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career transitioner/ restarter

Leanne Tham

Law Student, SUSS School of Law

(In her 40's)

Her story (as shared by her nominator)

Leanne gave up her almost 20 years of an established career as a scientist, in the domains of defence, pharmaceutical and food safety. She decided to undergo a mid-career change to study law and navigate towards a career as a family lawyer in the future.


As someone who has passion in volunteering, Leanne has actively volunteered at Dover Park hospice, meet-the-people sessions for the Telok Blangam community (as a petition writer) and also contributed to children's shelters. She has also volunteered in sporting events as a triathlon technical official. Recently, she also took on the role of a speech-to-text interpreter for the deaf community. Her compassionate heart also extends to animals, especially rabbits, and she was involved in private rabbit rescue work and did Responsible Pet Ownership outreach effort with the then Agri-Food Veterinary Authority (AVA) in her personal capacity. She has aspired to learn law to help the community and specifically focussed on family law.


Her active engagement in social service has earned her several recognitions from the hospice and community. Her passion in helping others was her main factor for choosing to give up a stable esteem job, to go back to school to learn family law.


Leanne's determination and bravery to take the step towards a mid career change is admirable. She aspires to be a Juris doctor to help the residents in the community, that she meets. Her spirit of helping others is a true inspiration.


In her own words:

Greatest achievement

Much of my motivation for switching careers to study law, is to enhance my skillset and contribute positively to my community, with the goal of "lay-Law to laymen". The training I have received in law school has been exceptionally enriching. It has enabled me to become an effective volunteer by helping me distill the 'what' when dealing with the issues faced by those I am assisting and aligning it with the 'how' of how legal principles and policies might work for them. Because of this, I find the strength and determination to persevere through the challenges of law school, knowing that I am on the right path with a clear purpose. I have no regrets.

Biggest challenge thus far

Returning to school after more than a decade, embarking on a high-barrier, unrelated course, and maintaining good grades for the Bar entrance requirements is no small feat for someone in their 40s.

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what judges say

Stands out in her absolute dedication across many fields, and her decision in pursuing legal education in support of underprivileged communities. Very admirable!

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