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Pro Bono Projects

Singapore Institute of Legal Education (SILE) Approved Pro Bono Projects

 

  1. SILE Approved Projects run by SMU Pro Bono Centre

SMU Pro Bono Centre Legal Clinics#

The legal clinics are administered by the SMU Pro Bono Centre with consultation provided by volunteer lawyers assisted by SMU Law students. PBC legal clinics has been running fortnightly and will be running weekly from Feb 2017 (except during public holidays). Volunteer lawyers at the clinics render legal advice on personal matters*.

 

Dates of clinics for 2017:

13 Jan 2017, 

3 Feb 2017, 10 Feb 2017, 17 Feb 2017, 24 Feb 2017,

3 Mar 2017, 10 Mar 2017, 24 Mar 2017, 31 Mar 2017, 

5 May 2017, 12 May 2017, 19 May 2017, 26 May 2017, 

2 Jun 2017, 9 Jun 2017, 16 Jun 2017, 23 Jun 2017, 30 Jun 2017, 

7 Jul 2017, 14 Jul 2017, 21 Jul 2017, 28 Jul 2017, 

4 Aug 2017, 11 Aug 2017, 18 Aug 2017, 25 Aug 2017, 

8 Sep 2017, 15 Sep 2017, 22 Sep 2017, 29 Sep 2017, 

6 Oct 2017, 13 Oct 2017, 20 Oct 2017, 27 Oct 2017, 

1 Dec 2017, 8 Dec 2017, 15 Dec 2017, 22 Dec 2017, 29 Dec 2017

Time: 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (applicants to the clinic are advised to present themselves 15 minutes prior to allow time for registration)

Location:

Singapore Management University

School of Law

Pro Bono Centre
55 Armenian Street, Basement 2
Singapore 179943

Please follow the signage.

Since the clinics are for the poor, disadvantaged and sandwiched classes, to be eligible for advice, the applicants have to be within the following income range:

  • Single applicants must earn less than $3500 nett per month; or
  • Married applicants must have a combined income of less than $5500 nett per month.
  • Where the married applicant has dependents (excluding spouse), an allowance of $160 is added to the amount.

  * Not on a legal issue of business or professional matter. # SMU-exclusive pro bono placement  

 

SMU Pro Bono Centre Helpdesk

The Pro Bono Centre Helpdesk and Pro Bono Centre hotline (6828 1951) are managed by Student Leaders and Student Volunteers daily to take instructions from applicants. The applicants registered at the Helpdesk are scheduled for Pro Bono Centre Legal Clinics. 

Duties of the Student Volunteer:
Manage Pro Bono Centre hotline;
Register applicants by interviewing and recording case synopsis;
Scheduling of applicants for Pro Bono Centre Legal Clinic
 
Mondays - Fridays
Time: 8.45am to 5.45pm
 
 
  1. SILE Approved Projects run by SMU Law Outreach Club

On-Site Legal Advice Scheme (OSLAS)

OSLAS is a collaboration between the SMU Law Outreach Club and the Community Justice Centre. It operates as a walk-in legal clinic, providing legal advice on the spot, without requiring applicants to wait for lengthy time periods. Students will assist on-duty lawyers with the following duties:

  • Note-taking
  • Filing of application forms
  • Translation (if required)
  • Ushering of applicants

   

  1. General SILE Approved Projects

a) Legal Clinics

i) Braddell Heights Legal Clinic

Legal clinic at Marine Parade GRC, located within the Braddell Heights Constituency supported by the Braddell Heights PCF in aid of the community. To be conducted monthly in conjunction with the Meet-the-People session, the legal clinic will be staffed by volunteer lawyers. The primary purpose of the legal clinic is to provide residents with access to justice so as to enable them to understand legal rights and responsibilities; and to promote, where appropriate, self-help remedies such as negotiation and mediation. Students will assist in the operational and administrative aspects of the legal clinic.  

 

ii) Catholic Lawyers Guild (CLG) Legal Clinics^

CLG run legal clinics where oral advice would be given to all walk-ins, regardless of race or religion. Students will assist at the Church of the Risen Christ Legal Clinic only, which is held once a month. Placements for this program are ongoing throughout the year. Students are to provide general administrative / clerical support. The duties of student volunteers include:

  • Intake and registration
  • Interviewing of applicants
  • Translation (where possible)
  • Research (where possible)
  • Taking notes for lawyers giving advice at legal clinics

In some cases that are meritorious, CLG may consider asking its member lawyer to take such cases pro bono, in which case, the student involvement may be greater including possible legal research, preparing draft advice and/or drafting of other legal documents.  

 

iii) Chong Pang Community Club Legal Clinics

Legal clinic at Nee Soon GRC, supported by the Chong Pang Community Centre in aid of the community. To be conducted monthly in conjunction with the Meet-the-People session, the legal clinic will be staffed by volunteer lawyers. The primary purpose of the legal clinic is to provide residents with access to justice so as to enable them to understand legal rights and responsibilities; and to promote, where appropriate, self-help remedies such as negotiation and mediation. Students will assist in the operational and administrative aspects of the legal clinic.  

 

iv) Community Justice Centre (CJC) – University Court Friends (UCF) programme

UCF – Crime Court Facilitator: Students will assist and explain to LiPs and family members on Court procedures and direct them to the appropriate departments and agencies as directed by the Judge.

UCF – Crime Registry: Students will assist complainants with the drafting of their complaints and explain the process to them. Volunteers will also be able to sit in during criminal mediations and perform other basic administrative duties.

