Lifestyle

What it's like to be a successful young lawyer in Singapore

This woman is one of the youngest lawyers to become a partner at one of Singapore's Big Four law firms. She tells what she loves about her job and why she does law even outside of work
 

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KOH SWEE YEN, 33
At 28, she became a partner at one of Singapore’s Big Four law firms, making her one of the youngest lawyers to do so.

According to this lawyer who graduated with first class honours from the National University of Singapore, the legal world has changed.

“It’s become more gender-neutral. My clients look at me not as a woman, but as a lawyer whose strategies, tactics and solutions they value,” says Swee Yen, who served as a justices’ law clerk to the Chief Justice of Singapore – an honour reserved for the best and brightest in the graduating class – before entering private practice at Wong Partnership. She was made partner with less than four years of practice under her belt and now specialises in commercial and corporate dispute resolution.

The avid litigator – and mother of a 20-month-old boy – loves law so much, she even does it outside of work: She reviews contracts and agreements for Singapore Gymnastics pro bono, and is an adjunct tutor at the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University.

This year marks her tenth year in practice, and she’s still running at full throttle. “I love the adrenalin rush from appearing before a court and persuading them to rule in my client’s favour,” she enthuses. “The satisfaction I get from a job well done and doing the best for my clients keeps me going.”

Photography: Veronica Tay, Styling: Evon Chng, Hair: Phyllis Lee/Athens Salon, Makeup: Benedict Choo, using M.A.C, Jacket & pants: The Kooples, Top: Core women

This story was first published in Her World Magazine July 2015.

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