March 17, 2009

Law degree as a second degree

There are a lot of people out there who love to add a law degree as their second degree. There is this perception it will add value to their resume and it is not that tough to get one. In a way, I would like to concur. Getting a law degree is not that hard. You only have to read and remember tons and tons of cases and statutes. And then try to get on the good side of your professors. Oh, then you have to understand how to apply those laws to the cases that happen around the world. For Malaysian, you have to know the Malaysian statutes and the Indian and the British law too.They call the relevance of the other law to us as pari materia. Oh, then the Latin words. Nothing spice up your life than a dead language.

Hmmm...seems that it is not so easy after all. Too many things to remember. But to tell you the truth, all that you learn in law school means nothing unless you have been inside a courtroom and try to convince the judge(s) that your client is right. Especially if your client is dead wrong. Do not be mistaken that each time you step in the court you will be on the right. There are always more than one occasion you will be there to see that your client is treated properly by the law and not just handing over his freedom or his life to be taken away. That is why courts have this thing called the legal aid or public defender office where people are given the help of a lawyer under the payroll of the government. Sometimes, the government do ask private lawyers to represent a suspect who do not have legal representation. In Malaysia, as the pay is quite good, some lawyers line up for them to get the cases.

So, law as a second degree for you to have is kind of a good idea if you really want to have it like a badge of honour so you can tell everyone you have a law degree. You have done all that is required like chugging beer using a hose or having a wild Saturday night with the boys and such. You have managed to finish that assignment just 20 minutes before you need to send it in. What I remember during my student days was how each Saturday nights were fill with us not remembering anything. Wait, was that last Saturday? Don't get me wrong, get that degree and show it to your friends but don't say that you are a lawyer until you do practice law.
This well known Malaysian model, Elaine Daly, is a law degree holder too


julian said...

Hi, nice to meet you the other day :)

I agree that a law degree can be a very good asset in landing a job - employers tend to assume you are a capable person, and also that you have a sharp mind. Knowing how to understand legal documents can be really useful too :)

For me, I think I could never manage all the information you have to remember - I remember in University, the way to recognise the law students in the library was by the huge stack of massive books they had piled on their desk!

3POINT8 said...

I think it applies to every discipline. Say for example, they can't call themselves an engineer all they have is a degree with no real life experience.

Then again, a law degree does sound prestigious (even if someone doesn't practice them). =D

kruel74 said...

Julian : So it will be easier for us to hide when we want to sleep

3.8 : That is why people take it for the benefit of taking it....

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