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News > Event News > Alumni Black Box #3 - Law

Alumni Black Box #3 - Law

With Panthers of the past teaching those in the present, ISKL Alumni always find ways to give back to the community!
29 Dec 2021
Event News

"I love a good argument. It was like, how can I take arguing and make money from it? And I think that's why I went into law and used my ability to argue to help others. That's where it stems from." Those were the words of Hannah Costley, a criminal defense solicitor and ISKL Class of 2012 alumni, on why she chose to pursue law.

That is one of the many anecdotes from the third installment of ISKL's Future Ready: Alumni Black Box Conversations that brought together ISKL Alumni to shed some light on the realm of law. Helmed by ISKL's Director of Talent and Culture, Ika Muzamal, the event aims to give students an outlook of the different types of law and knowledge of the diverse array of institutions where they could potentially study.

Watch the video here: Alumni Black Box Conversations: Law | The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

Each episode of Future Ready Alumni Black Box Conversations explores a different academic and career pathway featuring alumni from all over the world who come together for a sharing session. Some talented and successful alumni joined Ika to talk about their respective journeys and shared advice for anyone who wishes to venture into law. The impressive lineup consisted of:

Professor William Birdthistle (Class of '91)
Sabrinne Gibson (Class of '11)
Hannah Costley (Class of '12)
Maggie Casey (Class of '14)
Jonathan David Ross Silva (Class of '14)

Ika, who is also an ISKL Alumni and Law grad, set the scene for viewers by explaining "we will be exploring some pertinent themes such as career pathways or what it's like to be in this field in reality." She then proceeded to ask our alumni the all-important question; why law?

Although he comes from a family of lawyers, Jonathan, a former legal associate at Shearn Delamore & Co, the oldest law firm in Malaysia, stressed how ISKL influenced his decision to pursue law. He said, "I decided to go to law school because I looked at the activities that I enjoyed at ISKL like MUN, debate, forensics, and I looked at the classes that I enjoyed, which were English, history, and commerce and social sciences."

Similarly, alumni Maggie who is currently pursuing law at the University of Ottawa said that "coming from ISKL, living overseas, understanding that the world is so broad and the legal system influences so much of our day-to-day lives. So that is what interests me."

When asked to advise students who want to pursue a similar pathway, all panelists unanimously agreed that internships are valuable in preparing students for the real world. Sabrinne, whose role as a Senior Investigator includes investigating allegations of discrimination, sexual and gender-based misconduct, said her internships helped her narrow down what she liked and disliked. The people she met were instrumental when she started her job quest up until now- adding that "I know that if I have any questions about anything in this field, that they would be the experts to ask."

Adding on to that, Professor William Birdthistle highlights how connecting with other students or alumni is one of the most valuable resources in high school when it comes to getting real-life testimonials about higher education. "It is something I encourage all ISKL students to do, which is to get in touch with alumni to ask them what it is like," he said.

Guided by our mission and vision, ISKL is committed to supporting our students in being ready for what the future may hold and equipping them with the lifelong skills they will need. Taking note of this, our alumni shared their perspectives on what we can expect in the future for the industry. Hannah discussed how there are more virtual hearings in the aftermath of the pandemic, but she believes that the criminal justice system will remain face to face because it is such a people-oriented area of law.

Echoing Hannah's sentiment, Professor William mentioned how AI is now used to process the bulk of work that goes into reviewing contracts adding, "I think there'll be plenty of technological disruptions to come. But I think fundamentally, the practice is going to happen. It's going to continue as it has for millennia because, at 2:00 am, when you're looking at being deprived of liberty, the first person you're going to want to talk to is a lawyer."

This is just a sneak peek of the insightful conversations that took place among our alumni. Head on over to our YouTube channel to watch the entire session; it is a session that is ipso facto worth exploring.

A big thank you to Hannah Costley, Jonathan David Ross Silva, Maggie Casey, Professor William Birdthistle, and Sabrinne Gibson for taking the time to offer valuable advice to our students and the ISKL community. They are a testament to how the ISKL Alumni always find ways to give back to the community.

Are you an ISKL alumnus interested in sharing your knowledge and participating on a future panel? Continue to share the Panther spirit by registering to be a part of our vibrant community at For more information, please contact [email protected].

Once a Panther, Always a Panther!

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