1.) What's the starting pay for local law firms? assuming magna cum laude or cum laude(2nd upper to 2nd lower)
It's usually 4k thereabouts in the big firms after you've completed your pupillage to become an Associate, but if the law of demand and supply holds, the greater supply in a few years should reduce the pay. Usually, the class of honours has no effect on your pay if you're in private practice, as long as you qualify.
2.) When can i start my "specialisation"? like if i want to specialise in criminal law or anti-trust
By the time you've finished law school, you should already have a very good idea of what you want to specialise in. Then when you go for pupillage in a law firm, you'll be assigned to a pupil master who's a senior lawyer with his own specialisation. You usually have a choice of pupil master but that's not guaranteed, I don't know enough about it though. If you want to switch specialisation I think you can, like when you become an Associate or even beyond. But the earlier the better of course, so that you start accumulating experience in your field earlier.
3.) I don't have to be a very outspoken person to be a successful lawyer do I? cuz i sure am not an outspoken person... though i talk alot in class
Not really. You just have to perform when your job calls for it. Even corporate lawyers cannot escape talking and communicating because they do have clients to take care of and to advise. There are successful litigators who aren't usually loud and outspoken but transform into another creature altogether in the courtroom - I've seen one such lawyer, a Senior Counsel, both in his office and in action, and while he keeps to himself and his friends in the office he's fearsome in the court.
Of course, bear in mind that there would exist a higher proportion of outspoken people in the legal profession than in most professions, but don't worry about not finding people like yourself.
4.) I've read many John Grisham books and in his books the law school students study their ass off to pass the bar exam, and the universities do not cover anything on the bar exam. It's strictly on their own time. Is it the same case here?
If you're graduating locally, there's no bar exam. (Correction: see post below by Resurgency) There'll be a practical law course after you graduate, followed by pupillage in a law firm/legal service, followed by calling to the Bar, simple
All within a year
5.) What's the prospects of me being able to work in the US? i absolutely adore that country
It will depend on the jurisdiction you're interested in, but the New York Bar seems to be the standard for people who want to practice in the US. You'll be qualified to practice there once you pass the Bar exam, but whether or not the law firms recognise or value a NUS LL.B is another matter. It helps if you have a few years of legal experience and maybe even a LL.M at a leading US law school under your belt.
6) Is it possible to delay the taking of e bar exam upon graduation with a law degree? (I'm thinking of taking a second degree after law before admitting to bar)
Yes sure, where are you studying law?
7) I notice that there are modules on IP laws. Are there legal positions out that there specialise in this?
I'm not very sure about this. There are lawyers who specialise in IP law, of course, and in-house IP lawyers in various kinds of businesses like software companies.
8) What other legal careers are open to law graduates? Apart from being a lawyer, that is.
I've heard of NUS Law grads who work for MFA, go into corporate world, management... in general I've also heard of top lawyers who even go into investment banking or management consulting, but these are usually mid-career switches.