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Old 03-13-2009, 10:46 PM   #21
jace
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So Marine Engineering Schools who offer Law degrees and allow their students to take 40% of the content in Marine Engineering instead of deepening their knowledge in Law, is good?
Ditto for Aerospace Engineering Schools, Medical Schools (Forensic Laws), etc?

NUS is a comprehensive University, does that mean that whatever aspect of Law you wanna do, you can also choose those modules and surely get good grounding as with this argument?

I totally disagree with this line of argument.



No arguments on style preference. Some people do better in Tutorial styles, some do better in seminar styles.



As a comparison (since we are in a comparison thread), NUS Profs are not approachable, do not allow discussions during tutorials, and do not give individualised attention to students?

I believe these points are the same and similiar for both schools, and cannot be cited as a "strong point", especially when doing a comparison.



Again I probe, NUS tutorials do not allow or encourage participation? If so, then this point is not in any way "comparative".



Agree and disagree. Agree on personal competency, but disagree on employer preference. There will always be a bias one way or another. We are all humans after all!


Hehe sorry I am not discounting your story, but I just want to ask questions to put the "comparison" into context. Hope you don't mind.
Ultimately, its a matter of personal choice and preference, as what Johnny recognised. Also, a disclaimer here: my previous post is not a flawless comparison per se coz I have never gone to NUS law school so me talking about NUS definitely wont do it justice. So I can only offer here some (in my opinion, possibly) positive sides of SMU law school for information's sakes.

Non-Law Mods:
I definitely am not denying that NUS law sch does offer cross fac modules for its students to take. However, I feel that you probably have some preconceived notion as to what it means to have a "good" law programme. I'm not out here to change your mind, but I'm just offering my take on things. In my opinion, Law is a subject that is always evolving and it gets updated very rapidly with judgments coming out of the courts 24/7, therefore, even if you enrol a say hypothetical law programme which offers an extremely high percentage of law modules, that does not necessarily mean you'll be put in good stead for practice. Law involves much continual learning so some stuff which you learn in law modules in law sch may just well become outdated by the time you graduate. Therefore, I feel that a good law programme must include its fair share of non-law modules too. These compulsory non law modules that we have to take in SMU does help us see the big picture better (vs law modules which focus on the nitty gritty bits in law) and also, as i mentioned in the earlier post, help us see how things actually tie in together in real life & practice. They also give us background information on concepts which we encounter in law school.

Approchability of the profs & Class participation:
No, I'm not saying that NUS Profs are not approchable -perhaps an NUS law student may can help give insight on this point All I was describing in my previous post was how I saw things in SMU, and I felt that the seminar style system does allow us to immediately stop the prof and clarify our doubts In the Midst of Their Delivering the seminar content. (vs the lecture tutorial system which possibly allows more dynamic interaction between prof and student during tutorial slots). SMU profs usually are very happy to address these queries and even take the class on to another discussion related to the question, and so, everyone gets to learn from these exploration of the issue even if say the prof wasn't planning to cover this issue when he /she planned the coursework. So there is that flexibility in how seminar classes are conducted, which I think is a positive point.

Again, I'm not saying that NUS tutorials do not allow participation. All I'm saying, like I reiterated, is that clarification and participation goes on in the midst of a "lecture" in SMU which I feel is probably not prevalent in lecture sessions in the lect-tutorial system.

Graduate Employment:
I cant say for sure coz I'm no employer so each of us has an equal chance of getting it right for this issue. And I'd add that when we talk about bias, one cannot also paint all employers with a broad brush and imply that they are all biased towards NUS. One cant speak for every single employer when it comes to preferences/biasness.

So really, I feel that its important not to read my previous post to an extreme and interpret it as what I have been saying about SMU, NUS definitely does not have. the comparison made is all a matter of varying Degrees.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:09 AM   #22
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thanks for the valuable insights everyone! could someone give a comment on the grade/honours systems at both law schools? i didn't manage to find out at either open house..
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #23
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thanks for the valuable insights everyone! could someone give a comment on the grade/honours systems at both law schools? i didn't manage to find out at either open house..
SMU does not have an honours system. it follows the american system where one graduates with cum laude/ merit awards. see http://www.smu.edu.sg/admissions/deg...ude_awards.asp. hope it helps
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:03 PM   #24
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Okkk... NUS Law student here...

Sometimes its hilarious at how some people NOT in the system run their mouths off without knowing what things are actually like. You know who you are. And Jace, hey, thanks a lot for the insight into the SMU system, I've always wondered how exactly our schools differ. At least next open house I can tell the visitors a bit more when they ask.

The main difference I would draw between NUS Law and SMU Law are these: (besides the fact that the majority of NUS Law students looks down on their SMU counterparts: and no, I am of the minority)

1. I believe SMU does focus a little more than NUS on class participation. However, most (almost all) NUS modules DO have 5-20% of grades as ClassPart. Not THAT much a difference.

2. SMU's focus on Seminar style teaching (I hope I interpreted Jace's post correctly) differs only slightly from NUS' style. Different modules are conducted differently. Tort Law, Company Law and Contract Law, for example, are conducted in lecture-tutorial style. Singapore Legal Studies, Criminal Law, and Legal Theory, on the other hand, are conducted in seminar-style classes. We have a mix of each.

3. I'd say that SMU's range of modules does differ from NUS' range of modules, and SMU's might indeed tend toward the business/corporate side. However, that is a VERY general observation. On the other hand, NUS offers many modules over a huge range of areas like Islamic Law, International Trusts, Human Rights, etc (ref NUS Law Electives). I'd attribute this to the fact that NUS is more established and has more staff covering a wider range of expertise. Given time SMU will probably have more too. Jace does say that SMU is currently recruiting more staff and broadening their range covered. It'll come with time.

