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BACHELOR OF LAWS

About 

SMU's undergraduate law programme aims to mould students into excellent holistic lawyers who will contribute significantly to society. The objective is to produce law graduates who have contextualised knowledge and the ability to think across disciplines and geographical borders. The LL.B. is a 4-year meritorious honours programme with 36 course units (CU) worth of courses. The LL.B. curriculum, regularly revised to meet the needs of a fast-changing economy, was originally formulated by legal academics and practitioners after extensive discussions, and endorsed by the Ministry of Law and Singapore's then Board of Legal Education. The curriculum is broad-based, comprising a mix of University Core courses, Law Core courses, Law-related courses, Law electives as well as General Education courses to ensure that graduates possess the desired contextual and cross-border knowledge and expertise.


Through our carefully designed curriculum and unique seminar-style teaching, we prepare our students not just to be experts in the law but also to be highly adaptable individuals with the necessary practical and soft skills to meet the demands of the modern legal and business world. 


Curriculum 

This suggested pathway is subject to change. Students are encouraged (where possible) to spread the required non-law courses across all 4 years of study.

In total, students are required to complete 36 units worth of courses. Every course has a designated course unit (CU), typically 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5.


LAW CORE COURSES (17.5 CU) 

  1. Commercial Conflict of Laws
  2. Comparative Legal Systems
  3. Constitutional & Administrative Law 
  4. Contract Law 1
  5. Contract Law 2
  6. Corporate Law
  7. Criminal Law 
  8. Law of Business Organisations
  9. Law of Equity & Trusts 
  10. Law of Evidence 
  11. Law of Property 
  12. Law of Torts 
  13. Legal Research & Writing
  14. Legal System, Legal Method & Analysis
  15. Legal Theory & Philosophy

To hone their legal writing skills, from Year 2 onwards, each student will be required to submit a substantial individual written assignment of between 2,000 and 3,000 words for one of the law courses read in each term.

LAW-RELATED COURSES (2.0 CU) 

  1. Financial Accounting for Law
  2. Finance for Law

 

Law Electives 

Students must complete 8.5 CU of law electives.


Commercial

  • Competition Law
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Insolvency Law
  • Domestic & International Sales
  • Financial Securities & Regulation
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Law of International Trade
  • Law of Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Legal & Commercial Principles in Project Financing Transactions
  • Legal Issues in E-Commerce
  • Lending & Security
  • Personal Property Law
  • Principles of the Law of Restitution
  • Shipping & Admiralty Law
  • Trade & Investment Law

Dispute Resolution

  • Advocacy
  • Appellate Practice in Civil Litigation
  • Deal-making & Dispute Resolution: Negotiation in an Age of Disruption
  • Evidence, Litigation & the Criminal Process
  • Introduction to Civil Procedure
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Mediation Law & Practice
  • International Moots 1 & 2
  • Pre-trial Practice in Civil Litigation

Inter-disciplinary

  • Information & Communication Technology and Law: Transactions
  • Introduction to Chinese History, Culture, Economics & Law
  • Law & Psychology
  • Medical Law & Health Policy
  • Privacy & Data Protection Law


Legal Theory

  • Economic Analysis of Law
  • Jurisprudence: Modern & Critical Theories of Law

Public/Regulatory

  • Corporate Crime
  • Family Law
  • International & Comparative Criminal Justice
  • Law & Regulation
  • Public International Law
  • Transnational Business & Human Rights

Regional/International

  • Chinese Contract Law
  • Comparative Constitution Law
  • Intellectual Assets & Law in Asian Economies
  • International Commercialisation of Intellectual Property
  • International & Comparative Insolvency Law
  • Information & Communication Technology and Law: Intermediaries
  • Law Study Mission to Asia
  • WTO: Law & Policy

Transactional

  • Drafting in Corporate Practice
  • Professional Mediation Skills

 

SMU Core equips students with analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as soft skills.



UNIVERSITY CORE COURSES (3.0 CU) 

The University Core courses equip students with the intellectual and analytical skills, and socially responsible perspectives needed to operate creatively in dynamic and challenging environments.

  1. Business, Government & Society
  2. Ethics & Social Responsibility
  3. Leadership & Team Building

ASIAN STUDIES CLUSTER (1.0 CU)

Asian Studies enable students to gain an understanding of the contemporary issues and challenges facing the Asian countries and/or cultures due to their inter-relationships and linkages. 

GLOBALISATION CLUSTER (1.0 CU)

The Globalisation courses enhance the students' understanding and knowledge of globalisation issues from the perspectives of various disciplines.

MODES OF THINKING CLUSTER (Any 1.0 CU) 

The Modes of Thinking courses develops in students to practice and apply different modes of thinking to tackle real life issues under changing and uncertain environment. 

  1. Critical Thinking in the Real World
  2. Managing Volatility, Uncertainty, Change and Ambiguity
  3. Creative Thinking (0.5 CU)
  4. Analytical Skills (0.5 CU)

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE (1.0 CU) 

The General Education courses enhance the knowledge and widen the perspectives of students across other disciplines independent of accountancy. Students are required to read a total of four courses from the General Education list.

