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SMU School of Law

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Established  2007
Campus  Urban
Founded  2007
Color  Purple
Dean  Yeo Tiong Min, SC
Colours  Purple
Phone  +65 6828 0100
SMU School of Law
Type  Private autonomous national university
Location  60 Stamford Road, Singapore
Address  55 Armenian Street, Singapore 179943
Hours  Open today · 8AM–7PMMonday8AM–7PMTuesday8AM–7PMWednesday8AM–7PMThursday8AM–7PMFriday8AM–7PMSaturday8AM–7PMSundayClosedSuggest an edit

Smu school of law dean s message 2015

The Singapore Management University School of Law (SMU School of Law) is one of the six schools of Singapore Management University. It was set up as Singapore's second law school in 2007, 50 years after the National University of Singapore. While the school traces its origins to the Law Department within the School of Business, it has since become a full-fledged law school covering all major areas of the law. It offers a four-year undergraduate single Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree programme, and a five-year double degree programme combining the law degree programme with one of SMU's existing non-law programmes: accountancy, business, economics, information systems, or social sciences. Students can also do a second major. In addition to the LLB, the school offers a full-time two- to three-year graduate Juris Doctor (JD) programme as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) programme. The Dual LLM in Commercial Law, which confers LLM degrees from Queen Mary University of London and SMU, was launched in 2015. In December 2016, the school moved to its new building, vacating its prior premises in the business and accountancy school buildings.


The school took in only 116 students in its first academic year, reaching a steady-state intake of 120 between 2008 and 2013. The intake after 2014 rose to more than 150, but is expected to be capped at 180 for LLB students. Admission to the law programme is competitive. In the 2015 University Admissions Exercise, both the 10th and 90th percentile had an Indicative Grade Profile (of Singapore-Cambridge GCE A-Level qualifications) of AAA/A. Approximately 1,300 applicants are shortlisted for an interview and a written test, with an estimated 150 admitted each year.

Since the launch of its international moots programme in 2010, the school has been to the championship final of the largest and most established international moot competitions: Jessup (2013 and 2014), Vis (2015 and 2016), Vis East (2015 and 2016), Price (2010, 2015, and 2016), ICC (2015 and 2016), Frankfurt (2015 and 2017), IHL (2016), and International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (2016).

History and milestones

The School of Law was preceded by the Law Department, which was created in 2000, and headed by Professor Andrew Phang (now Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of Singapore). A full-fledged law school was established in 2007 – 50 years after the establishment of the first and then-only law school in Singapore, NUS — following the encouragement of the Singapore Government, which had, during a major review, discovered a shortage of qualified legal personnel in Singapore. The school's first dean was Professor Michael Furmston, a foremost authority on contracts and commercial law in the Commonwealth. He headed the school from its inception in 2007 to 2012. Professor Yeo Tiong Min has been the dean since 2012.


  • 5 January: SMU School of Law is officially launched
  • 1 August: Professor Michael Furmston is appointed as the school's first Dean
  • 13 August: First intake of law students (116)
  • 2009

  • 30 January: Inaugural Law Play
  • 18 March: Launch of Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) programme
  • 30 April: Establishment of Centre of Dispute Resolution and International Islamic Law and Finance Centre
  • 31 October: Memorandum of Understanding with the New York State Bar Association to partner for U.S. Internships, Exchange Programmes and Knowledge Sharing
  • 2010

  • 1 May: Launch of Continuing Legal Education programme
  • 2011

  • 19 May: Launch of LLM (Master of Laws) programme
  • 2012

  • 21 February: Professor Yeo Tiong Min (1st Honorary Senior Counsel) is appointed as the school's second Dean
  • 2013

  • 7 March: First Asian university to join the THEMIS network
  • November: Partnership with Yonsei University to set up dual JD programme
  • 2014

  • 20 January: Groundbreaking ceremony for new law school building
  • 2015

  • August: Launch of dual LLM with Queen Mary, University of London
  • 2016

  • December: Relocation to the new law school building
  • International competitions

