Left: Eileen Lim Shu Hui (bottom right in the left picture), is a manager in the Developing International Law Expertise Secretariat (DILES), AGC, currently pursuing a Degree in Communications with Business. Her work involves identifying training opportunities for Legal Service Officers, and planning and organising seminars and training events.
Right: Gea Chong Wee (first row, in a blue shirt) has a Bachelor with Honours (English Language) from NUS, which is applicable to his work as a Manager in the Law Revision Unit of the Legislation Division, preparing revised editions of legislation.
Government Legal Adviser, Public Prosecutor, International Law Adviser and Drafter of Laws – these four roles come to mind when many think of the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).
However, aside from job opportunities in the legal service, there are many executive support roles on offer. These include paralegal work, litigation support, knowledge management, and media and communications. As a dynamic employer, AGC appreciates diversity and is open to candidates from various backgrounds and qualifications. Its key requirement for interested candidates would be a passion for work that contributes towards upholding the rule of law and being the protector of public interest.
Gea Chong Wee, Manager in the Law Revision Unit of the Legislation Division, is putting his Bachelor (Hons) in English Language to good use. As part of his role, he prepares revised editions of legislation. Revised Editions are formal consolidations of all the legislative amendments made to a piece of legislation, including additional updates to terminology, nomenclature and formatting.
His job entails "a combination of project management, policy research, thinking and writing (with a sprinkle of legal research and thinking), and the actual revising of legislation by applying policy changes and suggesting further editorial changes".
The "cool stuff" he does in his role includes carrying out legislative history research, running through old Government Gazettes dating as far back as the 1820s, and reading Parliamentary and Legislative Assembly debates.
"I really enjoy liaising with our Legal Service Officers (LSOs) and Government Ministry officers to settle the editorial changes being made to a piece of legislation, because it involves deciphering the concerns of the Ministry officers and working together with our LSOs to reach an outcome that is meaningful without compromising the integrity or meaning of the text," he explained.
Training in the Law
Another Manager working closely with AGC's LSOs is Eileen Lim. She is part of the Developing International Law Expertise Secretariat (DILES) under the International Affairs Division (IAD). A big part of her job requires her to identify training opportunities for LSOs in IAD and facilitating administrative arrangements. Eileen also assists with planning as well as organising seminars and training events for DILES initiatives.
The work is engaging and fulfilling for Eileen, who is right where she wants to be in her position. "Although the process can get rather tedious depending on the scale of the event, I find it very fulfilling whenever we organise an event successfully and receive the audiences' feedback that the training was very useful for their job," she told us.
She further shared a successful collaboration with The Hague Academy of International Law to host The Hague Academy External Programme in Singapore, which allowed officers to immerse themselves in the study of international law in the region.
"This was a particularly satisfying experience for me as it gave me the opportunity to interact with our external counterparts and I could see at the end of the day, that our hard work and efforts had paid off," Eileen recalled.
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Learning and Working AGC
Speaking of training and further studies, Chong Wee and Eileen are looking forward to realising their career aspirations in AGC.
"Senior management has recently embarked on a revamp of the roles of executives in AGC to better cater to those with bigger ambitions or for those who want to move laterally into new roles," said Chong Wee.
In light of the revamp, he is considering a transfer to a policymaking role, which he hopes will allow him to make a greater impact in the clarity of policy communications, including legislation. As for Eileen, she is currently pursuing a Degree in Communications with Business. From her position as a training organiser, she was quick to name the many opportunities for self-development in AGC, such as training and developmental plans for AGC officers and training awards supporting those going for further studies.
"The organisation is very training-centric, as there are several initiatives in place to promote and encourage officers to take up training," she concluded.
But lest the talk of training and policymaking gives rise to fear that AGC is a stodgy place to work at, Chong Wee is quick to dispel such perceptions.
"Let's just say that most of the time we've got our heads in the books… but when we come up for air, it's more than occasionally been accompanied by a little buffet and bubbly," he chuckled. Eileen agreed, describing AGC's open work culture as one where she is encouraged to share her ideas and impressions freely, even with senior management. She recalled how she often received and incorporated course feedback into later training sessions, and was encouraged to see her hard work pay off through officers' developmental progress.
The two managers also look forward to welcoming new blood into their ranks. "Keep those applications flowing!" exclaimed Chong Wee.
He continued with some advice for young people embarking on their first careers: "If you're a first-jobber like me, I think it's important to find a good mentor in a nurturing work culture before considering whether the work suits you exactly."
Eileen's advised, "The job may get challenging at times, but it offers a lot of opportunities for you to gain new skills. Don't be afraid to try – you will never know how much you can accomplish until you try."