SMU ELECTIVE (1.0 CU) 

Any 1 course unit from the undergraduate curriculum in SMU (including a law elective) 


Unique Teaching Style

As a student, you will be taught in an interactive style, where a single instructor leads a class of around 40 students through 12 weeks of rigorous seminars. This departure from the traditional lecture-and-tutorial mode of learning will allow you to acquire knowledge and problem-solve at the same time. You are expected to prepare for each seminar by completing pre-assigned readings so that you can participate in vibrant class discussions. Group presentations, written assignments, and active class participation are means additional to exams by which you are evaluated.

For skills-based courses, the focus is on hands-on work and closely supervised assignments. Legal practitioners and alumni are regularly invited to give talks to students, providing practical perspectives on how theory is applied. In SMU-X courses, experiential learning is taken up the next level as students engage in projects that require interdisciplinary knowledge and active mentoring. Our holistic pedagogy ensures our students graduate as dynamic, articulate, and analytically agile individuals ready to thrive in legal practice.


Rigorous Internship Programme

Our students are required to complete at least 10 weeks of internships before graduation. Internships are critical in exposing students to the practical workings of the legal system. Under our internship programme, students may choose to intern with a wide variety of law firms, legal departments, and government bodies with whom we have partnered. Our vast network even makes it possible for students to intern overseas. 

We have partnered with 

>100 law firms

and organisations.

 

Internships allowed me to experience the practical aspects of what I have studied in the classroom, and gain first-hand experience of what legal practice actually entails. SMU’s central location was very beneficial to my internship experience. As SMU is only one train station away from the places I interned at, I could easily visit the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library to research on difficult topics that I have been tasked to address.”

Cheng You Duen
Admission Year 2015

 


Conscientious Community Service

and Pro Bono Work

As a student, you will learn the importance of law as a noble calling through giving back to society. Our students are required to complete at least 80 hours of community service before graduation, of which 20 hours constitute pro bono work. Besides contributing to access to justice through the campus legal clinics run by our Pro Bono Centre, our students undertake pro bono projects in conjunction with institutions such as the Law Society and the Community Justice Centre. Through assisting practicing lawyers providing these services, our students are sensitised to the wider legal needs of our community.


Global Exposure

As a student, you will experience some form of global exposure, either from going on an exchange, an overseas internship, a law study mission or participating in an international moots competition. 

Exchange

We partner with universities worldwide in direct law-to-law and university-wide exchange programmes and are continually expanding our international exchange programme offering. We are the only Asian university in the THEMIS network of renowned European universities.


Percentage of law students

who went on exchange

>55%

Number of exchange partners: 

>80 and

growing

 

“Our exchange at Ghent University has been a challenging yet exciting semester. While we are familiar with class presentations as a normal part of SMU’s curriculum, the Masters Programme in Ghent University, from which we were allowed to pick courses, challenged the norms of continual assessment: from having the class conduct a student-led public conference, to the emulation of a court hearing before the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”). We also had the opportunity to deepen our understanding of European Union law through an organised visit to the CJEU in Luxembourg, and from our interactions with the diverse composition of European students in our classes”.

Benedict Chan Wei Qi, Ng Pei Qi and Zinia Ang
Admission Year 2014


Internships

Students may intern overseas with reputable law firms and related organisations of their own choice. Our partnership with the New York State Bar Association further provides our students with the opportunity to intern with firms in New York.

Law Study Mission

Our Law Study Mission course allows students to gain a better understanding of the legal system, business and culture of selected countries Students will visit these countries and engage in participant activities at law firms, legal institutions, governmental agencies and businesses.

International Moots Competitions

As a student, you will also have the opportunity to participate in our leading programme on International Moots. Mooting is essentially a simulation of the resolution of a dispute before a court or tribunal. Although our International Moots Programme was only launched in 2010, our students have regularly placed in the top 3 worldwide in the most prestigious international moot competitions (known as “grand slam moots”) that attract participations from hundreds of universities, including:

  • Philip C Jessup (Washington DC): 2013; 14. SMU has also won 4 of the last 5 national rounds
  • Willem C Vis (Vienna): 2015;16; Willem C Vis East (Hong Kong): 2015; 16; 17
  • Price (international human rights, Oxford): 2010; 12; 15; 16; 17
  • Frankfurt (investment arbitration, Frankfurt): 2015; 17
  • International Criminal Court (international humanitarian law, The Hague): 2015; 16; 17

 


EXPERT FACULTY

Our faculty comprises thought leaders who hail from world-renowned universities. All our faculty have postgraduate degrees from world renowned universities, such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Harvard University and Yale University; about one third have PhD qualifications.

 


Strength in Diversity

In both research and teaching, we draw on our diverse backgrounds and experience. Some of our faculty members are practising lawyers and legal consultants. Others are appointed to leadership roles in institutions such as the Singapore Institute of Legal Education and the Singapore Judicial College. In addition, a number of us have contributed towards the development of law by appearing before the courts in leading cases, in Singapore and abroad, as counsel; amici curiae (‘friends of the court’); or expert witnesses. We are sure that this diverse array of practical experience will benefit you as a student.

