I. THE PROGRAM
a. Participating Firm/Legal Department’s Responsibilities
Host law firms agree to provide a 4-8 week internship, which includes assignments appropriate to the student’s experience and language ability and the opportunity to participate in client meetings, document preparation and/or review and research. The host firms/departments agree to designate at least one lawyer to serve as mentor to the law student and to ensure the student receives a range of experience and an appropriate work load.
b. Cost to Participating Firm/Legal Department
There is no cost associated with participation in the Program, except to the extent that your law firm or legal department voluntarily chooses to pay a nominal stipend to cover some of the student’s travel costs and living expenses.
c. Intern Responsibilities
As previously mentioned, selected students are highly-accomplished top tier scholars that have been vetted through a highly-competitive selection process. Academic achievement and class standing are weighed most heavily. In addition, significant weight is given to students who have a demonstrated interest in international, transnational and comparative law, as evidenced by their choices in course work, extracurricular activities and pre-law school experiences. All participating students are expected to be proficient in English.
II. SMU’s LL.B. AND J.D. PROGRAMS
With regard to pedagogy, SMU provides a seminar-style learning process that produces graduates who are confident, articulate and analytically agile – highly desirable attributes for lawyers, whether as litigators, transactional attorneys or judges. SMU’s mission is to train holistic lawyers who will lead and serve the community with distinction
a. SMU’s LL.B. Program
The LL.B. program is a 4-year direct honors program that offers admission to students after completing their junior college education (equivalent of high school in the U.S.). During this program, the students take 36 course units in various subject-areas. The subject-areas include required core legal classes, non-legal courses, and elective legal courses. For more information on the requirements of this program, please visit https://law.smu.edu.sg/programmes/bachelor-laws/why-smu-law/rigorous-challenging-curriculum/overview.
b. SMU’s J.D. Program
J.D. students are required to take 25 course units. This program is comprised of 18.5 units in required legal courses and 6.5 units in legal elective courses. As these students have already completed their undergraduate studies in other disciplines, they are not required to take non-legal courses. The J.D. students are expected to complete the program within 3 years of full-time study and can be accelerated in some cases for completion within 2 to 2.5 years. For more information on the requirements of this program, please visit https://law.smu.edu.sg/jd/detailed-curriculum.
c. Double Degree Program
Outstanding students may be admitted to the five-year Double Degree Program where they can read law as well as complete one of five degree programs in Business, Accountancy, Economics, Social Science, or Information Systems Management. About 30% of LL.B. students are registered in the Double Degree Program. For these students, their law degree is regarded as their primary degree.
d. SMU Internship Requirement
To qualify for graduation, LL.B. and J.D. students are required to complete certain internship placements (10 weeks for LL.B. students and 6 weeks for J.D. students) with law firms, legal departments of government, government-linked corporations, companies, multi-national corporations, etc.
The objective of the internship requirement is to acquaint students with the practical workings of the legal system and the realities of law practice in the private and public sectors. To ensure that the students have sufficient legal maturity to undertake an internship placement, LL.B. students must have completed at least two years of their law degree, and J.D. students must have completed the first year of their program. For more information on SMU’s internship requirements, please visit https://law.smu.edu.sg/programmes/bachelor-laws/internships-career.
Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Program Co-Chairs Ross J. Kartez ([email protected]) or William H. Schrag ([email protected]).
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL SECTION, PLEASE CONTACT CARRA FORGEA AT [email protected] OR AT 518-487-5521.