The Singapore Corporate Counsel Association’s (SCCA) student chapter has kicked off a new series of events called GenA2Z bringing different generations of the legal community together to share perspectives on a topic.
The inaugural event was held on 18 July entitled “GenA2Z: AI – boon or bane?”, co-organised with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), at the IPOS office with support from law student volunteers from Temasek Polytechnic.
“The GenA2Z series provides a platform for different generations of the legal community to come together to share their perspectives on a topic and network,” Serene Gan, the SCCA board member and the chair of the SCCA student chapter, told Asia Business Law Journal. “At the event, it was interesting to hear the convergence and divergence of views on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of legal education and the profession.
“The innovation showcase was inspirational in that members of the community made creations in their time outside of their studies and work. It showed that there is a spark of creativity within each of us and a realm of possibilities if we put our minds to it.”
The event commenced with the IPOS chief legal counsel, Trina Ha, sharing details about the IP office’s innovative programmes to help enterprises, followed by her colleague, senior legal counsel and principal assistant registrar Sandy Widjaja, who spoke about hearings and mediation of IP disputes.
Teh Joo Lin, senior legal counsel at the IPOS, was the panel moderator. Jerrick Lim, senior legal counsel at AI-based health management platform EVYD Technology, spoke from an in-house perspective, while Jayce Tham, CEO and co-founder of media agency CreativesAtWork, shared her thoughts from a creator perspective, and Lenon Ong, an associate at Singapore firm CHP Law, gave his input as a young legal practitioner.
The panellists explore the potential benefits and challenges of AI, from automation and improved efficiency to ethical considerations and societal impact. The panellists also examined the diverse applications of AI, as well as its future and present implications.
Kenneth Hoh, a law student at the University of Oxford, and Nicole Michaella Daduya, a computing and law student at Singapore Management University provided their views from the younger generation.
“The intersection between AI and the legal industry is a tricky game of cat-and-mouse to navigate, and it can feel overwhelming at times to be a student amidst this era of rapid development,” said Daduya. “Hearing about the evolution of the legal field through such diverse perspectives allowed me to gain a lot of insight into how things have changed over the years, and how they will continue to change in the future.”
The event also showcased a board game The Great Otter Adventure created by Chan Wai Yeng, a patent attorney at boutique law firm Ghows, using different AI tools. Ng Ziqin, a National University of Singapore law student, spoke about her novel titled Every School a Good School, while Euan Lim, a National University of Singapore computer science and business student, created a free platform for junior college students to use study flashcards to help achieve better grades.
“As an author, the innovation showcase helped me to share my creation, a novel that I wrote before coming to law school, with a wider platform of students,” said Ng. “This was especially meaningful to me because my book is about the experiences of students in the Singaporean education system.”
The event wrapped up with a networking session among in-house counsel, legal practitioners, and law students from the Australia Singapore Law Student Society, Kaplan, the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Temasek Polytechnic, and the UK Singapore Law Students’ Society.
“The diverse cast of panellists, including senior in-house counsel, entrepreneurs and law students, really lent the panel breadth and depth of discussion,” said Ethan Teo, president of the UK Singapore Law Students’ Society. “The diversity of perspectives drove home the core point, namely, that AI will impact our working lives in varied and significant ways, and that it is for us to adapt our work to channel its potential.”