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The Rebirth of Lexicon

A derivation from the French word “renaissance”, rebirth signifies a movement of revitalisation. Echoing this sentiment, Lexicon has undergone significant changes and reinvented itself through the embrace of progress to become the student-driven publication you see today.

Without the past, there is no present or future. In homage to Lexicon’s second anniversary (which was on August 23rd), we interviewed Beverley Ramona Tan, who spearheaded Lexicon’s transition from print to digital.

Apart from balancing her studies as a CLP candidate, 22-year-old Beverley has been bestowed the honour of working as a Special Research Assistant (Legal) under Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, former Chief Justice of Malaysia at Messrs Sitiwin & Jinton

What prompted you to establish an editorial board specifically for students of Taylor’s Law School?

When Beverley first started her journey in Taylor’s Law School, Lexicon magazine was introduced to her as a hard copy magazine, consisting of articles on legal issues that revolve around a specific theme chosen for each issue. In 2018, she was entrusted with the editor position in Lexicon and began her tenure.

Unlike previous issues, the 2018 Lexicon magazine adopted a brand new approach by featuring law students on a more personal note – specifically their lives in Taylor’s Law School. Upon publishing, to their surprise, most students took more interest in reading pieces featuring themselves, their peers and the ins and outs of law school. They further noticed the disconnection between different societies in law school.

“As the cohort grew bigger, it felt like there was a gap that needed to be filled to tie the entire structure together.”

Eventually, the decision of shifting legal journals to CRELDA helped clarify the jurisdiction of both Lexicon and CRELDA. Signifying the starting point of its rebirth, Lexicon took the initiative of directing focus towards curating student-centric content, such as opinion pieces, interviews and event summaries.

“Upon said consensus, our faculty advisor, Dr Sia Chin Chin and the new team consisting of Ms. Cynthia Lorraine, Ms. Sanggeeta Suriya Kumar, Ms. Genevieve Chiu and myself, decided that Lexicon would be more accessible if it were to shift online.”

What was the experience of establishing the new Lexicon like?

When speaking about her experience, Beverley reminisced about the times when the editorial board was still relatively new.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking as we were trying something new, and we did not go into it with an established following.”

They would have to navigate the operations and the structure of this ‘newly-formed’ Lexicon with full caution, in hopes of reaching the expectations of many. Nonetheless, Beverley and her team received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from leaders of other societies, where good rapport and good working relationships were formed. The uncertainties, the mist and the blurry lines… they all gradually cleared up. Through mutual relations, the committee was able to flourish and grow, together along with the others.

“On a more personal note, I had a fantastic committee for both my terms as an editor.”

When speaking about her committee, Beverley expresses her utmost gratitude and appreciation for her responsible, cooperative and committed co-editors. No arguments, no ego, no drama – it was a collaborative endeavour where the team worked on an even playing field with open-minded hearts. The team prioritised and focused on churning out quality articles and putting forth their best effort.

What was the one thing you loved about the job?

As a former editor, Beverley valued the freedom and trust afforded to her and her team. They were allowed to exert creativity in painting the picture they visualized. Articles with new ideas that they wanted to pursue were allowed to be produced, and Lexicon was able to be shaped in line with what they envisioned. Notably, their advisor had placed a great deal of trust in their decision-making. Instead of being demanding, their advisor invited discussions, allowing them to pitch for their ideas openly. On that note, Beverley expresses her gratitude for her wonderful advisor.

What was the most memorable moment of your journey with Lexicon? Conversely, what was the most challenging?

The most memorable moment for Beverley, in the course of her tenure, was definitely the time spent with her committee. Occupying the meeting room on level 5, they would draw up new plans and proposals for the upcoming semester. These early preparations ensure Lexicon operates at a smooth and steady pace.

Whilst for the most challenging part, Beverley stated that the team was under pressure while trying to figure out methods to raise the profile of the ‘new’ Lexicon. To be exact, the team had encountered tons of hardships and obstacles in trying to make the students aware of its rebirth.

In your opinion, how has Lexicon evolved over the years?

Over the years, Lexicon has evolved content-wise. Journal articles were no longer published whilst Beverley and her team directed their focus towards student-centric content. Beverley believes that in facing the effects of the pandemic, the subsequent editorial boards will definitely be able to come up with various new segments to cater to readers’ wants.

What does Lexicon mean to you?

To Beverley, Lexicon is ground zero for the law school - a platform created solely for law students and by law students. In simpler terms, she highlights that Lexicon can be anything the editorial team wants it to be. The sky's the limit for its creative direction and the editorial team is the ones at the wheel. The editorial team will always have the authority to control where they are heading towards and how they want Lexicon to be perceived by the readers.

What do you think, and hope, will be the future of the Lexicon?

For Beverley, her greatest wish is definitely for Lexicon to continually strive to provide more in-depth, diverse and inclusive content. She expresses her wish for more publications of informed opinions in relation to current affairs around the world. As a side note, she was deeply impressed with the articles put forth by all subsequent editorial boards and she believes that Lexicon is heading towards a bright path.

Do you have any advice for the current Lexicon board and students who intend to join Lexicon in the future?

“My advice for the current board would be to be brave, inclusive and honest in the content you put out. ”

Beverley extends her greatest wish for the current board to place sincerity in writing their article pieces for publication. In dealing with third parties, her advice is for the team to act in a professional manner and also be understanding of the varying circumstances. The editorial team should also take the initiative to foster good relationships with the other societies, where they will be able to help each other to grow.

Lexicon, upon its rebirth, is and always will be a place that brings law school together, with the belief that every law student of different interests can always find common ground here. Beverley hopes that the current editorial board can always bear this spirit in mind and always seek to maintain it.

As for the freshmen of Taylor’s Law School (TLS), Beverley offers her words of wisdom by encouraging them to take the leap of faith. As Robert Orden remarks, “Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator”. At the end of the day, the choice is yours and ‘you’ have enough control to dictate your life. On that note, Beverley further emphasised making the best out of your time in law school.

“Be bold, foster original ideas and you may end up making a real difference. ”

Lexicon extends its gratitude to Beverley for her generosity in sharing her experiences and for offering valuable nuggets of wisdom. Hopefully, this article will help our readers get a better picture of how Lexicon came to be.

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