About this segment: Person of the Month is an initiative by the University of Malaya Law Review which aims to feature a prominent member of the University of Malaya’s Law Faculty towards the end of each month. The purpose of this segment is twofold. Firstly, to give due recognition to the contributions of our student leaders and secondly, so that their achievements might inspire other members of the faculty towards greater success.
Adam Thye Yong Wei, a final year student at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya
Adam Thye Yong Wei, fondly known as Adam, is a final year student of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya (‘UM’). Highly recognised for his recent success as the Runner-up of the National Client Consultation Competition 2019, Adam is a prominent, all-rounded student who was active in mooting competitions—both as participant and organiser—as well as in legal aid efforts. Soon to be stepping out of law school, Adam anticipates a working holiday trip to the United States of America for a few months after his final examination, before commencing his pupillage in the field of litigation.
Born and bred in Melaka, Adam recalled that he never intended to pursue law. Mathematics had always been his favourite subject, so much so that he envisioned a career related to Mathematics. “That was until some of my friends suggested the possibility of reading law. I gave it some thought, and I told myself ‘Why not?’ A law degree definitely offers a vast range of possibilities opportunities,” he said about his decision to pursue law. Lucky enough, he was subsequently offered to read law in UM. Over time, Adam’s various experiences, particularly in mooting, nurtured his love and fondness for the law.
Adam (third row, third from left) during a photo session with UM Moot Club 2016/2017 (year).
As he settled into law school, Adam was adamant to leave a mark. Thus, he decided to take up the role of Publication and Publicity Officer under the UM Moot Club in 2015. Adam spoke highly of the club and the close-knitted relationship between the members, and how the club’s hospitality had him convinced to join the board. His participation provided him with a sense of belonging in the Faculty, which is usually of paramount importance for a bright-eyed first year student. Throughout the tenure, Adam gained valuable hands-on experiences in organising moot competitions and dealing with guest judges.
Optimistic about the experience obtained during his first year of law school, Adam rose through the ranks to become the Liaison Officer of UM Moot Club during his second year in 2016. His competency did not go unnoticed as in that same year, he was entrusted Directorship of the inaugural Tun Suffian International Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2017. This particular mandate posed significant challenges as Adam had to deal with participants from foreign universities and faced the issue of judges who were not able to make it at the eleventh hour of the competition. It was through this chain of events that Adam grew as a leader, learnt the importance of delegating tasks to other members of the team, and essentially, learnt to trust his team to handle such tasks.
Adam giving a speech, accompanied by lecturer Mr Stewart Manley during the Tun Suffian International Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2017.
The exposure to organising moot competitions sparked an interest in Adam to moot as a participant. His mission was to represent the Faculty in the national and international arenas. This curiosity for mooting resulted in his participation in the Novice Arbitration Mooting Competition 2016 (‘NAMCO’). Despite not securing the awards of the competition, the experience was still a memorable one. Adam reminisced the long hours of preparation, particularly the pulling of all-nighters to research, preparation for the memorial submission and oral practices, all while juggling daily classes and assignments. These commitments pushed him to improve the quality of his research, his advocacy skills and time management skills.
Invigorated by the NAMCO experience, Adam then participated in the 2nd ICC-KLRCA Pre-Moot for The Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot 2018. Battling against over 70 teams from all around the globe, his team qualified for the Top 32 rounds—a remarkable achievement, indeed.
Adam (first from left) with his team at the 2nd ICC-KLRCA Pre-Moot for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, Malaysia 2018.
As an aspiring legal practitioner, Adam was fascinated by the National Client Consultation Competition (‘NCCC’), which prompted him to sign up for the UM Legal Aid Clinic as a Support Team Member during his third year at the Faculty. There, he honed his skills in client consultation to stand a higher chance of being selected for the competition. However, due to his involvement in the ICC-KLRCA Pre-Moot 2018, he was not able to partake in the NCCC. Nevertheless, he stayed on in his final year of law school as a Student Adviser. His decision bore fruits, for he got selected to represent the Faculty in the NCCC 2019. He rejoiced, never lamenting the long hours spent with his teammates, his passion and commitment to the cause contributed to he and his team’s success of finishing as First Runners-Up of the competition. “Despite not achieving the results that we wanted, I’m definitely proud to be part of the team and I am glad that I went through this with my teammates, Marsha Madzli, Aishah Nurfitri and Zarina Hanim. After all, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.”
Adam (second from right) standing joyfully with his teammates for the National Client Consultation Competition 2019.
Although mooting has been given emphasis as a route to excellence in the Faculty, Adam emphasised on the rising importance of law office consultation simulation, which had greatly sharpened his advocacy skills. He highly recommends it to the members of the Faculty. He further added that throughout the competition, he was able to get hands-on experiences in dealing with real clients and applying the substance of the law to real life cases. “It allowed us to gain additional soft skills and interpersonal skills as we deal with real clients—learning about client control, learning how to elicit information from them and actually providing legal & non-legal solutions to their predicaments,” he remarked on the benefits of fostering a culture of simulation consulting.
Adam (first row, first from left) winning the Dean’s Cup.
Navigating through the academic prisms of law school, Adam has acquired several tricks of the trade in time management. He advised that students should always get their priorities straight and tackle things one at a time, according to urgency. Adam is also a sporty person who habitually plays futsal with members of the UM Law FC whenever there is a futsal session. He also enjoys going for a solo swim session whenever he feels tensed. According to him, being underwater allows him to relax and not think of his problems for a while.
A cool and optimistic person, Adam emphasised on going with the flow in life and always doing your best.
To encapsulate his philosophy in life, Adam had always been driven by his motto, “whatever you do, make sure to do it well enough and whatever will be, will be.” He encourages others to make the best out of any situation, even if the situation is beyond their control. He makes sure that whatever he chooses to do does not fall short of high standards. He also advises students to make the best of university life and to take time to discover their passion. “Then, give the best in what you are investing, and the experience will undoubtedly be meaningful and memorable.”
This article is written by Abdul Karim, a Faculty Achievement Editor of the University of Malaya Law Review.