At top Singapore law firm Rajah & Tann, lawyers can let off some steam in lounges equipped with Nintendo Wii game consoles, pool and foosball tables, and electric massage chairs. Around the corner at rival Drew & Napier, a “Ministry of Fun” coordinates a social calendar that, according to the firm’s website, includes trips to Thailand as well as “glamorous dinners and crazy parties where everyone from directors to trainees, boogie to the sun rises [sic].”
Though such perks at U.S. law firms mostly went out with the first dot-com bust, they are becoming de rigeur in booming Singapore. Unlike their counterparts around the world who are struggling to find or hold onto scarce legal jobs, young Singaporean lawyers are being courted and cosseted by leading local firms. The firms are hoping to keep them from walking out the door at a time when the country’s economy, buoyed by a rebound in manufacturing and finance, has been outpacing even China in terms of economic growth.
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