by law firms to pupils offered retention contracts. This was useful not just to law graduates or pupils admitted to the profession but employers within the profession. I don't think the UKSLSS does so any more. I intend to write to the Law Society of Singapore to see if their Young Lawyers Committee can look into doing so. I think it is important to give young lawyers access to such information, at least in the first three years of legal practice.

The figures provided by me earlier are based on information received from current pupils at the firms or announcements made by these firms at public events. This is a developing story. Some of these figures were revised by the firms and an update was given here.

Most firms are paying their newly qualified lawyers between $3,500 - $4,500 per month. Successful boutique practices lead the pack in paying such lawyers more than what they would get in a large firm, since these practices will not be able to match the additional benefits that large firms provide. An exception is Tan Peng Chin LLC, which I understand is offering its newly qualified lawyers $3,200 per month.

I stand by my earlier position. A young lawyer receiving offers of less than $4,000 should consider alternative careers in public service or other positions in the private sector. They will probably be paid similarly, and will also be in a better position to pursue their respective interests.

They should also ask themselves if law is really what they want to do. If they do wish to court the law, a lower starting salary is a good trade-off to make for the experience to be gained. However, they should not let employers offering legal work experience exploit them, since there are several employers in the profession that appear to have no qualms doing so.

This year, I understand the Legal Service has received unprecedented applications from young lawyers. It is likely that these young lawyers have chosen this option because it has now become a good substitute to a career in the private sector. It will be interesting to see if they choose to remain public servants when the market picks up.


Firstly, it's not a "few hundred/thousand dollars more". It is not unheard of successful practices to pay between 3 - 9 months in bonuses, if not more. Based on current figures, this works out between $12,000 and $48,000 per year.

Plus, these firms provide a range of benefits including annual leave of over 21 days; medical and other health benefits such as use of a fitness centre; memberships to exclusive clubs like Zouk; and various other allowances for mobile phone, clothes, etc.

Having a strong firm name on your resume also helps if one is thinking of future career progression like joining an offshore law firm or an employer of similar standing.

Naturally, this attracts many persons into the law and to these firms. Some may argue that these are the wrong reasons to join the profession and that law graduates should look beyond the material. But I don't see this trend changing. The longer I am in the legal profession, the more I realise that this has to do with the kind of persons that our law schools admit and the pragmatic indoctrination that a Singapore education system provides.

Secondly, despite the carrots that successful practices offer, there are young lawyers who join the profession for something more or who opt not to "sacrifice all their waking hours for a few hundred/thousand dollars more".

Unfortunately, these young lawyers are in the minority.

These lawyers more often than not join the public service or a law firm that offers lower perks and better working hours. If they do join the latter, they tend to go to a law firm with a track record for valuing and taking care of their young lawyers. But what a pity it is that these other law firms are not doing enough to reach out early to such young persons joining the profession.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

When the employer drops by


Very rarely does a private sector employer comment publicly about what its employee does in his or her personal time. It is even rarer for a private sector employer to express disagreement about its employee’s voluntary commitments.

DBS did both when it came out to express its view on the personal and voluntary work of its vice-president of credit cards, Josie Lau, who was appointed this week the new president of the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).

Employers generally restrain themselves not because it may come across as downright unprofessional but for other sound reasons. As indicated by DBS’ statement on Wednesday, in which it said the bank requires all employees to obtain approval before running for or taking on an external appointment, most employers have internal policies about such matters.

An internal policy usually allows an employee to do most things with his or her personal time so long as these do not create a real or an apparent conflict of interest by interfering with officially assigned duties.

A 1993 study, ‘The employer as social arbiter: Considerations in limiting involvement in off-the-job behaviour’, by the School of Labour and Industrial Relations at Michigan State University encouraged an employer “to act conservatively in invoking mandatory policies that affect employees’ personal lives unless there is a clear individual employee performance problem or the personal behaviour imposes harm on employees or customers”.

Such internal policies tend to encourage employees to consult their immediate supervisors when in doubt about their out-of-office activities. Legal advice can be sought from relevant counsel where necessary.

In the financial sector, there are governance requirements that require employees to disclose their activities or sources of income outside work on a regular basis.

Employees are often trusted to act in a manner not prejudicial to the interests and reputation of their employers. For example, some years ago, I was involved in a constitutional matter outside work. I knew that my then employer, a cooperative of the National Trades Union Congress, would not tolerate my participation in opposition party activities, as the NTUC unwaveringly backs the governing party.

But certain individuals alleged that I was helping an opposition party. Questions about such involvement naturally flowed from my bosses. It turned out I had in fact helped a politician from the ruling party.

To the credit of my former employer, I was never questioned about my personal activities again. I would like to think my actions had assured them that I had their interests and reputation at heart.

