[02/80] Being Harvey Specter at Duane Morris & Selvam in Singapore

Or without having any experience in the legal world, more like Mike Ross. Duane Morris & Selvam is a law firm with one of its offices in Singapore. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do my 2nd experiment. It felt like walking into an episode of Suits. Only difference: no Donna.

The goal of my four-day experiment was to get my name up on that wall.

Just kidding. Or maybe not?

Boardroom view

The first morning started in the boardroom with this miraculous view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. All young lawyers gathered to share their lessons learned from the past week. A very friendly and open environment I honestly hadn’t expected at a law firm. So off to a good start.

Cubicle loving

After the meeting we took the elevator to cubicle paradise. Just like in the series, you have to work your way up to get a fancy corner office with windows.

I sat down with Lara. She’s responsible for marketing and business development. We decided I would help with the design of the new website, and come up with new ideas for their marketing strategy in Singapore and the rest of Asia.

Reserve your table

For lunch, the very sweet ladies of marketing took me out to one of the hawker places surrounding the office at Raffles Place. It’s always crowded. If you want to sit down, you have to reserve a spot by putting your tissues on the table. Because I did not have mine on me at the time, Naoko lent me hers. Thanks again!

If you’re curious what I usually eat, it’s simple. They ask me what I want. I ask what they recommend. They pick some characteristic local dish, they order it, and I eat it. This time: noodle soup!

Running to make the traffic light

One of the most special experiences was to ‘just’ be a part of the Singaporean workforce for a few days. Joining everyone’s daily routines. Wake up. Work out in the apartment building’s gym — thanks Urara for letting me stay over. Shower. Get coffee, yoghurt and granola downstairs. And set out to commute to the office on the spotless clean streets by foot.

I felt so small between all the huge buildings.

In Singapore, most traffic lights have countdowns. Because it’s warm early on, it surprised me that everyone runs to make it across the street on time. I would reach to the office completely drowned in sweat. On the other hand, everyone looked at me as being the strange duck, as it took me three ‘traffic light cycles’ to get a good picture.

Yusheng party

On the second day, another memorable thing happened: I was invited to join the celebration of Yusheng. A ritual on the 7th (!!) day of Chinese New Year. How it works? You put a lot of different ingredients in a bowl. One by one. All ingredients have a meaning, like luck, abundance, wealth and pleasant relationships.

When everything is in the bowl, you take your chopsticks and toss the food in the air for good fortune. The higher you toss it, the more prosperous your life will be. And then you eat what’s left of it. Because as you can see, the table ends up like a battlefield.

Some say it’s superstitious; I think it’s great fun. Who gets to throw food in the air surrounded by lawyers in suits?

I ended my four days with giving a presentation to the board about my ideas ideas for the website, the marketing strategy, and some other things I noticed during my stay.

Ow, and by the way, I did get my name up that all ;)

Duane Morris & Selvam & Weijers

A big ‘thank you, lah‘ to Krishna, Lara, Myra, Naoko, Leon, Ms. Selvam and everyone else at Duane Morris & Selvam. You are all awesome!

Singapore by night

Goodbye Singapore!