On 23 April 2021, the webinar series The Right to be Heard begun with a talk on the topic of “EmpLAWYERbility” held on Zoom from 7pm to 9.15pm. The webinar was presented by panel speakers Eddie Law, Sharmila Ravindran, and Andrew S. Kalish, and moderated by Gurbinder Singh Gill. The Right To Be Heard webinar series is a series curated for law students, pupils, and young lawyers alike to incorporate applied learning into the practice itself or the practice-to-be.
The talk started with panel speakers introducing themselves and giving a background of their career progression. “As a lawyer, you are a solution provider, in some form or another,” said Andrew on his experiences leading up to the point of joining BAC. “If you embrace that, then I think you will go far.” As the conversation carried on with questions into the working lives of the speakers, Gurbinder highlighted two points: everyone needs help, and to not fear change. The conversation then continued with comparing mindsets between bigger and smaller firms, with the general consensus being that one should start out in a smaller firm to gain key groundwork skills in contrast to a bigger firm.
As the session progressed, more questions were discussed among the panelists such as when does one know if they have spent enough time in a particular firm, when the best time is to start general litigation, how should one go about their internship, whether it makes sense to switch fields, and what should a pupil do to prepare for an interview. There were some valuable insights shared by the panelists. On the point of time spent, Sharmila shared that one ought to observe where they are in their career progression and their learning curve. Sharmila also shared that you don’t need to leave your current post to learn other sectors. On the topic of internships, Andrew shared that one ought to start out small but with the end in mind to try getting into a big firm. Between Eddie, Sharmila, and Andrew on the point of transitioning between sectors, the general consensus was up to the individual’s affinity and inclination first. On the topic of hiring, Sharmila stated that young lawyers need to have the mindset and readiness to contribute instead of coming in to learn, while Andrew shared that students ought to be proactive in marketing themselves such that they have jobs looking for them, such as having a LinkedIn account.
The session finally led into a Q&A segment for the panelists with various questions from webinar participants. Andrew then closed with a presentation on the Future of Legal Profession by Alexandra Nowicka. Some of the points presented were changes in business strategies, legaltech, O-shaped lawyers, and creating your personal brand. The EmpLAWYERbility webinar session which was very insightful, thus ended at 9.15pm.