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NUS Law vs SMU Law: An Overview (2024)

In this blog post, we'll delve into a comprehensive comparison of SMU Law and NUS Law, covering academics, faculty, resources, employment prospects, and more.

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Jan 24, 2024

Choosing the right law school is a critical decision for anyone aspiring to become a lawyer.

Singapore Management University (SMU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) offer highly respected law programmes.

To make an informed choice, it's essential to consider various factors that set these two institutions apart. In this blog post, we'll delve into a comprehensive comparison of SMU Law and NUS Law, covering academics, faculty, resources, employment prospects, and more.

Academic Reputation

Both SMU Law and NUS Law boast strong academic programmes, but they have distinct focuses.

NUS Law has a higher global university ranking and places significant emphasis on research and scholarship. In contrast, SMU Law is known for its teaching excellence and focuses on equipping students with practical legal skills, “all classes are taught in a highly interactive seminar-style format, which encourages active student participation and hones their ability to present cogent arguments well.”

For a more personal account, here’s a blog written by an SMU student talking about their experience, and one by an NUS student for comparison. 

Faculty and Resources:

Both schools provide access to experienced faculty and extensive legal databases. SMU Law prides itself on its smaller class sizes, which allow for more personalised attention from professors. NUS Law, on the other hand, has a larger faculty and a broader network of connections.

Employment Prospects:

One of the most crucial considerations for law students is their employment prospects after graduation. Both SMU Law and NUS Law have strong records of placing graduates in law firms, government positions, and the legal industry. 

Monthly Gross Starting Salary

 

Employment Rate

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

NUS

94.6%

$5,500

$6,400

$6,800

SMU

91.1%

$5,500

$6,375

$6,800

                Source: https://pay.sgcharts.com/ 

However, NUS Law's extensive alumni network may give it an edge in terms of opportunities. To make an informed choice, research the specific firms and organisations that recruit from each institution and align them with your career goals.

Teaching Methods

SMU Law adopts a seminar-style approach to teaching, which encourages active participation and critical thinking among students.

In contrast, NUS Law follows a more traditional lecture-based format. The choice between the two methods depends on your preferred learning style and how comfortable you are with active participation in class.

Research Opportunities

SMU Law emphasises interdisciplinary research and offers various opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge legal research. NUS Law has a strong tradition of academic research and provides ample resources for students to explore their scholarly interests. 

Campus Facilities

Both SMU Law and NUS Law offer state-of-the-art facilities, including modern libraries and moot courtrooms, to create a conducive learning environment for aspiring lawyers. Consider visiting both campuses to get a feel for their facilities and surroundings.

International Exposure

Both institutions offer opportunities for international exposure through exchange programs and internships. SMU Law provides an extensive range of options, while NUS Law has strong ties with prestigious law schools around the world. Consider your interest in gaining global experience when making your decision.

Sense of Community

Both SMU Law and NUS Law place great emphasis on building a close-knit community among their students. Mentorship programs, clubs, and events offer opportunities for students to connect and build lasting friendships. Research the culture and community vibe of each institution to determine where you'll feel most comfortable.

Specialisation Options

Both schools offer a wide range of specialization options, allowing you to tailor your legal education to your specific interests and career goals. Whether you're interested in corporate law, human rights, or property law, both SMU Law and NUS Law have something for everyone.

Notable Alumni

Both SMU Law and NUS Law have produced notable alumni who have achieved success in various areas of law. Research the alumni networks of both institutions to gain insights into the types of connections you could potentially make during your legal education.

Conclusion

In the SMU Law vs. NUS Law debate, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your choice should be based on your personal preferences, career goals, and learning style. Consider the factors mentioned above and visit both institutions if possible to make an informed decision that will set you on the path to a successful legal career. Remember that success in law school ultimately depends on the effort and dedication you put into your studies and networking, regardless of which institution you choose.


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