Certificate in Legal Practice


What is CLP?

Wiki definition:-

“The Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) is a 9-month long post-graduate course and examination taken by foreign law graduates and graduates of Bachelor of Jurisprudence (Hons)/B.Juris (Hons) from UMand Bachelor of Legal Studies (Hons)/BLS (Hons) from UiTM in order to become a qualified lawyer in Malaysia.

Like all law graduates, CLP graduates must proceed to chambering, which is a form of apprenticeship. After completing nine (9) months of chambering, the student may finally be called to the bar and become a qualified lawyer.

Examinations are normally held around July each year. Every student is required to sit for five subject papers, namely, General Paper, Professional Practice (covers of Land Law, Probate and Administration of Estates, Bankruptcy and Winding Up, Ethics of the Legal Profession, and Advocacy), Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Civil Procedure. The student must pass all papers in order to obtain the certificate. If a student fails one (1) paper he or she may be given a conditional pass and be allowed to resit that subject two (2) more times. However, if a student failed in two (2) or more papers, he must sit for the whole examination again in order to obtain the certificate. A student is allowed to sit for the examination four (4) times.

Students were denied access to the many relevant Statutes (Acts of Parliaments) during the exams, such as the Bankruptcy Act 1967, Companies Act 1965, Winding Up Rules 1997, Probate and Administration Act 1959, Legal Profession Act 1976, Legal Profession (Practice & Etiquette) Rules 1978, Legal Profession (Publicity) Rules, and many more.

The examination is extremely rigorous in that it has a very low passing rate of between 10% to 20% each year. This is due to the extremely high standard imposed by the CLP Board to ensure that only the best candidates go on to qualify and practice as lawyers.”

My personal definition:-
The most annoying, irritating, toughest, bad**s professional papers I had ever crossed path with. Why you ask, WHY? Let me tell you WHY I just cant seem to fathom this CLP.
11 subjects to cover in 9 months, no statutes allowed during exams except for High Court & Subordinate Court Rules & Criminal Procedure Code.
How crazy are their expectations meng?! In 9 months, you want us to memorise Malaysian law, almost all statutes and case laws, in addition to this misery, you won’t provide us with suggested past year answers and feedbacks. How in the world would we know what expected level of answers you want us to produce? 1st class answers? Psssh. In case you don’t know, most of us are just normal 2nd lower class LLB foreign graduates for god sake.

(photo credit: Google)

My exact reaction before and after the CLP exams. Heh.

I know I know, it is not impossible. Of course there were classmates who passed on their 1st sitting, 2nd sitting let alone 3rd sitting. And of course there were “mature” people who took CLP and eventually passed.

Me? With much embarassment I will tell you that I have sat for CLP 3 freaking times. 3 failed CLP results. 1st sitting-did it full-time (which I should have passed) but hey being the recently-graduated 22 year old was just too playful to comprehend the hecticness and lifeless CLP could be. So yes I flopped 4 papers that sitting. The 2nd & 3rd sitting, (did it part-time cos duh needed the $ to survive this expensive world) I did much better but not good enough for them as I passed 3 papers and failed 2. Yes, because I failed 2 papers I must resit all 5 AGAIN. Bravo.

To tell you the truth, I was dead tired, exhausted & drained. After going through that for 3 whole years I felt useless. Really I did. I felt that I’ve wasted 5 years of A-Levels & LLB for this impossible last-kopek examination before I get to fulfil my (and parents) dream of me becoming a lawyer.

So then after the 3rd sitting I decided to give myself a break from the CLP madness and focused on my career. It took only 2 years for me to break free from the CLP world and now 2 years later I am back thinking on whether I should try for my 4th and last sitting. I’m already in my late 20s. My peers are all on the right track of their career ladder, stable and happy. Here I am still going forward and backwards on deciding what I want to do in my life. To make it even complicated, I am currently sitting for my ICSA qualification as well. (Tahu ambitious tapi nak buek camno perasaan incomplete masih menghantui jiwaku)

What should I do? What must I do? Whats the best thing to do?


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