Trinity College grounds

Hard Work and Perseverance Pays Off for Bryan Tan

Bryan Tan (TCFS 2003 and TC 2004) has been both a Foundation Studies and a Residential College student, he’s served in the Singaporean military and in January 2018, he will become a partner in law firm, Nair​ ​&​ ​Co​ ​LLC. We caught up with Bryan to talk about his career journey thus far and gather useful tips and insights for those just starting out their career.

What​ ​did​ ​you​ ​enjoy​ ​most​ ​at​ ​your​ ​time​ ​at​ ​Trinity? 

My​ ​experience​ ​at​ ​Trinity​ ​(both​ ​as​ ​a​ ​Foundation Studies and Residential College student)​ ​was​ ​extremely​ ​positive. There​ ​are​ ​too​ ​many​ ​moments​ ​to​ ​choose​ ​from but ​I​ ​will​ ​always​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​warm​ ​welcome​ ​I received​ ​from​ ​Seniors​ ​at​ ​Trinity​ ​College.​ ​It​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​confidence​ ​to​ ​express​ ​my​ ​(sometimes incorrect)​ ​ideas and​ ​accept​ ​teachings​ ​from​ ​them.​ ​Above​ ​all,​ ​the​ ​time​ ​spent​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Bulpadock​ ​was​ ​the​ ​most enjoyable.​ ​The​ ​vast​ ​field​ ​was​ ​a​ ​central​ ​place​ ​where​ ​we​ ​played,​ ​competed,​ ​conversed,​ ​read, discussed​ ​each​ ​other's​ ​cultures​ ​and​ ​exchanged​ ​ideas.​ ​When​ ​I​ ​go​ ​back​ ​to​ ​Melbourne,​ ​I​ ​take every​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​re-visit​ ​the​ ​Bulpadock,​ ​sit​ ​down​ ​on​ ​the​ ​worn​ ​wooden​ ​benches​ ​and​ ​think about​ ​how​ ​far​ ​all​ ​of​ ​us​ ​have​ ​come​ ​since​ ​we​ ​first​ ​stepped​ ​into​ ​the​ ​College.​ ​I have no​ ​doubt​ ​some​ ​of these conversations on the​ ​Bulpadock​ ​ ​shaped​ ​the​ ​people​ ​we​ ​are​ ​today.

What​ ​helped​ ​you​ ​get​ ​through​ ​your​ ​exam​ ​time?​ ​Any​ ​tips​ ​for​ ​students?

Hard​ ​work​ ​and​ ​perseverance. ​Two​ ​old​ ​fashioned​ ​values​ ​that​ ​have​ ​stood​ ​the​ ​test​ ​of​ ​time.​ ​These values alone however​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​enough.​ ​I​ ​strongly​ ​suggest​ ​having​ ​study​ ​buddies.​ ​Get​ ​a​ ​group​ ​of​ ​people who​ ​come​ ​from​ ​different​ ​backgrounds​ ​and​ ​cultures.​ ​You​ ​may​ ​be​ ​surprised​ ​by​ ​the​ ​different perspectives​ ​and​ ​insights​ ​that​ ​people​ ​have​ ​to​ ​offer. 

What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​like​ ​to​ ​do​ ​in​ ​your​ ​leisure​ ​time?

I’m​ ​always​ ​up​ ​for​ ​a​ ​good​ ​whodunnit.​ ​I​ ​also​ ​go​ ​kayaking​ ​and​ ​play​ ​tennis​ ​to​ ​get​ ​some​ ​exercise.​ ​I currently ​serve​ ​as​ ​President​ ​of​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Melbourne​ ​Alumni​ ​Association​ ​in​ ​Singapore​ ​and​ ​the remainder of​ ​my​ ​spare​ ​time​ ​is​ ​usually spent​ ​making​ ​plans​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​the​ ​community​ ​of​ ​active​ ​members.

How​ ​did​ ​you​ ​discover​ ​your​ ​passion​ ​for the​ ​Law?

I​ ​wasn't​ ​always​ ​committed​ ​to​ ​learning​ ​the​ ​Law.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​terrible​ ​law​ ​student​ ​in​ ​my​ ​first​ ​year.​ ​My passion​ ​for​ ​Law​ ​was​ ​ignited​ ​by​ ​Michael​ ​Bryan’s​ ​Restitution​ ​classes.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​in​ ​those​ ​classes​ ​that I​ ​came​ ​to​ ​appreciate​ ​the​ ​problems​ ​and​ ​enigmas​ ​posed​ ​by​ ​circumstances​ ​that​ ​the​ ​Law seeks​ ​to​ ​resolve.​ ​Although​ ​I​ ​did​ ​fairly​ ​well​ ​in​ ​Restitution,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​only​ ​ever​ ​able​ ​to​ ​harness​ ​that growing​ ​passion​ ​into​ ​better​ ​grades​ ​when​ ​Dr​ ​David​ ​Tan​ ​(who​ ​was​ ​then​ ​a​ ​Resident​ ​Tutor​ ​at College)​ ​fiercely​ ​encouraged​ ​me​ ​to​ ​set​ ​​higher​ ​standards​ ​for​ ​myself​ ​and​ ​showed​ ​me​ ​how​ ​to achieve​ ​them.

What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​wish​ ​you​ ​had​ ​known​ ​when​ ​you​ ​were​ ​first​ ​starting​ ​out​ ​in​ ​your​ ​career?​ ​Is​ ​there anything​ ​you​ ​would​ ​have​ ​done​ ​differently?

The​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​law​ ​involves​ ​not​ ​just​ ​the​ ​application​ ​of​ ​law,​ ​but​ ​also​ ​an​ ​understanding of​ ​human behaviour.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​know​ ​how​ ​your​ ​Lead​ ​Counsel​ ​thinks,​ ​how​ ​the​ ​client​ ​thinks,​ ​how​ ​a witness​ ​thinks​ ​and​ ​importantly,​ ​how​ ​the​ ​Judge​ ​thinks.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​a​ ​fallacy​ ​to​ ​think​ ​that​ ​“exceptions​ ​to the​ ​rule”​ ​are​ ​the​ ​norm​ ​and​ ​that​ ​they​ ​are​ ​worth​ ​using​ ​them​ ​in​ ​practice​ ​since​ ​we​ ​study​ ​so​ ​much about​ ​them.​ ​The​ ​reality​ ​is​ ​that​ ​these​ ​exceptions​ ​are​ ​unique​ ​and​ ​rarely​ ​come​ ​up​ ​in​ ​practice. Focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​basic​ ​principles.

What​ ​skills​ ​

29/10/2017

Category: People

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