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SMU School of Law


SMU School of Law

School of Law
Singapore Management University
The School of Accountancy and School of Law building
Established 2007
Type Private autonomous national university
Dean Yeo Tiong Min, SC
Location 60 Stamford Road, Singapore
Campus Urban
Colours Purple     
Logo of the Singapore Management University

The Singapore Management University School of Law (SMU School of Law) is one of the six schools of Singapore Management University, and Singapore's second law school. The school is headed by Professor Yeo Tiong Min, Singapore's first Honorary Senior Counsel. The Advisory Board is chaired by Lucien Wong, Chairman and Senior Partner of Allen & Gledhill LLP. The school 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. The school also has a full-time two- to three-year graduate Juris Doctor (JD) programme, and offers a Master of Laws (LLM) with specialisations in Commercial Law, Dispute Resolution, and Islamic Law and Finance.

The school took in 90 students in AY 2007, reaching a steady-state intake of 120 from AY 2008 onwards.[1] Admission to the law programme is competitive. About 700 applicants out of 1,000 applicants who apply each year are shortlisted for an interview and a written test, with only about 120 admitted each year. In 2012, 115 places were taken up.[2] It is likely that the school would revise its annual intake of undergraduates upwards to 180 undergraduates annually in the next three to five years, starting from AY 2013.[3]

As of 2014, in just slightly over three years since its first batch of students graduated, the school has won 11 championships and nine first-runner-up titles in international moot competitions, in addition to seven national round championships.


  • History and milestones 1
  • Student performance 2
    • International competitions 2.1
      • Track record 2.1.1
      • Other international achievements 2.1.2
    • Local competitions 2.2
      • Track record 2.2.1
      • Head-to-head record 2.2.2
      • Other local achievements 2.2.3
      • Howard Hunter Moot 2.2.4
  • Advisory Board 3
  • Programmes 4
    • Bachelor of Laws 4.1
      • Entry requirements 4.1.1
      • Curriculum 4.1.2
      • Graduation requirements 4.1.3
    • JD Programme 4.2
      • Entry requirements 4.2.1
      • Curriculum and graduation requirements 4.2.2
    • Master of Laws (LLM) 4.3
    • Asian Peace-Building and Rule of Law 4.4
  • Pedagogy 5
  • The Bar, SMU Law Society 6
    • Sub Clubs 6.1
      • Law Outreach Club 6.1.1
      • Moot Court Club 6.1.2
      • International Relations Club 6.1.3
      • SMU Law Athletes Club (SMULA) 6.1.4
      • Criminal Law Club 6.1.5
    • Signature events 6.2
      • Night Bike 6.2.1
      • Law Musical 6.2.2
  • Notes 7
  • References 8

History and milestones

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


  • 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: First ever Memorandum of Understanding with the New York State Bar Association to partner for U.S. Internships, Exchange Programmes and Knowledge Sharing


  • 1 May: Launch of Continuing Legal Education programme


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


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


  • 7 March: First Asian university to join the THEMIS network

Student performance

International competitions

SMU law students began taking part in international competitions in 2009, two years after the law school was formed. In its first ever international moot competition, SMU reached the final and came in 1st-runner-up in the 4th edition of the LawAsia arbitration moot in Ho Chi Minh City. A year later, in its debuts in the Price and Asia Cup moots in Oxford and Tokyo respectively, SMU emerged champions for both. SMU mooters have gone on to score various honours in major international competitions, such as setting a Singapore record of garnering five Honorable Mentions at the Vis arbitration moot in Vienna in 2012, and reaching the final and coming in 1st-runner-up in their maiden attempt at the international rounds of the Jessup moot in Washington D.C. in 2013 (thus becoming the youngest and fastest ever law school to reach the final); the school would reach the final again in 2014. As of April 2014, in just slightly over three years since its first batch of students graduated, the school has won 11 championships and nine first-runner-up titles in international moots, in addition to seven national round championships.

Track record

Competition Debut Last entered Champion Runner-up Semi-finalist/Top 5 Quarter-finalist Octo-finalist 16th-finalist Seeding Memorial prizes and notable rankings Oralist prizes and notable rankings Remarks Did not participate
Jessup Moot 2011 2014 National rounds: 2013;[4] 2014

International exhibition rounds: 2011;[5] 2012[6]
National rounds: 2011; 2012

International rounds: 2013;[7] 2014[7]
1st (2014);[8] 5th (2013)[9] National rounds: 2011 (1st); 2012 (1st); 2013 (1st)[4]

International rounds: 2014 (2nd (Best Applicant), 3rd (Dillard), and 5th (Evans))[10][11]

International exhibition rounds: 2011 (2nd)
National rounds: 2013 (1st);[4] 2014 (1st)

International rounds: 2013 (14th);[12] 2014 (20th)[13]

