Law: Changing Mindsets

I’ve just finished my second year Law exams, two weeks ago. I have to confess that I’ve not been updating this blog much this year because I had been busy with a lot of work at my company and I didn’t really have much to write about as nothing exciting happened.

However, after studying Law intently for two year, I have to say that I have experienced a changing mindset.

I have been doing engineering for a long time now, to have developed a certain analytical mindset. In engineering, I am able to grasp complexities and to identify problems and their solutions. However, the problems encountered are usually of a technical nature.

What the Law has done to me is to make me see human societal problems in a similar way. I now have a suitable framework to reference, when looking at societal problems from personal family problems to crime and national issues.

It’s a change in mindset.

Whereas, in the past, I would only see the engineering solutions to human problems, I can now see the legal issues and solutions to them too. So, instead of merely having a single engineering framework to reference, I now have two very similar frameworks to use.

And that’s the other thing that I have discovered after learning the Law, that is: there are more similarities and differences between Engineering and Law. However, the two fields tend to attract characters on opposite ends of the spectrum to their calling.

But that’s stuff for another blog entry.

Why I Study Law

I had this short conversation with a classmate of mine, in class, today.

Q: You have a PhD?
A: Yes.
Q: Then, why you study Law?
A: for Fun!
(shocked look)

I do realise that a lot of the people in my class are doing this external Law degree for the sake of their careers. Half my classmates are either police officers, court officers, or clerks working in Law firms. So, this group or people are definitely doing the Law degree for their career progression.

Another fairly large group are people who are doing their first degree. These are largely people who have an STPM or equivalent but never got themselves a degree, due to various circumstances. So, these people are also doing it as a way to get a basic degree for increased job prospects.

There’s a also a substantive group of people who already have degrees. I’m not sure if there are others with doctorates in the class, but I know of many who have got basic degrees in various fields, and also several with masters degrees. However, many in this group are also doing it to boost their careers.

But not everyone does it for career reasons.

There’s one group of people – retirees or those very close to retirement. There are plenty of aunties/uncles in class and even some former Senator. These people are obviously not doing it for career purposes but are possibly doing it as an aspiration maybe, or to pass time. I don’t know for sure as I’ve never actually asked them about it.

Finally, there’s me – doing it purely out of interest. I have always had an interest in the Law. My mum always thought that I had a gift for it. True, a law degree will not help me progress, one bit, in my career. However, knowing the Law is always helpful as all human activity is regulated by it.

I just hope that others can just accept that.

LEEP Round-up

By now, I have attended the first lecture for each of the modules that I am taking this year – Criminal, Land, Company, Family and Administrative Law. So, this is my general round-up of each of the classes.

The only class that I am unlikely to enjoy is Land Law, mainly due to the lecturer – she’s kinda boring. Plus, the subject seems to be quite technical in nature. The main statute itself – National Land Code – is a 1-inch thick volume. I don’t even want to imagine the number of cases that I will have to go thru.

The class that I don’t think I’ll be able to learn much from is Family Law. The lecturer is fairly open minded and constantly cracks dirty jokes in class (a certain Dr Irene Tan would be appalled). As a result, the class is quite lively but it leaves little time for any deep analysis of the Law. However, from my preliminary study of the subject, Family Law is not very deep.

It’s certainly not as wide as Administrative Law, which is the other class that I don’t think I’ll be able to learn much from. The lecturer is very passionate and has an axe to grind with our present government for almost six-decades of bad law. However, the subject is extremely interesting as public interest litigation features prominently in it.

Both Criminal Law and Company Law classes are fairly well structured (the latter more so). They’re being delivered like a typical academic law lecture – outline, objectives, legislation, cases. As a result, I think that the classes are going to be the easiest ones to stomach this year. The law itself also seems to be fairly straight-forward so far.

So there. I hope that I will be able to equal or better my performance last year. This would require substantively more work on my part. None of these subjects are going to be a walk in the park!