A Practical Guide to Legal Practice in Malaysia

by Syamsuriatina Ishak


In an education-oriented society such as ours, many Malaysians urge their children to take on well-paying professional careers. As a highly regarded profession, a career in Law ranks right up there with a career in Medicine, Accountancy, Engineering and Architecture. Lawyers are an essential element of society, providing advice on all manner of commercial and practical life problems. In addition, a well-trained and ethical lawyer is an asset to the community at large.

However, many law graduates who enter the profession have a tough time coping with their first few years of practice. With so many Movie/TV dramatizations about lawyers and legal cases, perhaps more so than any other profession, it’s not surprising that too many new lawyers enter the profession with a skewed understanding and expectation of what it’s all about. With everyone busy taking part in the ‘rat race’, new lawyers often have nowhere to turn to for career guidance and advice. They are unaware of options readily available which may be better suited to their goals, talents and inclinations. Disappointment and disillusionment quickly sets in. And, too often, they give up, quitting practice far too early, giving rise to an utter waste of talent and resources.

Having had the pleasure of being invited to train and speak to law students or soon-to-be admitted Malaysian lawyers, Tina often shares practical tips on entering the legal practice. When delivering these motivational presentations, she asks herself the question: “If I could enter a time-machine, dialing back 15-20 years, what would I tell my younger self to make my professional life a more pleasing/fulfilling one?”

Thus, these postings are presented with the primary purpose of sharing with you, the aspiring or new lawyer, practical tips and guidance on legal practice in Malaysia, to assist you to better manage your expectations and accordingly get the most out of your legal career. In fact, many of the common-sensical pointers may be applicable to other professions or legal practice in other jurisdictions.

The author shall endeavour to present one aspect of this topic in different segments, and looks forward to sharing this all-important information with you!

Image credit: Morgan Sessions