International exhibition rounds: 2011 (1st)
Vis Moot 2011 2014 2012;[14] 2013[15] 3 of 290 (2014); 20 of 282 (2012); 25 of 290 (2013); 81 of 254 (2011) 2012 (HM x 2);[14] 2013 (HM);[15] 2014 (HM)[16] 2011 (HM);[17] 2012 (HM x 3);[14] 2014 (4th; HM x 2)[16] Orals HM: 2012; 2013; 2014[14][15][16]
Vis East Moot 2010[18] 2014 Pan-Asian Final: 2013[19] 2012[20] 2014[21] 6 of 99 (2014); 11 of 90 (2012); 25 of 93 (2013); 43 of 85 (2011); unknown (2010) 2010 (HM);[18] 2012 (HM);[22] 2013 (HM)[23] 2014 (6th and 14th)
Moot Shanghai 2014 2014 2014[24] 5 of 30[25] 2014 (1st)[24]
Oxford Monroe Price Moot 2010[26] 2014 2010[26] 2013[27] 2012;[28] 2014[29] 1st (2010); 2nd (2013); unknown (2012 and 2014) 2010 (1st)[26] 2012 (2nd);[28] 2013 (4th)[27] 2011
LAWASIA Moot 2009 2014 2013; 2014 2009;[30] 2011;[31] 2012[32] 1st (2013; 2014); 2nd (2009; 2011);[33] 6th (2012) 2013 (1st); 2014 (1st) 2013: Spirit of LawAsia 2010
Asia Cup 2010[34] 2014 National rounds: 2010;[34] 2011;[34] 2012; 2013; 2014

International rounds: 2010;[34] 2011;[34] 2014[35]
International rounds: 2012;[36] 2013[37] 1st (2010; 2011; 2013; 2014); 2nd (2012) 2010 (3rd);[34] 2011 (5th);[34] 2012 (5th);[36] 2013 (5th) 2010 (3rd x 2);[34] 2011 (3rd);[34] 2012 (5th);[36] 2013 (1st, 3rd, and 4th x 2);[37] 2014 (1st and 3rd)[35]
IHL Moot 2010 2014 2010;[38] 2011;[39] 2012;[40] 2013;[41] 2014[42] 1st (2014); 2nd (2011); 4th (2013) 2010 (3rd);[38] 2014 (3rd)[42] 2012 (2nd);[40] 2014 (1st and 2nd)[42] Joint team with NUS between 2011–2014
Choice of Court Convention Moot Competition 2014 2014 2014 2014 (Best Finals Oralist)
International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot 2013 2013 2013[43] 2nd (2013) 2013 (6th and 10th) 2013: Best Newcomer[43] 2014 onwards
Herbert Smith Freehills-Asian Law Students Association Moot 2009 2014 2014 2009 2014 (Best Finals Oralist) 2010–2013
ICC Mediation 2014 2013; 2014 Top 10: 2010[44]
Youth for Peace International Law 2010 2011 2011 Joint team with NUS in 2011 2012 onwards

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)

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.

Track record

Competition Debut Champion Runner-up Finalist Best memorial Best oralist Did not participate
Advocacy Cup (Trial) 2011 2013 2014 2014 NA NA 2012
A-G's Cup (Criminal Law) 2011 2012; 2013; 2014 2011; 2012; 2014 NA 2013 NA NA
Duane Morris (Transactional) 2014 2014 2014
Harry Elias (General) 2011 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014 2011; 2012 2012; 2014 2011; 2012; 2013 2011; 2012; 2013 NA
Law Reform (Essay) 2012 2012; 2013; 2014 2012; 2013 2012; 2013; 2014 NA NA NA
BA Mallal (General) 2010 2012 2013; 2014 NA 2011
Rodyk Challenge (Debate) 2012 2012; 2014 2013 NA NA 2012 NA
Stamford (Corporate) 2013 2013 2014 2013 NA
WongP (Arbitration) 2010 2012 2012; 2013 2011; 2012; 2013 (2) 2010 NA

Head-to-head record

Year Advo Cup AG's Cup Duane Morris Harry Elias Law Reform Mallal Rodyk C Stamford WongP
1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd

Other local achievements

  • Singapore Legal Forum Moot: First Place (2009)
  • The Living Courthouse Essay Competition: First Place (2009)
  • LexisNexis Rule of Law Essay Competition: 2nd Place (2013)
  • Essex Court Chambers-SAL Moot (SMU alumni): Champions (joint teams with NUS alumni) (2013; 2014)

Howard Hunter Moot

The Howard Hunter Moot, named after Law Professor and former President of the university, is an internal moot.

