Future law students would love this article, one of my friends was not so lucky…
Shakespeare’s famous quote from Henry VI, Part 2, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Professor David Epstein explained that the true meaning of those lines aren’t actually meant to make a mockery towards legal professions or inciting violence against the lawyers, but rather to “portray lawyers as the guardians of the rule of law who stand in the way of a fanatical mob.” Shakespeare in fact was paying respect to the venerable profession as the frontline defenders of democracy against any potential tyrant.
Great trial lawyer, Daniel Webster has said that “Justice is the greatest concern of man on earth”. There is no greater professional calling than to stand as a lawyer at the bar of justice and breathe life into the constitution, the bill of rights, statutory law, and common law by defining, asserting and defending the rights of citizens both individual and business.
QUALIFYING BOARD OF MALAYSIA
Do you know how to become a lawyer in Malaysia? In accordance to Legal Profession Act 1976, to practice as a lawyer in Malaysia, one must be a ‘qualified person’. The admission of advocates and solicitors in Malaysia is governed by the Legal Profession Act 1976 (‘LPA’) and S11(1)(c) LPA denoted that “qualified person” must be either a Federal Citizen or a permanent resident of Malaysia. One may opt to study abroad to Singapore, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand to pursue their law degree or study locally via an external degree programme.
For law graduates who obtained a foreign law degree, they have to pass the Certificate in Legal Practice examination which conducted by Legal Profession Qualifying Board (‘LPQB’) before proceed to read in chambers of a pupil master who has been in active practice in Malaysia for a total period of not less than 7 years. After completing nine (9) months of pupilage, the student may finally be called to the bar and become a qualified lawyer.
YOUR ‘A’ LEVEL
This article serves as a reminder particularly dedicated to those who wish to obtain a law degree locally via an external degree programme. Do you know that LPQB lay down certain entry requirements in order to qualify as a candidate of the CLP examinations?
For U.K. Law Degree Holders:
1. A minimum of 3 credits at SPM level of its equivalent obtained in one and the same examination
The qualifications which are accepted as equivalent to SPM are as follows:
– GCE ‘O’ level examinations by the U.K. Boards;
– The Singapore Cambridge GCE ‘O’ level; OR
– The Unified Examination Certificate (‘UEC’).
2. A minimum of 2 principal passes at STPM level or its equivalent obtained in one and same examination. The duration of the STPM course or its equivalent shall be minimum of 1 academic year.
The qualifications which are accepted as equivalent to STPM are as follows:
– ‘A’ level (passes at Advance Level) by the U.K. Boards;
– The Singapore Cambridge GCE ‘A’ level; OR
3. A recognized law degree which was studied for a minimum of 3 academic years and contain a minimum of 12 law subjects out of which you must have passed 6 core subjects (that is, Law of Contract; Law of Torts; Constitutional Law; Criminal Law; Land Law; and Equity & Trusts which each was studied for the duration of 1 academic year).
SIX YEARS/ SEVEN YEARS FOR THE LAW DEGREE: SECOND CLASS LOWER
The law degree must have been obtained within 6 years of initial registration with the university (Except for the LL.B from the University of London (External) which must be completed within 7 years upon successful completion of the intermediate Examination or a referral thereof AND you must have obtained at least a Second Class Lower degree).
There is a story to be shared.
A student who took two subjects, Accounts (‘A’) and Business (‘B’) in his A level examination. In the first sitting, he passed ‘B’ and for ‘A’, he only secured E grade, so his college said he had to retake the subjects to improve his grades.
Later, he retook those subjects in his next examination where he passed ‘A’ but failed ‘B’.
In conclusion, he passed both subjects ‘A’ and ‘B’ in two different sittings. He was told that his LLB results would allow him to opt for Bar Professional Training Course (‘BBTC’) in U.K. but will be denied from taking Certificate in Legal Practice.
The reason explained was that in accordance to second criteria set by LPQB, U.K. Degree Holders are required to obtain a minimum of 2 principal passes at STPM level or its equivalent (in his case, that would be A level) obtained in one and same examination, however, he only obtained one principal passes at each sitting. Thus, the remaining option for him is to pursue BBTC or appeal to the LPQB.
Last but not least, a piece of advice for all would be Law students, please keep track with the regulations set by LPQB and avoid making the same mistake.
Low Melvin Chee Hau
University of London
August 20, 2018
Information correct at the time of publication please check with the relevant authorities.
Other article(s) written by Mr Low:
The Fastidious Legal Profession