Maheswary Emmanuel, a lawyer, is in the cubicle of an office with two law students when a woman walks in, visibly distressed. She needs a shoulder to cry on, but as much as they sympathise with her, this isn’t the place for it.
Emmanuel and her team have precious little time to advise the client on her legal rights and remedies, as well as to ensure that she is clear about her decision should she opt to pursue a legal recourse. And with 15 cases to hear in just three hours, there’s hardly any time for commiserating with clients.
Two nights a month. Three hours a night. An average of 15 cases per session.
And the 60-year-old lawyer does all this for free.
This is her way of volunteering – by giving her time and skills at a pro bono legal clinic at the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) through the Singapore …