    Since the launch of its international moots programme in 2010, the school has been to the championship final of the largest and most established international moot competitions: Jessup (2013 and 2014), Vis (2015 and 2016), Vis East (2015 and 2016), Price (2010, 2015, and 2016), ICC (2015 and 2016), Frankfurt (2015 and 2017), IHL (2016), and International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (2016). As of February 2017, in just over five years since its first batch of students graduated in 2011, the school has won 19 championships and 19 first-runner-up titles in international moot competitions, in addition to 12 national round championships (including four Jessup national titles in the last five years). It set a world record of eight international moot finals in a single season in 2014/15 (winning a world record five), a feat it bettered in 2015/16 when it reached nine international moot finals. It also became the first university to successfully defend a major moot international title when it won back-to-back championships in the ICC moot in 2015 and 2016. It has the best track record in the Price, ICC, LawAsia, Hague, WTO/FTA, and Fletcher competitions.

    Most number of international championships in a season

    SMU set a world record by reaching eight international moot finals in a single season in 2015 (winning a world record five), a feat it bettered in 2016 when it reached nine finals. It also became the first university to successfully defend a major moot international title when it won back-to-back championships in the ICC moot in 2015 and 2016.

  • 5: Singapore Management University, 2014/15 (Asia Cup, Hague Convention, LawAsia, Vis East, ICC)
  • 3: Singapore Management University, 2015/16 (Price, ICC, WTO/FTA)
  • Most number of international championship finals in a season

  • 9: 2015/16 (Vis East, Vis, Price, IHL, ICC, WTO/FTA, Maritime Asia Cup, Ashurst)
  • 8: 2014/15 (Hague Convention, Asia Cup, LawAsia, Vis East, Vis, Frankfurt, Price, ICC)
  • Mooters with multiple international championships

    A number of its students have also earned the rare distinction of having won multiple international championships.

  • Bethel Chan (JD'15): Asia Cup'2014; Vis East'2015 (also a Vis'2015 finalist and Essex-SAL'2017 champion)
  • Chang Zi Qian (LLB'11): Price'2010; Youth for Peace'2011
  • Foo Shihao (LLB'15): LawAsia'2013; ICC'2015
  • Eden Li (LLB/BBM'16): Asia Cup'2014; Vis East'2015 (also a Vis'2015 finalist and Essex-SAL'2017 finalist)
  • Nicolette Oon (LLB'16): Asia Cup'2014; Vis East'2015 (also a Vis'2015 finalist)
  • Grace Sim (LLB'15): LawAsia'2014; Vis East'2015 (also a Vis'2015 finalist)
  • Jerald Soon (LLB/BBM'16): Asia Cup'2014; Vis East'2015 (also a Vis'2015 finalist)
  • Tan Jun Hong (LLB'16): ALSA'2014; Asia Cup'2014; Vis East'2015 (also a Vis'2015 finalist and Essex-SAL'2017 finalist)
  • Nanthini Vijayakumar (LLB'15): LawAssia'2013; WTO/FTA'2015 (also a Moot Shanghai'2014 finalist)
  • Samuel Yap (LLB'15): LawAsia'2013; ICC'2015
  • Head-to-head record for international moots

    The table below sets out the head-to-head record and outcomes for international moots that SMU and NUS both took part in in the same year.

    Jessup national round head-to-head record

    Of the various international moots that Singapore takes part in, only the Asia Cup and Jessup moots have national round requirements. The Jessup national round is administered by the Attorney-General's Chambers, with the Attorney-General presiding for the oral arguments. The first Singapore Jessup national round was held in 2011. As of 2017, SMU has 4 championships, 5 Best Memorial Prizes, and 3 Best Oralist Prizes, while NUS has 3 championships, 2 Best Memorial Prizes, and 4 Best Oralist Prizes.