Year Winner Runner-up Finalists
2014 Tan Jun Hong Li Kun Hang Darren Chye; Wong Yan Yee
2013 Nicholas Liu Jeremy Yeap Sui Yi Siong; Jitr Vilaivongse
2012 Qabir Sandhu Annabelle Teo Kenneth Lim; Nicholas Liu
2011 Ng Cheng Wei and Al-gene Tan Ang Kai Wen and Lin Chunlong NA
2010 Elycia Koh and Jane Lim Ang Kai Wen and Sruthi Boppana NA
2009 Nicholas Poon and Asiyah Arif Eunice Lim and Jane Lim NA

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.[45]

Mr Lucien Wong Chairman and Senior Partner Allen & Gledhill LLP
Mr Chua Lee Ming General Counsel Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd
Ms Rachel Eng Managing Partner WongPartnership LLP
Ms Blossom Hing Director Drew & Napier LLC
Mrs Koh Juat Jong, SC Solicitor General Attorney-General's Chambers
Dr Stanley Lai, SC Head of Intellectual Property Practice Allen & Gledhill LLP
Mrs Lee Suet Fern Senior Director Stamford Law Corporation
The Honourable Justice Quentin Loh Judge Supreme Court of Singapore
The Honourable Justice Judith Prakash Judge Supreme Court of Singapore
Mr John Savage Partner King & Spalding LLP
Mr David H. Zemans Managing Partner Milbank, Asia


Bachelor of Laws

LL.B. students from the School of Law visiting Parliament House in March 2011

Entry requirements

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 Knowledge Inquiry. SMU releases Indicative Grade Profiles periodically for potential candidates. In the 2012 University Admissions Exercise, both the 10th and 90th percentile had an Indicative Grade Profile (of 3H2/1H1 content-based subjects) of AAA/A.[46]

Potential candidates would be called down for a group interview, with a short written test thereafter.


The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programme is a four-year programme. Students are required to complete a total of 36 course units and an internship programme. These 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, job applications and necessary skills for future career success. Further, students must complete a 10-week Internship Attachment and 80 hours of Community Service in order to graduate.

JD Programme

Introduced in 2009, the SMU Doctor of Jurisprudence programme was kickstarted as an additional route for persons who already have a degree in another discipline or a law degree from another jurisprudence to become qualified persons of the Singapore legal profession.

Entry requirements

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

Curriculum and graduation requirements

SMU's JD curriculum is a mix of compulsory law courses and law electives. Similar to the all SMU undergraduates, 6 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 generic Bachelor of Laws programme. Although students are expected to complete the programme within 3 years, the programme may be accelerated for completion in 2 to 2.5 years (subject to approval).

Master of Laws (LLM)

The SMU Master of Laws provide opportunities for persons aspiring to be legal specialists in the field of Commercial Law, Dispute Resolution and Islamic Law & Finance. Applicants must have a good LLB or JD degree and at least 2 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.

It is a one-year programme. where participants read a total of 8 courses. This includes 2 prescribed courses, 4 specialisation courses and 2 free electives. However, completion of this programme does not entail qualification to take the Singapore Bar.

Asian Peace-Building and Rule of Law

The Asian Peace-building and Rule of Law Programme (APRL) serves as a focal point for coordinating cutting-edge socio-legal research on the ‘rule of law' at SMU School of Law. To this end, APRL conducts seminars, carries out and supervises innovative scholarly research, and leads direct impact transitional justice initiatives in post-conflict Asian countries. APRL has had the privilege of working 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%.

The Bar, SMU Law Society

The SMU Law Society,[47] known as “The Bar”, is the student representative body of the SMU School of Law. The Seventh Management Committee (7th MC) of The Bar consists of eight elected student leaders. In their year-long term in office, the committee puts together a slew of fun and unique-to-law events, against the backdrop of professional and academic development initiatives.

The Management Committee

Post 7th Management Committee
President Muhammed Ismail
Vice-President Hiren George Jonas
Secretary Bernice Tian
Finance Director Wong Ee Vin
Professional & Academic Development Director Foo Xian Fong
Events Director Pang Hui Min
Marketing Director Guo Yanling
Public Relations Director Benavon Lee

Sub Clubs

Law Outreach Club

The SMU Law Outreach Club was recently established by The Bar and the Exco of the old Pro Bono Club. The Law Outreach Club aims to contribute to the community in aspects beyond pro bono, and will help to facilitate activities such as the MOE Moot Parliament Programme and the NUS-SMU "In Session" Dialogue Series, among others. The Club welcomes students to come forth with any ideas and initiatives of service to the community and will strive to help make it happen.

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.

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 scintillating legal discourse, moots and even Mock UN conferences, allowing both conservative and progressive opinions to develop at an international level as we weave legal theories in a forum of ideas to create a tapestry of intellectual thought.

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 this year 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 km overnight adventure race.

Criminal Law 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 class, few have a proper idea of what criminal law in practice is like.

Signature events

Night Bike

Law Night Bike is an annual event where law students ride on their bikes and cruise down the nighttime roads of Singapore. 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.


  2. ^ "Indicative Grade Profiles and Number of Course Places Guidance Information for 2013 University Admissions Exercise". Singapore Management University Press Release. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
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  47. ^ "The Bar | SMU Law Society". SMU Law Society. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 


  • "SMU School of Law". SMU. Singapore Management University. 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  • "Singapore Management University". SMU. SMU. 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
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