Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Legal Training
10 May 2021 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Ms Hany Soh (Member of Parliament for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC)
To ask the Minister for Law (a) what are the measures in place to ensure that legal trainees receive training from properly qualified persons; and (b) what are the support given should there be a dispute between the legal trainee with his supervising solicitor.
- The practice training contract is a formal training arrangement entered into between a law graduate and a Singapore law practice. Under the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2011 of the Legal Profession Act (“the Rules”), the Singapore law practice must ensure, among other things, that the practice trainee is supervised by a solicitor who is in active practice in that law practice and has had in force a practising certificate for at least 5 out of the 7 years immediately preceding the date of commencement of his supervision of the practice trainee.
- The Rules also require the Singapore law practice to register every practice training contract with the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (SILE), including the particulars of the trainee and the supervising solicitor, and to declare to SILE the number of solicitors in the law practice who are qualified to be supervising solicitors.
- As for practice trainees who wish to ascertain if their supervising solicitor has the qualifying experience, they may seek confirmation from the law practice or supervising solicitor concerned and also request to have sight of the practising certificates. The Law Society can assist to verify the supervising solicitors’ eligibility upon the request of the supervising solicitor or the trainee. The Law Society will also investigate any incident which is brought to its attention where the lawyer in question does not meet the requirements of a supervising solicitor.
- Cases of disputes between a practice trainee and supervising solicitors or law practices are rare. But when they occur, the Law Society and SILE provide informal assistance and support to the parties concerned. Trainees may also seek the Law Society’s assistance through the Members’ Assistance and Care Helpline and the SCMediate scheme, where a Senior Counsel acts as a mediator.
Last updated on 10 May 2021