In Vietnam’s legal community, Dr. Victor Tran is one of the most influential figures. He is a role model of inspiration for the younger generations of legal students, practitioners, and researchers.
Following the establishment of the Vietnam Legal Education and Career Forum (VLEC), he has made major changes to the law students’ career aspirations and positive impacts on the legal education as well as the legal system in Vietnam.
Dr. Victor Tran shared with us his on-going projects on legal education, and the VLEC’s role in promoting legal education in Vietnam.
Q: Could you please tell us the reasons behind your decision to found the VLEC?
Dr. Victor Tran: After years working and studying in various countries such as the US, Australia and the UK, I realized a number of drawbacks in Vietnam’s legal education and practice. One of the key problems is that our legal education does not equip students with the practical insights and orientation for specific career development. Hence, although Vietnamese students are talented, they do not know how to pursue their favorite career path, or even they have no idea of what they really like to do. This mostly comes from the fact that they lack information regarding practical work, career development strategy, or the opportunities for higher study or working overseas.
Witnessing all these drawbacks and problems, I think Vietnam needs a revolution in legal education. Then, I decided to establish VLEC in 2017 to help the students in Vietnam access to the information that the current education system fails to provide. Additionally, the Forum creates a platform for the exchange of ideas, technical knowledge, business opportunities among legal peers or even business students. After the foundation of VLEC, there has been a wave of information sharing where many similar sites and Facebook pages are inspired by the success of VLEC. And that’s what I expected when founding VLEC: creating a movement for sharing and exchanging information and opportunities for the younger generations.
Q: The VLEC has become the most popular forum for law students and legal experts in Vietnam. Can you tell us some notable achievements you have gained with VLEC so far?
Dr. Victor Tran: I have launched a great number of projects to support the community. In terms of information sharing, VLEC provides the students with posts, tutorial videos, and seminars (online and offline) in various topics such as technical knowledge, soft/hard skills, and career orientation. For industrial partnership, I co-operated with many law firms, corporations, and human resource companies to bring more job opportunities to the community. I also granted publication scholarships in which I tutored the students to publish research papers on various journals, and so many on-going projects regarding legislative process or community support. It should be noted that all of these projects are non-profit.
Q: You said that most of the VLEC’s projects (or even all) are not-for-profit. How do you keep on these works without financial gains?
In addition to the VLEC, a non-profit project, I established the VLEC Ltd, an educational and professional training center providing courses on lawyering skills, and legal knowledge for business people. The center now is considered as the leading of its kind in Vietnam’s legal education and has been receiving acclaims from both legal and business community.
Of course, I have to work as any other person for living, but financial gains are not my motives for life. To me, giving is receiving. I would feel useless and loss in life if I could not contribute to the country and my community. The love and the recognition from people around me are the values that I cherish.
Q: You just mentioned that Vietnam needs a revolution in legal education. How do you start this revolution? How is it going?
Dr. Victor Tran: (Laugh) It’s actually happening.
In my VLEC courses, I address the drawbacks of our legal education and how to solve these issues on short to long term basis. Because I have committed with the Australian government to come back and work in Australia in the future, for the current time in Vietnam, I try to train new generations of legal practitioners and lecturers with approaches of developed countries, specifically the US and Australia. Then, they can understand the country’s limitations and initiate new ideas to change Vietnam step by step. I have faith in younger generations and believe they will catch up with levels of students and practitioners from developed countries. That future will arrive soon!