Left: Choy Kai Wen is a Manager (Civil Allied Legal Pool) at the Attorney-General's Office where he provides paralegal support to State Counsel and supervises a team of support staff. He has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London.
Middle: Joseph Wee, is a Manager (Data Analytics & Special Projects) in the Legal Operations Group where he utilises Big Data to extract, transform and prepare data to allow for better decision-making at the AGC. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics from the Singapore Institute of Management.
Right: Rachel Wee is a Manager (Media, Public & Corporate Communications) in the Corporate Services Division, where she facilitates the reporting of court cases, engages the media and works on AGC's social media strategy and content. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Nanyang Technological University.
"Guardian of the Public Interest" and "Steward of the Rule of Law" – these terms encapsulate the roles that the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) carries out. AGC strives to ensure that legislation is made accessible, provide sound legal advice and representation to the Government, and carry out fair and independent prosecution as the Public Prosecutor.
Hear from executives Choi Kai Wen, Manager (Civil Allied Legal Pool), Joseph Wee, Manager (Data Analytics & Special Projects) and Rachel Wee, Manager (Media, Public & Corporate Communications) on their career experiences with AGC and how the organisation has enabled them to grow personally and professionally.
A Purposeful Career
When asked why they had chosen to embark on a career with AGC, all three officers were in agreement that it was because of the meaningful nature of the work and how it afforded them the opportunity to make a difference to the public.
"AGC allows me to apply my legal skills in an environment free from commercial interests," said Kai Wen, "I'm proud to be a part of an organisation that plays an important role in upholding the rule of law in Singapore." A typical day for Kai Wen, who is a member of the Civil Allied Legal Pool, involves providing paralegal support to State Counsel through drafting of letters and documents supporting legal advice rendered to other public service agencies, carrying out legal research, and preparing case status summaries.
Echoing his sentiments was Rachel, who finds meaning in increasing public awareness and education about Singapore's legal processes, concepts and principles through her role in public communications. Having graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Rachel found herself applying the soft skills gained through her studies, such as critical analysis and logical thinking, in her daily work. "Philosophy challenges you to look at issues from all angles and broaden your horizons. This has trained me to map out multiple plausible scenarios when thinking about how to address queries from the media or the public," she said.
Growing Its People
AGC recognises the diverse skills that individuals bring to the organisation and firmly believes in instilling a sense of curiosity in the workplace. Officers are constantly encouraged by management to learn and try out new ideas and develop new skills.
Joseph recalled how management support was critical to his success. "The use of data in AGC is complex as there are many different statistics to keep track of. However, I was given the right level of autonomy to start things up for my unit, without which it would have been more challenging to achieve our desired outcomes," he said.
"There are numerous training opportunities and programmes available which encourages officers to keep learning and improving themselves," said Rachel. "You may often find yourself dealing with issues that may be new and unfamiliar, but be assured that help is always readily available."
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"Management is keen on putting in place practices to help its people fulfil their potential and play to their strengths," shared Kai Wen. These practices include investing in officers' development through training sponsorships, providing them adequate support and enpowering officers to take on more complex work and responsibilities.
Kai Wen also expressed appreciation for the opportunities presented to help him develop his leadership skills, something he felt was lacking for paralegals in the private sector. "I was offered the opportunity to acquire management experience through supervising support staff and participating in management projects," he reflected, "it was a chance for me to grow in my career."
Through the agency's career planning exercise which sought to enable officers to develop deeper and broader expertise, Kai Wen was given the opportunity to make a role transition to an Allied Legal Associate. The new role gave him a chance to take on more complex legal work and to deepen his skills as a paralegal.
A Culture That Nurtures
The three officers all felt that the key to them being able to deliver quality work was the caring culture of the organisation.
"I'm part of a wonderful, close-knit team that has become like a second family to me," said Rachel with a smile. "I think that's really important because there will definitely be tough days at work, and having the support of your colleagues is very reassuring."
"It also helps that management has fostered a collegial environment and camaraderie is strong at AGC," Kai Wen highlighted. "There are many intelligent and highly competent lawyers working at AGC whom I learn a lot from."
Offering another perspective, Joseph shared that he felt most nurtured and motivated when empowered with the trust to complete his tasks independently. "Given the autonomy, I was able to learn many new tools on my own as I worked to ensure that I meet the needs of the organisation."
AGC, The Place To Be
Whether you are eager to make a difference, or one who is in search of an enriching vocation, AGC might just be the place for you.
As a equal opportunities employer, AGC appreciates diversity and is open to candidates from various backgrounds with different skills and qualifications. The key is to have a passion for law-related work and a heart for serving the public.
"We are a forward-looking organisation keen on innovation. Don't be afraid to explore new ideas as our management is always receptive to suggestions", advised Kai Wen.
"Also, the collegial environment, camaraderie and opportunities for career growth here would be excellent for fresh graduates looking to find their purpose and place as they step out into the world."
"The key is to be resilient and keep striving towards what you hope to achieve," added Joseph.