NUS Law Students to provide Pro Bono Services to Visual Arts Cluster Institutions


Front row L-R: Dr June Yap (Director (Curatorial, Programmes and Publications), Singapore Art Museum), Professor Simon Chesterman (Dean, NUS Law) and Ms Emi Eu (Director, STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery) signing the MOU
Back row L-R: Huang Meili (National Gallery Singapore), Associate Professor Lim Lei Theng '92 (Co-Director, Centre for Pro Bono & Clinical Legal Education), Mr Edwin Tong SC '94 (Senior Minister of State for Law and Health), Liew Wee Wen (Singapore Art Museum), Associate Professor Ruby Lee '85 (Co-Director, Centre for Pro Bono & Clinical Legal Education)

Students from NUS Law will soon have more opportunities to put their legal education into practice and serve the community.

On 5 April 2019, NUS Law signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with three art institutions of Singapore's Visual Arts Cluster - Singapore Art Museum (SAM), National Gallery Singapore (NGS) and the SPTI - Creative Workshop & Gallery - to establish Arts in Clinical Legal Education (ARTICLE), a pro bono legal services programme.

Managed by the NUS Law Centre for Pro Bono & Clinical Legal Education, ARTICLE will provide more opportunities for NUS Law students to engage in clinical legal education in the arts sector and hone their corporate legal skills. Through this five-year programme, NUS Law students will be exposed to new areas of legal practice - from intellectual property to financing and personal property law.

Mr Edwin Tong SC '94 (Senior Minister of State for Law and Health) witnessed the MOU signing held at the National Gallery.

This MOU marks the second formal arrangement under the clinical legal education programme at NUS Law. In 2010, NUS Law signed an MOU with the Legal Aid Bureau which allows clinical professors and NUS Law students to take on legal aid cases, giving legal aid applicants representation in the courts. In return, NUS Law students get first-hand experience working on live legal cases, appearing in court with their professors, and drafting documents for court matters.

Professor Simon Chesterman (Dean, NUS Law) said, "This novel MOU shows how lawyers can contribute in other sectors and in other ways, supporting the arts in particular and incorporating corporate and transactional work - the role of lawyers whose job is to try to make sure that some things never go to court. It will provide valuable experience to our students and, we hope, a valuable service to Singapore's arts sector."

Dr June Yap (Director (Curatorial, Programmes and Publications), Singapore Art Museum) said, "It is a partnership that has many beneficial facets for the arts community, and we are delighted to be working with the top ranked law school in Asia to provide immersive and hands-on opportunities in a professional environment for teaching and learning".

Held in conjunction with the MOU signing ceremony, NUS Law also recognised 13 students for their outstanding leadership and contributions in pro bono projects, and awarded financial grants to support five deserving pro bono projects at the 4th NUS Law Pro Bono Awards Ceremony.

This year's honourees were conferred awards in three categories - The Pro Bono Leadership Award, Special Recognition Award and The Pro Bono Mentor Award. A total of five financial grants - the NUS Law Class of 1992 Pro Bono Grant and the NUS Law Class of 2017 Pro Bono Grant - were also presented to support student pro bono projects.

Among the award recipients were Joseph Lim '19 and Sandra Tan '20 who have been outstanding co-ordinators of the NUS Pro Bono Office In-Person Deputyship Programme, guiding their teammates and working on applications from the Down Syndrome Association, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and Bishan Home.

Since the launch of the programme in 2015, NUS Law students have helped 42 parents of young persons with mental incapacity successfully obtain court orders appointing them as deputies, all without the help of lawyers. This saves them legal fees, but also empowers them with the knowledge that the court processes for deputyship can be navigated by litigants-in-person.

This year, Sandra and Joseph have also developed a guidebook targeted at non-legally trained persons to assist them in preparing their own applications. The production of the book was supported by the NUS Law Class of 1992 Pro Bono Grant and MINDS.



Speech by Mr Edwin Tong SC '94 (Senior Minister of State for Law and Health)


Mr Edwin Tong SC '94 presenting Joseph Lim '19 the Pro Bono Leadership Award


Mr Edwin Tong SC '94 presenting Sandra Tan '20 the Pro Bono Leadership Award


Award recipients and NUS Law students


Mr Edwin Tong SC '94 speaking to students from the NUS Pro Bono Office In-Person Deputyship Programme


A Step-by-Step Guide to Deputyship Applications guidebook developed by Joseph Lim '19 and Sandra Tan '20 targeted at non-legally trained persons to assist them in preparing their own deputyship applications



 

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