Similarly, cases such as Ms Lau’s are usually privately dealt with by well-oiled internal checks and before they become a public relations nightmare. Thus, when Sylvia Lim of Temasek Polytechnic or Brandon Siow of Singapore Airlines Cargo joined the Workers’ Party before the last elections, no equivalent performance concerns were raised by their employers.

What then are the options available to Ms Lau, now that her employer has said its piece? She can prepare for a baptism of fire. Her employer will scrutinise her more closely to ensure her Aware presidency does not affect her performance at work.

By ignoring DBS’ advice, she appears to have signalled that her presidency at Aware is more important than her work at DBS.

One of my personal advisers best summarised my position when I was subject to unusual scrutiny as such: “You should ask yourself if the values of your organisation complement your own values. If they don’t, the honourable thing for you to do is to resign.” Indeed, if Ms Lau is not prepared to rough it out or finds her personal values diverging from that of DBS, she should leave the bank.

The easy way, of course, is for her to conduct herself like nothing has happened. Arguably, some may submit this is a foolish thing to do.

Over time, however, this incident may pass. But it may be opportune for employers to review their guidelines for the personal activities of their employees. It may also be a good time to revisit one’s personal closets, just in case the employer drops by.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Man Bank

Seen on the back cover of the December 1962 edition of the Malaya Law Review.

Imagine what would happen if this same advertisement were to be carried by a publication of similar standing today?

Dharmendra Yadav

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Reply: Help with Full Subsidy of Compulsory Qualification Expenses

The reply below was received from the Law Society of Singapore regarding matters raised here.

On a related issue, other law firms have announced the following monthly salaries for their newly qualified lawyers or reviewed their earlier announcements:

1. Drew and Napier - $4,000

2. Shook Lin & Bok - $4,000 (reduced following review)

3. Allen & Gledhill - $4,000 (increased following review)

It confirms my earlier observations about how the legal sector in Singapore has reacted to the changes in the economy.

Dharmendra Yadav

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The fees you have stated (i.e. PLC, EFS, dining and other compulsory filing fees) are usually governed by the letter of offer of pupilage, and therefore amount to legally enforceable arrangements or legal rights. The Law Society is not in an appropriate position to tell the law firms not to follow those rights or to disregard the letter of offer of pupilage.

On the other hand, the Society understands the predicament facing the pupils in the current economic crisis. The President will include a message in his next President’s message in the Singapore Law Gazette to encourage firms, who can afford and are not retaining the pupils, to reimburse the fees stated above.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Help with Full Subsidy of Compulsory Qualification Expenses


Last week, I wrote to you about the need for the Law Society to extend help to pupils, who have not been retained by various law firms. I am happy that the Law Society has acted quickly to look into this matter and is continuing to do so.

I want to highlight to you another disturbing practice that I think the Law Society should look into and help resolve in relation to unretained pupils: reimbursement of PLC, EFS, dining and other compulsory filing fees.

At least one large law firm has a commendable practice. This large law firm fully subsidises PLC, EFS, dining and other compulsory filing fees, provided pupillage is completed with them.

However, there are law firms, who do not observe this practice. Instead, what follows in the next paragraph has been a typical story so far.

Several of these pupils were made to work long hours, burn their weekends and holidays, and consciously take steps to distance themselves from their loved ones. These sacrifices were made with the promise and expectation of lucrative retention contracts. Now, as the end of their pupillage period draws near and the utility of the pupil to the law firm comes to an end, these pupils have been told that they will not be retained. In most cases, this is no fault of the unretained pupils but attributable largely to the ambitious recruitment planning of their respective law firms. These unretained pupils will now be penalised by the forfeiture of PLC, EFS, dining and other compulsory filing fees.

As young lawyers enter practice, they are told legendary tales of the unity of our profession and about how we never fail to help one of our own in trouble. It is time to bring such legends home.

I hope the Law Society will enter into discussions with law firms, who have not retained pupils, to help the affected pupils get their PLC, EFS, dining and other compulsory filing fees reimbursed.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Friday, March 27, 2009

2009 Salaries For Newly Qualifed Lawyers

Several newly qualified lawyers in Singapore have sought my views on salaries they are being offered by their employers.

Starting salaries at law firms are probably a good indication of how well the firm is doing in these times. It is also perhaps an indication of how much law firms value the talents they attract.

Over the past months, large law firms have announced the following monthly salaries for their newly qualified lawyers:

a. TSMP - $5,000

b. WongPartnership - $4,800

c. Shook Lin & Bok - $4,300

d. Rajah & Tann - $4,000

e. Allen & Gledhill - $3,800 (and no review till 2010)

f. Khattar Wong - $3,500

Many, whose corporate teams have been hit ominously by the economy, have announced lower salaries than in the past year.

Despite this, small and medium-sized firms, which rely primarily on litigation or other dispute resolution work, are not cutting back their salaries. Most are paying starting salaries of between $4,000 and $4,500, in addition to offering their young lawyers referral bonuses (ranging between 20% - 30%) for business brought into the firm. A few firms have been known to offer less than $3,500.

