Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ideas For Legal Education

In August 2006, I was asked to contribute some ideas to buzz up the legal education landscape in Singapore. I shared the following ideas:

1. Allow people to do a Master's In Law in National University of Singapore / Singapore Management University as an alternative to the Postgraduate Diploma In Singapore Law.

2. Develop short programmes for corporate counsel to undertake. If there are programmes already available, look into publicising these more proactively with the help of Singapore Corporate Counsel Association and Law Society of Singapore.

3. Look into transition programmes to help corporate counsel going into practise or those from practise going on to be corporate counsel.

4. Help take some pressure off corporate counsel and lawyers in practice by developing affordable law appreciation or self-help law courses for managers responsible for making business decisions or members of the public. These courses must be affordable. A good example is a recent Blogging & Law workshop organised by Nanyang Technological University, which was useful for public awareness.

5. Develop the international legal consulting sector that enables Singapore to provides emerging jurisdictions with its legal expertise. For example, when Singapore developed its Insurance Act, it tapped Australia's experience. Now, for example, the insurance sector here is helping Cambodia. There can be more such soft approaches to promote the use of Singapore law in the region.

6. Revisit part-time Master's In Law programmes to provide opportunities for continuing legal development.

7. Provide financial and other incentives to professional bodies like Singapore Corporate Counsel Association to invite foreign expertise to develop knowledge in niche areas of law. For example, data protection, privacy, anti-harassment, which are emerging areas of law in Singapore.

8. Create conducive climate for the hosting of more regional law gatherings in Singapore.

9. Develop our publishing clout in laws of the region.

10. Welcome lobbying! Allow law professionals to champion law reform in their pet areas; promote robust discourse on inadequacies of the law. This will promote more critical thinking of the law, which is fundamental to the legal education landscape.

Dharmendra Yadav

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