    Other international achievements

  • Cyberweek eMediation: Top Party (2010; 2014)
  • 9th St John Street Chambers Moot: First Place (2012) (SMU student on exchange)
  • JustCite Procedural Justice Mooting Shield: First Place (2014) (SMU alumnus on BCL)
  • Essex Court Chambers-SAL Moot featuring SMU alumni: Champions (2016; 2017); Champions (joint teams with other alumni) (2013; 2014; Best Speaker (2016); Best Memorial (joint team with other alumnus) (2015)
  • Local competitions

    There are a number of local competitions ranging from moots to law reform that are open to law students from NUS and SMU. Some of the competitions, such as the Mallal and Advocacy Cup, pre-existed SMU and were only open to SMU from 2010 onwards. Other competitions, such as Harry Elias and Duane Morris were initiated at SMU and have been open to NUS as well.

    Other local achievements

  • Local record for most number of local moots won by a student: Nicholas Liu'15 with 6 (Advo Cup, Attorney-General's Cup, Harry Elias, Howard Hunter, MLAS, WongP)
  • Singapore Legal Forum Moot: First Place (2009)
  • The Living Courthouse Essay Competition: First Place (2009)
  • LexisNexis Rule of Law Essay Competition: 2nd Place (2013)
  • Christopher Bathurst Essay Prize: 3rd Place (2016)
  • Howard Hunter Moot

    The Howard Hunter Moot, named after the former President of the university, is an internal moot. The list of winners and finalists are as follows.

    Advisory Board

    The Advisory Board features a wide range of professionals in order to provide all-encompassing and comprehensive advisory assistance to the School of Law. This includes Supreme Court judges, senior litigators, corporate lawyers, managing partners of law firms and partners of foreign law firms. The Advisory Board is currently chaired by Mr Lucien Wong.

    Entry requirements

    To be admitted to the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) programme, applicants should have good passes in their respective GCE A-Level subjects. Specifically, the minimum requirement for a law applicant is an A or a B for H1 General Paper or H2 Knowledge and Inquiry. SMU releases Indicative Grade Profiles periodically for potential candidates. In the 2015 University Admissions Exercise, both the 10th and 90th percentile had an Indicative Grade Profile (of 3H2/1H1 content-based subjects) of AAA/A. Potential candidates are called for a short written test and a group interview.


    The LL.B. programme is a four-year programme. Students are required to complete a total of 36 course units, which include five compulsory course units from the University Core, 19 compulsory course units from the Law Core, a selected seven course units from Law Electives and five other course units from law-related courses like Financial Accounting and Finance For Law.

    Graduation requirements

    Aside from fulfilling the required curriculum, all SMU students are required to complete compulsory courses from the Finishing Touch programme; a series of required Career Preparation & Enrichment workshops to prepare students for internships and job applications. Further, students must complete ten weeks of internship and 80 hours of community service in order to graduate.

    Juris Doctor (J.D.) programme

    Introduced in 2009, the SMU Juris Doctor programme was started as an additional route for persons who already have a degree in another discipline or a law degree not recognized for the purpose of admission to the Singapore Bar to become members of the Singapore legal profession.

    Entry requirements

    Applicants have to had completed at least three years of full-time undergraduate education. For non-law graduates or law graduates from civil law countries or non-gazetted universities from common law countries, applicants must have at least a Cum Laude or Second Class Upper Honours degree qualifications. Furthermore, applicants must show proficiency in the English language. A TOEFL/IELTS/SAT 1 test is required if the applicant's undergraduate degree was not taken in English.

    Curriculum and graduation requirements

    SMU's J.D. curriculum is a mix of compulsory law courses and electives. Similar to the all SMU undergraduates, six weeks of law internship and 50 hours of community service are required for graduation. Students are required to complete a total of 25 Credit Units of law courses, following the same academic calendar as the Bachelor of Laws programme. Although students are expected to complete the programme within three years, the programme may be accelerated for completion in two and a half years (subject to approval).