Active Contribution to the Development of Law

We believe that the best law teachers are those who contribute to developing and definitively professing the law. Our faculty members have written many of the leading Singapore law textbooks. Not only do they help students navigate the complexities of the law, these books are also regarded by practising lawyers and the courts alike as leading authorities in their fields. As a student, you will learn from those who have helped shape the very law they teach.

Cutting-Edge research

Our faculty members conduct research into a broad variety of subjects, from traditional disciplines such as the law of property and company law, to rapidly developing areas such as information technology and data protection law. We frequently publish in leading law journals such as the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, the Cambridge Law Journal, the Law Quarterly Review, the Modern Law Review and Legal StudiesOur faculty members also author monographs and treatises that command global readership. 


Vibrant Student Life

Our strategic location near the courts, Parliament and the central business district gives our students the opportunities to experience first-hand how laws are created, how legal disputes are adjudicated, and how laws affect businesses. Our location also means that judges, top lawyers and legal service officers frequently give talks to our students or even teach full courses.

More than work, our location between Fort Canning Park, Orchard Road and the Central Business District, our students have ready access to plenty of good food, fun and opportunities for experiential learning.

New students begin this exciting journey by participating in Law Camp, an orientation camp for first-year law students before the academic term. To help ease students in their transition to law school, all first-year students are assigned to members of the faculty, whom they may reach out to for academic advice. There is also a buddy system where first-year students are paired with second-year students. To continually engage with the students, the Dean conducts a townhall session with them every term. 

At law school, our students may choose to join a number of student-run law clubs. The SMU Law Society, fondly known as The Bar, is the representative body for students and organises a variety of events. There are also seven sub-clubs, each of which provides the opportunity to engage in more specific areas of interest.


>120

Co-curricular activities, student leadership groups and special student committees to choose from.

Student Clubs under the the School of Law.

 

“There is never a dull moment in law school! The study of law here goes far beyond plain memorisation of legal concepts. As students, we are constantly presented with real-life examples, which has no doubt trained my analytical and creative skills. During seminars, our professors also engage us in lively debates on unsettled areas of the law. This is what makes law at SMU so exciting and challenging.”

Jarren Koh Wei Shen

Lee Kong Chian Scholars' Programme

Admission Year 2016


AWARD OF THE LL.B. DEGREE

On successful completion of the LL.B. programme, students will be awarded the LL.B. degree. Depending on their overall performance, the degree will be accompanied by one of the following designations: LL.B. (merit), LL.B. (high merit), LL.B. cum laude (with distinction), LL.B. magna cum laude (with high distinction) or LL.B. summa cum laude (with highest distinction).

Graduates must attain a GPA of at least 3.00 in the courses leading to the LL.B. degree in order to practise law in Singapore. After graduation, graduates must pass Part B of the Bar Examinations before they are entitled to serve their Practice Training Period. If you graduate from SMU in December instead of June, you are allowed to serve your practice training period before passing Part B if you are able to complete the practice training period before attending any part of the preparatory course leading to Part B of the Bar Examinations (Rule 16(2)(c)); or where your practice training period (or part thereof) is served through working as a Legal Service Officer or under the supervision of a qualifying relevant legal officer (Rule 16(2)(d) read together with Rule 17(2)).

Under Rule 24 of the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2011, all graduates who are “qualified persons” are required to obtain approval from the Singapore Institute of Legal Education before commencing the practice training period.


Promising Career Pathways

Our graduates are highly sought after, having close to full employment soon after graduation, with higher average starting salaries than their peers from other universities. Based on the Graduate Employment Survey published annually by the Ministry of Education, the overall employment rate for our graduates has been consistently above 95% and our graduates draw the highest average gross monthly salary. This is a testament to the quality of our graduates and shows that our education approach fits market demands.

 

Many of our graduates have gone on to make their mark in the profession, industry and academia. Despite having only six cohorts of working graduates, a number of our graduates have already struck out on their own to establish their own private practice and legal-tech start-ups. With an alumni network numbering more than a thousand and growing steadily, current students truly benefit from networking and job opportunities. 

 


Overall Employment Rate: 

>95%

Our graduates draw the

HIGHEST AVERAGE GROSS

MONTHLY SALARY

Possible Career Pathways...

  • Academics  
  • Assistant/Deputy Registrars
  • Civil Service Officers
  • Corporate lawyers
  • Deputy Public Prosecutors
  • Disputes Lawyers
  • District Judges
  • Entrepreneur
  • In-house counsel
  • Justices’ Law Clerks
  • State Counsel

 

“I was deeply influenced by my professors at SMU. I saw in them a vision to nurture deep reflectiveness and intellectual sharpness in their students, and a passion to bring this vision to life by taking the time and effort to mentor students individually. They showed me what a difference a true educator could make in students’ lives, and instilled in me a conviction to follow in their footsteps.”

Kenny Chng, LL.B. (Summa Cum Laude)

Class of 2012

Lecturer of Law, SMU, currently pursuing LLM at Harvard in 2017-2018

Last updated on 18 Apr 2018 .