Third law school may create 'two-tiered' profession

Third law school may create 'two-tiered' profession

SINGAPORE - I am sure many people are happy there will be a third law school to offer working adults, such as paralegals, social workers and law enforcement officers, a chance to make law their new career ("UniSIM picked to host S'pore's 3rd law school"; last Thursday).

But is having a third law school the best way to do so? There are already two law schools - in the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University - here, whose combined intake exceeds 350 students.

In a small city-state like Singapore, duplicating resources to train such small numbers in separate institutions cannot be cost-effective or productive.

The report ("Singapore to set up third law school"; May 29) said the new law school will emphasise criminal and family law, in a move to address the shortage of lawyers in these fields - which is especially felt by smaller law firms that typically practise in these areas.

If this is the purpose of the new school, doesn't it create a "two-tiered" legal profession. Surely its graduates are not "pre-destined" for small firms?

Poh Leong Sim

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