NUS Law launches Juris Doctor programme

NUS Law is launching a new Juris Doctor programme in Aug 2021

From August next year, non-law graduates who are aspiring for a career in law can enrol in a new Juris Doctor (JD) degree programme offered by the NUS Faculty of Law (NUS Law).

NUS Law Dean Professor Simon Chesterman said, “The practice of law is changing — it’s more global; it’s being transformed by technology. Our new JD embraces these changes. We’re looking to attract future leaders of the profession, who bring to law school perspective and experience that they’ve developed elsewhere, along with a mind open to what the rigours of an NUS Law education offers. Because we don’t just want our graduates to survive in this new environment: we want them to shape it.”

The JD programme will replace its Graduate LLB programme which the faculty has run since 1998. It plans to admit about 40 students in total under the programme, and aspiring candidates can apply from 1 Oct to 1 Dec.

Similar to the Graduate LLB programme, the JD programme is a three-year programme for candidates holding a non-law degree. This may also be accelerated to 2.5 years based on strong results in the first year. It will be a two-year programme for international candidates who wish to practice law in Singapore and already have a basic law degree.

The NUS JD student will also have access to more than 100 elective subjects in fields such as international arbitration and dispute resolution, maritime law, and corporate and financial services law.

These subjects are taught by local faculty, adjuncts and international visitors from institutions like Oxford University, Yale University, the University of Melbourne and Tsinghua University. Some offerings this year include International Space Law, Chinese Banking Law, Global Data Privacy Law and Entertainment Law.

Technological advances have also presented specific challenges to current legal doctrine in many areas of law. Recognising the rapidly changing landscape and technological developments in fields like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles, NUS Law has stepped up its curriculum offerings with modules such as Intellectual Property & Technology Law, and also established the Centre for Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & the Law in December last year.

As Asia’s leading law school, NUS Law offers more technology-related modules compared to other law schools in the UK and Asia. Its offerings are also comparable to those at top Australian and US law schools.

Underlining the significance and popularity of such courses, its modules in IT Law, Biotechnology Law, Privacy & Data Protection Law, and Artificial Intelligence, Information Science & Law are very popular with its students, with over half of each LLB cohort reading at least one “law and technology” elective.

NUS Law students are also encouraged to read other non-law modules - in computer science, information systems, business analytics, new media, economics and accounting. These courses may benefit them in their future professional legal practice.

NUS Law Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) Professor David Tan, who designed the JD programme, said, “It was a rewarding collaborative process working with faculty members and different stakeholders to design this JD that is sharply attuned to the needs of legal practice.”