Most lawyers polled would urge their kids to follow their path

Several respondents said the legal profession was part of their family tradition and heritage.

K.C. Vijayan
Senior Law Correspondent

15 November, 2021

SINGAPORE - Some 77 per cent of lawyers told a survey they would advise their children to become lawyers, citing particular strengths of the career and their own experience, among other things.

A questionnaire in conjunction with the ST Best Law Firms 2022 survey also found nearly seven out of 10 respondents listed digitalisation as the development most likely to impact their firms in the future. Globalisation was the second most cited factor, chosen by some 40 per cent of those polled.

The survey for the Best Law Firms 2022, devised and processed by German research firm Statista in conjunction with The Straits Times, drew more than 12,000 responses overall from more than 6,000 lawyers, colleagues and clients.

Asked for their reasons for encouraging their children to study law, respondents cited the prospects for career advancement, remuneration, and personal development. One said it was "a challenging, classy and fulfilling career", and another that it "advances just causes and builds mind and character as well as opens doors to opportunities in various fields".

Several said the legal profession was part of their family tradition and heritage. "I want her to be like me!" read one response.

Many lawyers, in fact, have followed in their parents' footsteps.

For instance, Mr Jaspreet Singh Sachdev and Mr Hanspreet Singh Sachdev work at Davinder Singh Chambers LLC, where their father, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, presides as their boss. Other prominent professionals whose children became lawyers include Senior Counsel Jeffrey Chan, former Law Society president Peter Low and the late criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan.

On the downside, those who said they would not encourage their children to go into law cited the demanding and very profit-driven nature of the job in the present day.

They also said digitalisation and competition would result in wages stagnating and noted there were "easier ways" to make money.

One respondent said the job is "incredibly stressful, involving long hours, and mental stamina is essential".

"It sucks", and is "unforgiving", said two others, while a third felt medicine was more fulfilling.

Polled on the biggest problems in the legal sector based on their experience, some 51 per cent cited "unreasonable clients" while another 36 per cent mentioned "unprofessional lawyers".

Among other things, they cited continuous downward pressure on fees in a crowded market, cost-minded clients and the attrition rate of younger lawyers as some of the issues they faced.