Law schools in Singapore
Singapore offers undergraduate as well as post-graduate degrees in law. If your perception is that a lawyer’s job would be exciting and glamorous, you need to be aware that in Singapore, it is a demanding profession and may require working in a high pressure environment. However, you may be compensated adequately for the hard work you put in.
The National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (NUS Law), the country’s oldest law school, and the Singapore Management University School of Law are the most reputed law schools in Singapore.
NUS Law offers three-year and four-year LLB, LLB double honors degree, LLM, and PhD. LLB candidates for NUS Law are shortlisted for a written “Law Test” and interview based on their 12th standard results. The test and interview are usually conducted in mid-April.
SMU offers the undergraduate Bachelor of Laws, the postgraduate JD and Master of Laws, and research programs. For the bachelor’s degree, 12 years of formal education, SAT or ACT, including the writing test, or TOEFL or IELTS are required. Shortlisted applicants are called for a written test and interview.
Other law schools in Singapore include Kaplan Higher Education Academy, Amity Global Business School and ITC School of Laws.
For the three-year LLM degree at NUS Law, candidates should apply online for being shortlisted for the entrance test and interview, giving academic/employer references or CV, and proof of proficiency in English language.
For the four-year LLM course, too, applications have to be submitted online with supporting documents.
For SMU admissions, along with the online application, supporting documents should be uploaded. The university accepts hard-copy application, too, after online applications have been submitted.
Tuition fee in Singapore is heavily subsidized according to eligibility. The non-subsidized tuition fee for 2019-20 is S$46,760 and the tuition fee for international students S$27,050.
The non-subsidized special term tuition fee for each optional course is S$4,676 (for international students S$2,705).
Living expenses can be in the range of S$750-S$2,000 a month.
Becoming a lawyer
After completing the JD degree, you need to pass the Bar Examination andcomplete the practice training under the supervision of an experienced lawyer for at least six months inorder to obtain a practising certificate.
A few recommendations have been proposed by the Ministry of Law which would be applicable for the Bar examinations to be held in 2023. This would include uncoupling the practice training contract from admission to the Bar.
This would mean that law graduates can be admitted to the bar and need not complete the practical training contract if they choose to pursue alternative careers.
However, if you wish to practice law, you’d be required to complete the practical training contract, the duration of which would be stretched from the current six months to one year.
This period was extended taking into consideration the fact that in UK, France, and Germany, the period of traning for solicitor’s is two years.
A longer traning period would help traninees build a solid foundation which would benefit them in the long run. Another change would be to raise the standard of the Singapore Bar examination.
The average annual salary of lawyer/advocate is S$77,395 (salary range S$37,000-S$235,000), according to Payscale.
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