    Master of Laws (LL.M.) programme

    The SMU Master of Laws (LL.M.) provides opportunities for persons aspiring to be legal specialists in the fields of Commercial Law, Dispute Resolution, and Islamic Law and Finance. Applicants must have a good LL.B. or J.D. degree and at least two years of professional legal working experience. Those without a basic law degree but who have substantial knowledge of and exposure to law may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Proficiency in the English language must be shown.

    The LL.M. is a one-year programme. Participants read a total of eight courses, including two prescribed courses, four specialisation courses and two free electives. Completion of this programme does not qualify graduates for entry to the Singapore Bar.

    Asian Peace-Building and Rule of Law Programme

    The Asian Peace-building and Rule of Law Programme (APRL) coordinates socio-legal research on the rule of law. It conducts seminars, carries out and supervises innovative scholarly research, and leads direct impact transitional justice initiatives in post-conflict Asian countries. APRL has worked with leading law schools, including Yale Law School and Berkeley Law School.


    SMU School of Law adopts a seminar-style teaching approach, similar to that in US law schools. This requires students to put in a substantial amount of pre-class preparatory reading and thinking, and to participate actively during class. The high level of engagement and interactive classroom pedagogy is aimed at enriching and deepening students' learning, thinking and mastery of a subject, thereby producing confident and articulate graduates.

    In line with this focus on student participation, a holistic approach will be adopted for course assessment. Significant emphasis will be given to class participation and presentations, with the weightage of written examinations kept to a maximum of 50%.

    International rankings

    In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, the school was ranked 101–150 for Law and Legal Studies from 2013 to 2016. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, the school's ranking was 151–200.

    The Bar, SMU Law Society

    The SMU Law Society, known as "The Bar", is the student representative body of the SMU School of Law. The Management Committee of The Bar consists of nine elected student leaders. In their year-long term in office, the Committee puts together a slew of fun and unique-to-law events against a backdrop of professional and academic development initiatives.

    Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice Club

    The Club was founded in early 2012 by a group of students passionate about giving SMU students opportunities to learn more about the criminal law practice. As many students do not have much exposure to this area of law apart from in class, few have a proper idea of what criminal law in practice is like.

    International Relations Club

    The SMU Law International Relations Club strives to forge and strengthen ties between SMU law students and the international law student community. Club activities include legal discourse, moots and even Mock UN conferences, allowing both conservative and progressive opinions to develop at an international level.

    Law Outreach Club

    The SMU Law Outreach Club was established by The Bar and the executive committee of the old Pro Bono Club. The Law Outreach Club aims to contribute to the community in aspects beyond pro bono work, and helps to facilitate activities such as the Ministry of Education Moot Parliament Programme and the NUS–SMU "In Session" Dialogue Series. The Club invites students to propose initiatives of service to the community.

    Moot Court Club

    Established in 2007, SMU Moot Court Club was formed to facilitate the development of mooting in SMU School of Law. During the course of the semester, the Club helps to organise various domestic moot competitions that are open to all law students.

    Corporate and Commercial Law Club

    Established in 2015, this club aims to provide the SMU Law student body with valuable opportunities to connect with leading practitioners in various fields. Through such interactions, students will get to hone their various interests, as well as have a better sense of what to expect from real-world corporate and commercial practice.

    SMU Law Athletes Club (SMULA)

    SMU Law Athletes (SMULA) was officially made a sub-club of the Bar in 2012. Some of the highlights for SMULA include the Captain's Ball League; exploratory runs around the city; conducting multiple sports clinics; and tasting gold in the inter-faculty category of SMUX AdRace 2012, a gruelling 40 kilometres (25 mi) overnight adventure race.

    Night Bike

    Law Night Bike is an annual event where law students ride on their bikes and cruise down the roads of Singapore at night. This event is popular amongst all law batches and has facilitated both intra- and inter-batch bonding.

    Law Musical

    SMU School of Law's Law Musicals are written, composed and directed by students and alumni of SMU School of Law.


    SMU School of Law Wikipedia