I wouldn't draw too big a distinction of quality between both NUS and SMU. Both universities have rather different focuses, different directions. Generally the advice of 'Try SMU if you prefer more class interaction and tend more to corporate/business law, try NUS if you aren't sure where you want to go yet' should still hold. (Personally I'm going for a mixture of focuses in international, criminal, IP, corporate and social law modules). Choose a uni which you think will be more suited to your own learning style. As regards to the friends you make... I'm quite sure each of us have a lot of fun, whichever uni we're in. It's really quite fun in NUS, but I'm sure Jace will say the same of SMU. So yeah...

Hope that helped.
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Last edited by Zyvroklsayt; 03-21-2009 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:27 PM   #25
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I think you can't lose out by going to SMU. Their IGP is AAA/B, already one of the best in Singapore. The student quality is there + you are graded on a curve (right?) = good signal to employers if you get good honours. In fact, AAA/B is only for the pioneer batch. I imagine it'll become AAA/A in a few years.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:43 AM   #26
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I'm an NUS law student, so let me give my (biased) 2 cents

Cost of degree: NUS Law fees are currently lower than that of SMU Law.

Flexibility of degree and Range of electives: NUS Law provides a more flexible curriculum than SMU Law. 40% of SMU Law's curriculum are non-law modules, which are 'forced' upon all students regardless of their inclinations. NUS does not have compulsory non-law modules; instead, students are able to choose whether they wish to take up a 'minor' in another course, like business, econs etc. The range of law electives on offer in NUS is wider than SMU, with the potential for students to take up to 18 law electives. SMU students only take 5 law electives.

Reputation: It goes without saying that NUS Law is much more established than SMU Law; the latter does not even have alumni yet. And NUS is slightly more recognized internationally (thanks to THES). But as long as you are amongst the top students in either university, law firms would be more than happy to take you in. The reputation of the school means rather little, really.

Programme: NUS's tie-up with NYU allows students to obtain a NUS LLB and NYU LLM in 4 years (Cost of the NYU LLM is prohibitive, however)

Teaching style: The difference is more illusory than real. NUS Law has a range of both lecture-tutorial style modules and seminar-style modules, both which require class interaction and participation of varying degrees. SMU does have more seminar-style courses, but if you are intending to just sit quietly in a corner, then you aren't gonna benefit much from either law school.

Type of practice: SMU Law markets itself as a law school which a corporate slant. And seeing the modules on offer at SMU, if you have no inclination for corporate work, then NUS is a better choice for you. But if you are intending to be a corporate lawyer, NUS provides just as good a legal and commercial foundation. Most of Singapore's top corporate lawyers came from NUS.

Others: There are considerations of campus and campus life as well. Honestly, both campuses are beautiful. And campus life is more of a personal choice; be sociable and you'll find both law schools fun.

Just to finish this post: Applicants interested in law as a profession should of course try for both schools, despite what I feel are distinct advantages of NUS Law. Admissions at NUS Law were reported in the Straits Times as being more competitive.

Last edited by justalking; 02-19-2010 at 04:11 PM. Reason: update
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:14 PM   #27
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...the admissions at NUS Law are reported in the Straits Times as being more competitive.
I hope to see Straits Times do a poll for all admitted to NUS and SMU Law schools to verify this "fact". There should be a check on those admitted to NUS Law, did they get an offer from SMU Law too? Those admitted to SMU Law, did they get an offer to NUS Law too? And Law offers only. Not clever to ask did you get an "offer" from either school. Because if you get Econs at SMU to go Law at NUS or get Arts at NUS to go Law at SMU, that's no "comparison".
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Last edited by Alex; 04-29-2011 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:18 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by LockT31W View Post
I think you can't lose out by going to SMU. Their IGP is AAA/B, already one of the best in Singapore. The student quality is there + you are graded on a curve (right?) = good signal to employers if you get good honours. In fact, AAA/B is only for the pioneer batch. I imagine it'll become AAA/A in a few years.
Just being pedantic, but it was AAB/B for the pioneer batch (my year).
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:34 AM   #29
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I hope to see Straits Times do a poll for all admitted to NUS and SMU Law schools to verify this "fact". There should be a check on those admitted to NUS Law, did they get an offer from SMU Law too? Those admitted to SMU Law, did they get an offer to NUS Law too? And Law offers only. Not clever to ask did you get an "offer" from either school. Because if you get Econs at SMU to go Law at NUS or get Arts at NUS to go Law at SMU, that's no "comparison".
http://law.nus.edu.sg/news/archive/2007/ST120607.pdf

draw ur own conclusions
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:22 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
I hope to see Straits Times do a poll for all admitted to NUS and SMU Law schools to verify this "fact". There should be a check on those admitted to NUS Law, did they get an offer from SMU Law too? Those admitted to SMU Law, did they get an offer to NUS Law too? And Law offers only. Not clever to ask did you get an "offer" from either school. Because if you get Econs at SMU to go Law at NUS or get Arts at NUS to go Law at SMU, that's no "comparison".
hi. i was offered places to read law at both NUS and SMU in 2008.

SMU's letter of acceptance came stating 1 in 13 candidates who applied was successful.
NUS's letter did not go into the details.

SMU took in roughly 120-150 students, while NUS accepts a batch of 220-240.

what we need to know is the total number of students who applied to each school to determine which school's admission was more competitive.
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