About this segment: Person of the Month is an initiative by 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.
Human Rights Conference 2016, one of ALSA UM's many brainchild under Hui Yi's leadership
Hui Yi, or better known as Caitlin, was the President of the University of Malaya chapter of Asian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) for the academic year of 2015/2016. Her tenure has been a glorious success as it was the first time ALSA UM organized the ALSA UM Symposium(AUS) 2016 during the annual Student Exchange Program in November 2015. The theme of AUS 2016 was “Future Lawyer in Asia Region.” Amongst the programs organized were a talk on “Liberalization of Legal Services in Asia,” a forum on “Young Lawyers in Globalized World” and a full day program on arbitration. It aimed to provide law students with the opportunity to have better exposure to legal practices in other Asia regions, internship, and exchange opportunities.
Besides, Caitlin's board has also organized two International Conferences with the themes of "Human Rights" and "Democracy" respectively. These conferences have provided platforms for law students from countries such as UK, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Bangladesh to share their views and knowledge on these subjects.
It was Caitlin’s hope that ALSA UM would be able to gain recognition and find its identity and she was glad ALSA UM is now known for its Symposium. Caitlin hopes that it will become a consistent annual event that allows international students to be exposed to Malaysian Law beyond the mere exchanging of cultures between international and local students during the annual exchange program.
Just recently, Caitlin proved herself to be an all-rounder when she was part of the UM contingent that did phenomenally well at the Chooi & Co moot competition
Hui Yi told us that her relationship with the faculty had been a mutually beneficial one where she contributed to the faculty and in return, acquired valuable practical skills no law book can ever teach such as interpersonal skills and team management skills. “I see myself as an ambitious person, and I emphasize my efforts on the execution of any task and the faculty has provided me with opportunities to try many new things,” she adds on.
Caitlin lives by the principle “you reap what you sow” and has indeed proven herself within the walls of the faculty. Since stepping foot in the faculty, she has been actively involved in a wide range of activities. In her first year, she was an Executive Officer of the Law Society and a Marketing Member of LawNite. She was also an executive member of ALSA UM 2014/2015 during her second year. In her third year, she was the President of ALSA UM and was part of the Orientation Week Committee. Now, she is a consulting member of the Legal Aid Clinic. A few days ago, she had also participated for the first time in a Moot Competition organized by Chooi & Co and finished as runner-up in the tournament, merely missing the championship title by one point to another University of Malaya team. She is very grateful that she had overcome her fears and had accepted the challenge to try something new before she leaves law school. The experience she gained from the competition was priceless, she says.
Hui Yi and her very capable team members from ALSA UM
As the President of ALSA UM, Hui Yi was a leader by action. She had always led with the principle that a team leader’s duty is not only to ensure that the vision of your association is achieved but that their biggest role is to help team members identify their full potential by giving them values and positively impacting their lives.
“Unity in a team is important to achieve anything,” she reminds us. In dealing with a myriad of members with different talents, Hui Yi experimented by assigning new tasks to her members so that they have space to grow and leave ALSA multitalented. Personally, she also always tried to give constructive criticisms and corrected her members where the need be. As a result of this, many members have expressed their gratitude to Hui Yi for allowing them space to make mistakes and to learn from them.
For Hui Yi, finding a place in the faculty has served her well. Today, she understands herself better now as she is more accepting towards her flaws, more aware of her potential and character. She is no longer the confused piggy-tailed girl in her first year that was struggling to juggle the many activities that she was attracted to. Working with the faculty and students has brought her self-contentment and self-satisfaction, and this only drives her to do better in future. Hui Yi, however, admits that she was less approachable in her first year as she was too engrossed in her work and did not take the time to interact with her batch mates. Given a second chance, she would like to get to know her batchmates better.
Currently, Hui Yi spends her time consulting clients under the Legal Aid Clinic team and as a final year student; she wishes to take things slow. “I want to leave the university stage gracefully as a valuable asset to this legal fraternity and society.” Before Hui Yi embarks on a new journey of self-discovery, she leaves a word or two for the fresh blood of the faculty. “Although you have big dreams, always remember to hold on to your life principles and keep your feet on the ground. Stay humble & stay true to yourself.”
Hui Yi thanks her ALSA members for always being supportive of her plans and for realizing her vision. Most importantly, she thanks God for placing these great friends in her life, helping her to achieve things she never thought of achieving.