More law students to be involved in pro bono work
The MOU was signed between CDCs, the Law Society Pro Bono Services and three universities on Thursday (Sep 28). (Photo: Vanessa Lim)
SINGAPORE: More law students will be involved in providing free legal services to the community under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on Thursday (Sep 28).
The agreement was signed by five Community Development Councils (CDCs), the Law Society Pro Bono Services and three universities - the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Social Sciences.Under the agreement, law students from the three educational institutions will provide paralegal support at Community Legal Clinics and organise law talks to promote public legal literacy in the community.The MOU was signed at this year's Law Awareness Weeks @ CDC, which was launched by Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah.Speaking on Thursday, Ms Indranee, who is also Senior Minister of State for Finance, encouraged law students to serve the community."Pro bono work is a valuable opportunity to pick up skills and knowledge beyond what you can learn within the classroom. It also reminds us of why we choose to practice law, and of our duty to serve the vulnerable," she said.
AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE FREE LEGAL SERVICES EXTENDEDAt the same time, an agreement between the five CDCs and the Law Society Pro Bono Services to for more free legal services was renewed and extended for another three years.First signed in 2014, the agreement saw the launch of the Community Legal Pro Bono Services Network to help Singaporeans and permanent residents who need free legal advice. It also paved the way for more legal clinics to be set up in various districts across Singapore.To date, there are 23 Community Legal Clinics with more than 2,000 volunteer lawyers. More than 7,600 Singaporeans and permanent residents have benefited from the clinics, according to Ms Indranee. Among the top five common legal issues raised were divorce, employment, as well as harassment.The scope of the original agreement was also expanded on Thursday to formally include a collaboration between the Law Society and the CDCs to raise legal awareness in the community. Plans include organising a series of talks to educate the public on basic and essential legal knowledge.