The newly introduced Law School at the SIM University’s (UniSIM) School of Law has met with strong interest

Singapore’s first law degree programmes with a focus on training criminal and family lawyers have met with strong interest.

400 applicants applied for a total of 60 places in the first intake of the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Juris Doctor (J.D.) programmes.

The two law programmes, whose first intake in January 2017, are offered by SIM University’s (UniSIM) School of Law, Singapore’s third law school and the only one to specialise in criminal and family law.

A little more than half the successful applicants have been offered places for the J.D. programme. That means for students who already have a Bachelor’s degree in other disciplines were offered this programme.

27 students have successfully gained entry into the undergraduate LL.B. programme. These students had ‘A’ Level or Diploma qualifications.

A large number were mature applicants counting an average working experience of 11 years. Paralegals, law enforcement officers, court employees, teachers and social workers are among the successful applicants.

These applicants demonstrated a strong inclination towards criminal law and family law, based on their relevant experience. UniSIM School of Law which aims to train lawyers to fill the industry gap in the said field, had a rigorous selection process.

Besides the basics, the applicants had to take the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT), a UK admissions test to assess skills required for law and these include English proficiency and reasoning skills.

“400 applicants applied for a total of 60 places in the first intake of the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Juris Doctor (J.D.) programmes.”

For applicants who were not fresh school leavers with ‘A’ Level or Diploma qualifications, they had to provide a profile, including a resume and clear an interview. A total of 62 lawyers and community representatives formed the panels which conducted these interviews.

With its emphasis on applied learning, UniSIM School of Law is collaborating with relevant private and public sector agencies to deliver real world curriculum.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) under which SAL will conduct the IT‐briefing component of the Legal Writing and IT Essentials course.

“We are heartened and impressed by both the strong demand and quality of applicants. Many of the applicants have compelling real‐life experiences that persuaded the interviewers that they are serious about becoming criminal law practitioners and family lawyers. They are the kind of students with exactly the right background and disposition that we are looking for to meet the increasing social need for such lawyers in Singapore,” said Professor Leslie Chew, SC, Dean, UniSIM School of Law.

The Ministry of Law will be making available study awards to assist Singapore citizens who are ineligible for the MOE Tuition Grant as they have previously attained an undergraduate or higher qualification through Government subsidy or sponsorship. Successful study award recipients will each be given $15,000 per year.