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 successes.
Calvin Wong Wai Hou is a final year student in the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya
With the end of LawNite Phronesis, UMLR has the pleasure of featuring the Director of LawNite 2014/2015, Calvin Wong Wai Hou! It started off with an unexpected nomination from his friend, Liew Yik Kai, which was a pleasant surprise. With that, this humble lad from Kuantan, Pahang, dropped his intention to focus on mooting during his second year and took up the challenge of organising a faculty dinner from scratch. “Admittedly I acted on impulse at first, but it’s one of my best yet. I saw so much potential in the event!” With a clenched fist in hand and a surge of determination, Calvin took up the mantle and hoped for the best.
For the uninitiated, LawNite is the faculty’s annual gala dinner initiated back in 1987 to celebrate academic and non-academic staff and the students of the University of Malaya Law Faculty as well as honoured members of the legal fraternity.
Being one of the most anticipated events among the various activities organised by the University of Malaya Law Society, it serves as a platform for the Faculty to acknowledge law firms who have shown their continuous support. LawNite is also a night to facilitate healthy and meaningful interaction between the students of the Faculty and those in the legal fraternity. Oftentimes, law firms utilise this event as an opportunity to scout for potential talents to recruit for internships and pupilage or maybe to just mingle freely with bright young minds.
Calvin with the committee of LawNite 2014/15, dressed smartly in various shades of blue
Themed Effulgence (derived from the Latin verb fulgēre which means "to shine"), LawNite2014/2015 was graced with the participation of a total of 20 law firms and corporate firms. In fact, it was one of the most successful LawNite yet, with the team securing the highest revenue recorded to date. One of the primary challenges faced by Calvin and his team was selecting the best and most suitable venue to host LawNite. Apart from running a 5-digit sum project, the task of matching the team’s budget with standard expectations of the event venue is a daunting experience.
Calvin also confesses that the task of securing appropriate performances to entertain the guests throughout the night is also equally as challenging. “We were just really relieved to see that everything ran smoothly as planned by the end of the day,” he smiled sheepishly.
On his criterion in selecting members for the team, he said commitment was of utmost priority. “Although having a diversely skilled committee is preferable, more than anything, we need members are willing to contribute to the team,” he confessed.
Finally, Calvin shared with us one of his secrets to a successful LawNite. He told us about his immaculate ‘Action Plan’ which he adhered to as a general guideline and his focus on unifying members from all bureaus once everything was in place. Calvin was also proactive as a Director. During his tenure, he took the initiative to revamp the Marketing proposal and together with his capable Marketing executives, refined the cold-calling format to perfection. Strong marketing was one of LawNite Effulgence’s strengths, earning the event the ‘Most Lavish’ title yet.
One of the memorable outings conducted to promote team unity amongst the committee members of LawNite 2014/15
All in all, he found the experience immensely rewarding as the team worked together according to his vision and ultimately, achieved their desired target. When asked what he would do differently if time-travel is possible today, he laughed and answered, “Conduct more rehearsals. That way, the team would have avoided the minor mistakes and paid more heed to those nitty-gritty details that would definitely make the night far more impactful.”
Calvin with his team and team facilitator after their triumphant win at the Asia Cup Moot 2015 in Japan
Currently, in his final semester, Calvin is proud to note his fair share of achievement in mooting with a couple of wins under his belt. His journey began since his earliest days in law school with the Internal Moot Competition (IMC) organised by the faculty’s Moot Club back in 2013. He then undertook an international experience right after with the Asia Cup Moot 2015 in Japan where the team returned with the Cup in hand. Confidence boosted by this tremendous achievement, he signed up for the Philip C Jessup Moot Court Competition 2016 where his team made the university proud by emerging as National Champions and went on to represent the country in the international rounds held in Washington DC. To him, one of the perks of joining this prestigious competition is to be able to be present at the commencement of the international rounds in Washington D.C and to witness outstanding performances from prominent teams worldwide. He is eternally grateful to the Faculty, his mooting teammates, and his fellow peers for the experience and continuous encouragement.
Calvin with the Philip C. Jessup moot team in traditional wear, representing the country in the 2016 Philip C Jessup Moot Court Competition held in Washington D.C, United States
Last but not least, he would like to extend his sincerest gratitude to his 2014/2015 LawNite organising team consisting of Alvin Lai, Chan Yuit Yarn, Goh Hui Wen, Vivienne Khor, Karen Tan, LiewYik Kai, Marco Tan, Yim Wei Ni, Francesca Chen, Ng Ying Ci, Eva Zheng and all others who have contributed to the success of LawNite 2015. The overwhelming success of LawNite 2015 was only possible due to the hard work, sacrifice and unparalleled dedication of all involved, who maintained a laser-like focus towards achieving a common goal. “It’s a team effort. I couldn’t have possibly done it without these exceptional individuals.”