Dean's Message

“Don’t just think about ‘what’ you want to be. Rather, think about whom you want to be.”

You are about to make one of the more important decisions in your life. The choice of degree and university has a major impact on the trajectory of your career. But as you contemplate your course of study, I urge you to think broadly.

NUS Law graduates occupy the highest legal offices in the land, including the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, and senior practitioners in all areas of law. Our alumni include partners in top international firms in New York and London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Some of our graduates assume public office, like President Halimah Yacob and Law Minister K. Shanmugam. Others join academia or represent Singapore on the international stage, like former Dean and Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh. Still others use their legal training to start new ventures in the corporate world, like Tan Min-Liang, CEO of gaming giant Razer, or apply their skills with language as playwrights or actors, like Eleanor Wong and Ivan Heng.

NUS Law offers rigorous legal training, but we also teach personal and professional skills that enable our graduates to operate across boundaries. This includes national boundaries, through the chance to spend a semester or more of your third year at partner law schools in twenty countries, or your fourth year earning a Master of Laws degree from New York University, King’s College London, or other leading institutions. We also cross imaginary boundaries, as you may take subjects outside law from across the University - in some cases earning you a second degree - and participate in activities that broaden you as a person, such as the many opportunities for public service. At NUS Law, you will be part of the conversation. Our professors expect you to challenge them, to share new ideas, and debate different perspectives. In my own classes, the good students can answer my questions; the best students can predict those questions. But the truly great students pose questions I had never imagined!

We don’t aim, then, to produce "lawyers". We aim to produce leaders who can be successful in whatever path they choose.

You have an important decision to make. Choose well.

Simon Chesterman
Dean and Professor of Law
National University of Singapore