Singapore, 23 May, 2022 – As part of efforts to nurture its future professionals regardless of their financial means, the Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”) has set aside more than $1.4 million over the next five years (2022 to 2027) to provide scholarships to students from Singapore’s three law schools. These scholarships ensure that no student is deprived of an opportunity to study law because they cannot finance their studies.
In a ceremony held this afternoon, Mr Rama Tiwari, Chief Executive of SAL, signed agreements with deans from the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Faculty of Law, Singapore Management University (SMU)’s Yong Pung How School of Law and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)’s School of Law. The signing was witnessed by Justice Kannan Ramesh, a member of the SAL Awards and Prizes Committee.
Started in 2017, the SAL Undergraduate Scholarship programme has benefited 10 students from NUS and SMU (read some of their stories in Appendix A). From this year, it will be extended to students from SUSS as well.
“The SAL Undergraduate Scholarship is a lifeline for bright students who do not have the financial means to access an education at Singapore law schools, which are among the best in Asia,” said Mr Tiwari. “We are pleased to extend our scholarship to students from SUSS, many of whom are mid-career adults. SUSS focuses on the areas of criminal law, family law and community justice—which are ‘bread and butter’ issues for Singaporeans.”
At the start of each academic year, the scholarship will be awarded to up to three students, one from each university. Recipients receive full tuition fees coverage for their law education and a sum for living expenses, working out to $23,000 a year for each NUS and SMU student and $21,610 for each SUSS student.
Recipients will also be given the option to participate in an internship programme at SAL, allowing them to contribute to its mission of enabling future-ready and trusted legal professionals. The experience allows them to forge meaningful networks with SAL members, who represent every segment of the profession.
Eligible candidates can apply through their respective universities during an annual exercise. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and selected by judges from the SAL Awards, Prizes and Scholarships Committee, comprising a panel of High Court judges.
Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, said, “Access to justice begins with access to law school. We’re deeply grateful to the Academy for its ongoing commitment to ensuring that a legal education is available to everyone – regardless of financial means. This support enables students who might otherwise not have received a legal education to realise their potential and, in many cases, give back to the community when they join the profession.”
Associate Professor Alvin See Wei Liang, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Teaching & Curriculum), Yong Pung How School of Law at SMU, said, “We are grateful to SAL for their encouragement of and commitment towards financially challenged law undergraduates at SMU. The Scholarship has and will continue to enable deserving students to enjoy a fulfilling university education free from financial burden and distractions, and motivate them to pursue all-rounded excellence. Moreover, the practical exposure they receive through the SAL internship programme certainly complements their academic learning in preparing them for the future of legal practice. We are also confident that SAL's generosity will inspire them to pay it forward when they begin their legal career in the near future."
Professor Leslie Chew, SUSS School of Law’s Dean, said, “At SUSS, a significant proportion of our law students are working adults, juggling work, family responsibilities and school. About one-third of them do not qualify for government subsidy and pay their school fees using their savings. This scholarship programme from SAL will help ease the burden of our students who are training to become socially-conscious family or criminal lawyers to contribute back to the community.”
Motivated by the faith that the scholarship selection committee had in her, Charmaine Sng, a fourth-year NUS Law student who has been supported by the scholarship since year one, poured her energies into honing her advocacy skills through mooting and other competitions. Her hard work paid off, and her team emerged Champions at the International Bar Association-Vienna International Arbitral Centre Mediation and Negotiation Competition, held virtually in July 2021. She said, “As graduation approaches and I reflect on my journey in law school, I am incredibly grateful for all the support SAL has given me, allowing me the peace of mind to enjoy my studies and the freedom to pursue meaningful extracurricular activities.”
Yuan Yang, a first-year NUS Law student, has been inspired by the scholarship to pay it forward by volunteering with ItsRainingRaincoats and with the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) to meet the needs of the migrant community in Singapore. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainties to my family’s financial position this year, and I am truly grateful to be granted the opportunity to put aside financial concerns and focus on my studies as well as giving back to the community”, shared Yuan Yang.
