Wednesday, 18 March 2015

by Joyce Law, Alysha Kyra, Ayden Emir, Natasha Wong, Class of 2016

You sit on your couch, anxiously waiting for the court to give a ruling to that bad boy who yet again somehow ended up in trouble. The lawyers had given out their side of the story and it’s all up to the jury. The scene familiar? 

Well, those who signed up for the Mooting Talk by Professor Katherine were given an in-depth look into what actually happens in court.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

Ayden Emir: How long have you been working in the justice system?

Professor Katherine: I was administered into legal practice or as known from Malaysian terminology, called to the bar in the year 1985. About 30 years.

AE: How has the experience changed you?

KA: Rather than changed, I was given many skills. Problem solving, analyzing, communication, reasoning and others. Being a lawyer allowed me to develop these skills thoroughly.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

AE: Why did you choose to be a lawyer?

KA: Oh, you’re going to be disappointed with this answer. My first choice was actually to be a lawyer, but it being a male-dominated career, my parents were against it. So I liked languages, I studied Japanese and French, and wanted to be a translator, so I told my parents. But again, it would’ve been a bad idea considering the limited job opportunities in that area. So I thought I’d just end up a teacher, which is pretty funny since I’m a teacher right now, but yes, I did end up pursuing law in the end.   

AE: You mentioned that listening was extremely important further being different types of listening. Being a student, what advice can you give us that will allow us to listen better during classes?

KA: After class, you should self-reflect, this is important to keep in mind the key points being made. Think of phrases like “5 points I learnt from that class”.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

AE: In what way do you think your thoughts of the justice system and being a lawyer has changed from when you first started to right now?

KA: In the past, I think I had very unrealistic thoughts about it. I thought that justice would always be served, I was naive. Thinking that the court would always make the right decision. Instead, the court might choose the decision you may not agree with. So don’t put all your faith in the justice system. It’s also at its core driven by business and money.

AE: What are some of the struggles being a lawyer?

KA: Working with people you don’t respect or like is definitely a challenge, but ultimately that’s not your job you must represent them.

AE: And has that ever impaired your ability to perform your job?

KA: As a young lawyer, it can but by slowing maturing you won’t be as bothered by it. You just do your job and represent your client. Keeping an open mind and not allowing prejudices to hinder your job.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

AE: Have you ever thought of changing your job?

KA: Have I wondered what would have happened if I was a engineer or translator? Haha, yes. But our culture being such as “you learn law, you become a lawyer” and there’s no changing careers after that. Definitely no regrets though.

AE: Why should a student consider getting a law degree?

KA: A law degree is actually very versatile, it’s a fantastic degree to get. About 50% or more law students do not actually want to be a lawyer, they want the skills that come with it. The ability to communicate with everyone is so important along with being able to think on your feet and reasoning. I have a friend teaching business and she says that some of her best students are law students as well, she mentioned that the way they think was different from the typical business student giving them the edge in the real world. So I do believe that a law degree is a good choice, not only for being a lawyer but for many different professions, because no matter what you do it will include law or the skills you use in law in some way or another.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

by Natasha Wong 20:50 7 comments | in , , ,


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