Young lawyers receiving offers of less than $4,000 should consider alternative careers in public service or other positions in the private sector. They will probably be paid similarly, and will also be in a better position to pursue their respective interests. They should also ask themselves if law is really what they want to do.

I know a few newly qualified lawyers are considering taking a break until the market picks up. Some are going travelling or looking at doing pro-bono legal work in international organisations.

Nevertheless, if you love the law or can see yourself in law till you enter your grave, the salary you receive should be of less concern. The experience you get should be the primary concern.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Reply: Connect Young Lawyers To Employers

The following reply was received from the Law Society of Singapore regarding matters raised here.

Dharmendra Yadav

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We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

We agreed your concerns are valid and we will immediately step up publicity to increase our members’ and general public’s awareness of our website facility to match pupils to law practices. In this regard, we will also speak to both the Chairpersons of our Small Firms Committee and Young Lawyers Committee to assist us in our publicity efforts and explore ways to assist the pupils.

Our website facility has been underutilised in the past as you have rightly pointed out that majority of pupils has no problem securing employment. There was no necessity for any third party to intervene into the employment market of the legal fraternity.

Once again, the Society expresses its gratitude to you for taking time to bring this matter to our attention.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Connect Young Lawyers To Employers


Several law firms have announced that they will not be retaining all the pupils they had recruited. While announcements are pending from certain law firms, there are indications that they too may not be retaining all their present pupils. Most of these pupils affected were attached to corporate legal teams but there are some from litigation practices. This is a clear departure from past years where law firms announced 100% retention very early in the year.

There are several positive signs in this trend. It has prompted more applicants to look to small and medium law firms for possible pupillage and employment. It has encouraged more to consider advocacy work, which remains a growth area in these uncertain times. More have also tampered their expectations of pursuing lucrative retention contracts with large law firms, as the disdvantages and opportunity costs of doing so clearly outweigh the benefits.

The Law Society of Singapore can help in this regard by compiling a list of law firms willing and able to recruit newly qualified lawyers at this point. The Law Society can also serve as a resume bank for pupils and connect them to suitable opportunities in the market. I am aware the Law Society maintains a list here but I am not sure if it is updated.

Similarly, the Young Lawyers Committee of the Law Society, perhaps together with the Professional Affairs Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law, can take an active interest in this area by being more proactive in these times. There are many things it can do in this regard.

The Singapore Corporate Counsel Association has already agreed to render assistance to those pupils not retained and who are interested in doing legal work in in-house legal teams by compiling a list of employers still open to recruiting such persons in their respective legal teams.

Similarly, I understand the Workforce Development Agency is coming up with a scheme to help fresh graduates and apprentices by supplementing salaries with subsidies.

This information can be shared with the law firms who may be open to recruiting newly-qualified lawyers and current pupils or newly-qualified lawyers.

I hope you will consider these suggestions.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

True Colours


1. A friend shared this advertisement with me earlier today.

2. I like advertisements, especially those that get you talking or those that generally leave you feeling positive about the world we live in. This is one of them. It's also one of those advertisements that really keeps you guessing till the end. How you react at the end will probably be an indication of your own values, personality and outlook.

3. The Swedish company behind this advertisement, Bjorn Borg, comes across as a socially responsible entity. I am also not sure if the brand has anything to do with the tennis star of the same name. Nevertheless, it reminds me of other positive brands like The Body Shop. Unfortunately, the company doesn't have a presence in Asia so it's really hard to tell.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sexist Developments

I get really hilarious stuff in my mailbox from time to time.

Two days ago, I got this from a male:

Within the next two hours, I got this from a female:

As much as the two e-mails were not part of the same chain of communication and their original sources remain unverified, I just thought the irony of the whole situation was worth capturing.

In defence of our own sexes, indeed.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Ho To Goodyear

I asked a friend, "Why do you think Ho Ching is stepping down as chief executive of Temasek Holdings?"

My friend replied, "Because Singapore wants a Goodyear this year!"


1. Ho Ching's successor is a 51 year old American known as Charles Goodyear.

2. Dedicated to my peer, Clement Tan.

Dharmendra Yadav

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Think Happiness Revival

For some months, I have not been able to give this blog the necessary attention it required.

I was preparing for my Singapore Bar exams. I was also ending my sabbatical of 1.5 years to return to the workforce. I also wanted to use the time to reflect the way forward for this blog. For a number of reasons, I was thinking of shutting down this blog. I wanted to focus on other priorities.

Over the past few months, many loved ones have encouraged me to revive my writings on this blog. Several friends share that they find this blog a source of inspiration or information.

I have heard all of them in earnest. And so in deference to all those who care enough about this space, I have decided that I should start updating this site again.

I am now thinking about making changes to this site. If you have any ideas about changes I can effect on this space, please do share them by leaving your comments.

Dharmendra Yadav

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