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.”
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