Virtual law practice proving a challenge: Chief Justice

The first virtual get-together of Singapore Academy of Law and Law Society raises $65,000 for charity.

Finding the line between work and his personal life has been one of the biggest challenges Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has experienced whilst working from home during the pandemic.

“I found myself turning on my computer first thing in the morning and leaving it on till very late in the day. I somehow felt that I never disconnected from being on duty even when we weren’t on duty,” Menon described during his speech at the first-ever virtual get-together of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and the Law Society this week.

But despite the challenging arrangement the Chief Justice remains hopeful.

“I hope the profession will be able to go back to the things we cherish, like human interaction and contact," he said. "I feel terribly sad for young people, who have lost a window of mentorship, which depends on, to a significant degree, the ability to talk to their superiors. They still do the work but miss out on a lot of the soft learning that is so valuable. I hope this can be part of our reality again before long.” 

The event also raised $65,000 for two charities: the Yellow Ribbon Fund STAR Bursary for the rehabilitation and education of ex-offenders, and the Law Society Pro Bono Services’ Harry Elias SC CLAS Fellowship Fund to further render pro bono criminal legal aid to vulnerable groups.

Gregory Vijayendran, president of The Law Society of Singapore, said he hoped that the event would be a harbinger of hope for the strong spirit of unity and charity continuing long after the pandemic.

“This event demonstrates compassion in deed and not only in words. The generous giving by members of the legal profession to two worthy causes helping the vulnerable and new vulnerable is apt, timely and caring during the SG Cares Giving Week,” he added.

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