Ysabel Tan, who graduated from the SMU Yong Pung How School of Law in 2021, was one of the first recipients of the SAL Undergraduate Scholarship. The 24-year-old, who will be called to the Bar later this year, is now an apprentice at Taxise Asia, a boutique law firm specialising in international tax and international trade law. She recalled how the scholarship had enabled her to fulfil a childhood passion to do law without having to worry about putting a financial strain on her family. “I’m the oldest of three children, so there was always a worry that if my father had to pay for my education, there wouldn’t be anything left for the other two. Receiving the scholarship was a huge relief as it allowed me to focus on my studies. Thisopportunity to go to law school has opened my eyes to how vital law is to the community and has strengthened my conviction to help more people access justice.”
Sasiy Krishnan is a freshman at SMU Yong Pung How School of Law. Having overcome multiple hurdles throughout his educational journey, Sasiy is grateful for this scholarship as it provides him with the opportunity to pursue a law degree on equal financial footing with his peers, despite his underprivileged background. “Both of my parents are low wage labourers, and are in their sixties. Their monthly salaries are barely sufficient for our daily expenses. They are also suffering from chronic medical conditions, which gives rise to concerns around their long-term employability. This scholarship would greatly alleviate our family’s financial burdens and allow us to cast aside worries of being unable to afford my tuition fees and living expenses.”
– END –
For media queries, please contact:
Singapore Academy of Law
Koh Mui Leng (Ms)
Senior Manager (Communications)
National University of Singapore,
Faculty of Law
Huang Peiling (Ms)
Senior Assistant Director
Singapore Management University
Ms Valerie Ng
Senior PR Manager
Communications & Marketing
Singapore University of Social Sciences
About the Singapore Academy of Law
SAL’s mission is to enable future-ready, trusted legal professionals. The statutory body works with members and stakeholders to set new precedents of excellence in Singapore law through developing legal thought leadership, world-class legal technology infrastructure and legal solutions to support our members. Our mandates are to build up the intellectual capital of the legal profession by enhancing legal knowledge, raise the international profile of Singapore as a legal hub and improve the standards and efficiency of legal practice through continuing professional development and the use of technology. As a body established by statute, SAL also undertakes statutory functions such as stakeholding services and appointment of Senior Counsel, Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public.
For more information, please visit www.sal.org.sg
About the National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, with more than 40,000 students from 100 countries enriching our vibrant and diverse campus community. We have also established our NUS Overseas Colleges programme in more than 15 cities around the world.
Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 30 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy; environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems; Asian studies; and Smart Nation capabilities such as artificial intelligence, data science, operations research and cybersecurity.
For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.
About the Singapore Management University
Established in 2000, Singapore Management University (SMU) is recognised for its disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research that address issues of global relevance, impacting business, government and society. Its distinctive education, incorporating innovative experiential learning, aims to nurture global citizens, entrepreneurs and change agents. With more than 11,000 students, SMU offers bachelors, masters and PhD degree programmes in Accountancy, Business, Economics, Computing, Law and Social Sciences, and executive development and continuing education programmes. Through its city campus, SMU focuses on making meaningful impact on Singapore and beyond through its partnerships with industry, policy makers and academic institutions. www.smu.edu.sg
About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
SUSS is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through applied social sciences. We develop students and alumni to be work-ready and work-adaptive, aspiring to reach their full potential, through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness to meet the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning.
We offer over 80 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes, which are flexible, modular and inter-disciplinary, catering to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. SUSS also offers a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills upgrading of Singapore’s workforce.
Our programmes and courses are offered by our five schools:
- S R Nathan School of Human Development
- School of Business
- School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
- School of Law
- School of Science and Technology
To date, over 42,000 graduates have experienced our unique brand of education, and each year, about 17,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.
The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), as part of SUSS, leads in the field of research on adult and workplace learning and training of adult educators to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond.
For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg.