By BAC Apprentices
Writer: Hew Hoong Liang
Editor: Sandeep Singh
Research: Clara Ooi & Yen Soo Shin
As a student sitting for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) exams, these are unprecedented times.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the Legal Professional Qualifying Board (LPQB) to delay the CLP twice. Under normal circumstances, we would have sat for the exams in July/August of 2020. Due to Covid-19, we only managed to sit for our exams in March/April of 2021.
If that wasn’t enough, we have no clue as to when LPQB will release the results for the recent CLP exams, citing the fact that they are unable to access the documents at the LPQB office due to the lockdown.
The consequence of these actions hit us hard.
While some have managed to secure jobs as interns and paralegals, most are currently stuck in a limbo – an indefinite waiting period. I am sure many are thinking:
It may never end. We may have to accept the fact that Covid-19 will exist in our lives for a significant period. The question you should ask is:
There are few things that you can do during this lockdown while waiting for your results. Here are some suggestions:
Go Explore and Fuel Your Passion
With everyone is stuck at home, you’ll be surprised to find the many different initiatives that are online. Find a legal practitioner who is passionate to nurture the younger generation of future lawyers, and gain valuable insights on legal practice. Or attend a webinar on a particular legal issue that you are interested in.
The blessing in disguise of this pandemic is that we have more time on our hands, to explore the things we wanted to do before but could not due to a lack of time. For me, I am currently reigniting my passion in content creation, writing and being active on social platforms.
Upskilling is a common phrase we hear whenever we seek advice from senior practitioners as to what we should do during this period. Honestly, I can’t help but agree with it and that we should make the best out of the situation.
Pick up a certificate in something that you are interested in. There are virtual internships such as the Bright Network Internship Experience, and the BAC Apprenticeship Programme that will help you to gain insights on different areas of law or explore some non-legal options that you may wish to pivot in the future.
You can also take short courses on LinkedIn on virtually anything – from how to be a better communicator to workplace communication. The possibilities are endless. Legal podcasts such as ‘Advocate: The Podcast’ are a great way to gain insights into the life of great practitioners such Tommy Thomas, Ambiga Sreenevasan and many more.
Explore The Potentials Of A Legal Career
If you are sure that you want to kickstart your legal career, go ahead and apply for internships or paralegal positions firms you are interested in. You never know what can happen until you start taking action.
Internship positions are more flexible than paralegal options but the only major difference is the pay. In my experience, both positions give you great exposure to law, but as a paralegal, you will be given more responsibilities that will test your ability to multi-task and manage your time wisely.
At the end of the day, know this – you are not alone. Everyone is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is alright to feel lost, stressed or languish during this situation. My advice is that you keep yourself occupied by doing the things you love – it can be a personal project or securing some form of employment.
Hopefully, we can look back at this period of life when some sense of normalcy returns and ask:
*All images are sourced from Canva and Unsplash.