UCF – Family Court Facilitator: Students will assist and explain to LiPs on court procedures and processes, direct LiPs and the family members to the appropriate departments and agencies and provide emotional support if necessary.

UCF – Family Division: Students will assist the staff at the Maintenance Mediation Chambers (MMC) and the Divorce Registry. Volunteers will also be explaining to LiPs on divorce procedures and the filing of necessary documents, sharing with LiPs the benefits of mediation and encouraging them to settle matrimonial matters through mediation rather than go through a trial.

UCF – Small Claims Tribunal: Students will assist the claimants with lodging of claims and sit in with registrars/magistrates during mediation.  

 

v) Community Mediation Centre (CMC) 20-hours Pro Bono Programme

The Community Mediation Unit (CMU), a department under the Ministry of Law, oversees the Community Mediation Centres (CMCs). The CMCs act as a neutral platform for residents in Singapore to resolve relational, community and social disputes amicably without resorting to litigation in the Courts. CMC conducts the 2-days Basic Mediation Workshop, which is the pre-requisite for their 20-hours pro bono stint at CMC. The CMC 20-hours Pro Bono Programme consists of the following components:

  • Eight hours of case familiarisation and administration work (study best and bad practices from successfully mediated closed case files, handling public queries regarding mediation, providing advice about mediation and suitability of cases for mediation, registration of cases, inviting parties to consent to mediation, obtaining mutually agreed date and time for mediation session);
  • Four hours of case observation (taking notes during mediation session, identifying approaches taken by mediators, challenges handled by mediators during session, feasibility and enforceability of settlement terms); and
  • Eight hours of mediation (reading up on cases prior to sessions, preparing notes prior to mediation session, de‐brief with co‐mediators before session, discuss strategies and approaches, actual mediation, drafting of settlement terms (if any), witness signing of settlement agreement, de‐brief with co‐mediator after close of mediation session, prepare report to CMC on areas for improvement).

 

vi) Kembangan-Chai Chee Legal Clinics

Legal clinic at Marine Parade GRC, supported by the Kampong Kembangan Community Club Management Committee / Kembangan-Chai Chee CCC in aid of the community. To be conducted monthly in conjunction with the Meet-the-People session, the legal clinic will be staffed by volunteer lawyers. The primary purpose of the legal clinic is to provide residents with access to justice so as to enable them to understand legal rights and responsibilities; and to promote, where appropriate, self-help remedies such as negotiation and mediation. Students will assist in the operational and administrative aspects of the legal clinic.  

 

vii) The Law Society of Singapore - Pro Bono Services Office (PBSO)

PBSO Community Legal Clinics (CLCs)

Community Legal Clinics (CLCs) are a community outreach project by the Pro Bono Services Office and serve as a platform for individuals to seek free legal advice. Volunteers can observe lawyers dish out practical advice, and how the law unfolds and affects one's life. CLC sessions are held in the evenings from 7.00 pm - 9.30 pm at North-West CDC at Woodlands on Mondays, South-East CDC at Paya Lebar on Tuesdays, South-West CDC at Jurong on Wednesdays and Central CDC at Toa Payoh on Thursdays. Students will assist on-duty lawyers with the following duties:

  • Interview: Students will assist in statement‐taking;
  • Translation: Students with the required language ability can provide translation services;
  • Research: Students will assist in conducting legal research;
  • Drafting: Students will assist in the preparation of legal documents.

PBSO 2-week Attachment Programme

Students will be attached to PBSO office for a 2-week stint where they will assist in either Community Legal Clinics (CLCs) or Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS).

i) Community Legal Clinics (CLCs)

Volunteers will participate in the screening and interviewing of applicants in person or over the phone for Community Legal Clinics (CLCs). Duties will include preparation of brief summaries for cases that are being registered and assisting to roster the applicants for the community legal clinics. Volunteers will also sit in and take notes for lawyers giving advice at the legal clinics (Civil and Family Clinics) and provide research assistance on legal issues encountered. Volunteers will be rostered to be at the Community Justice Centre at the State Court to register applicants for clinics and to provide administrative support for the On-site Legal Assistance Scheme.

ii) Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS)

Volunteers will assist officers in registering and conducting interviews and means-testing for applicants for Criminal Legal-Aid at the PBSO, Remand Institution such as Changi Prison, Changi Women’s Prison, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore Boy’s Home and Singapore Girl’s Home. Apart from interviewing, volunteers will also assist the CLAS Officers in preparing case reports which include their recommendation on whether the applicant qualifies for legal aid. Occasionally, volunteers will be given the opportunity to be paralegals to assist CLAS lawyers in a trial and partake in various administrative duties.  

 

viii) Legal Aid Bureau 20-hours Programme

The Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) Mandatory 20-hours Pro Bono Programme requires volunteers who are able to commit to five sessions of 4-hours each. They organize regular clinics where students are asked to provide assistance to lawyers who may be covering duties such as:

  • Legal Advice - Oral advice by LAB lawyers on questions of Singapore law and the practical steps one may take in the circumstances of the case.
  • Legal Aid - Representations by a legal aid lawyer in civil proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Courts, the Magistrates’ Courts, the Syariah Court as well as proceedings under the Women’s Charter.
  • Legal Assistance - Drafting of various legal documents including Deeds of separation and Deeds of severance of cohabitation.

 

ix) LegalHelp Web Portal

LegalHelp is an online legal forum which aims to provide basic legal guidance (short of legal advice) to laypersons. The advice is only given to those with financial difficulties seeking legal help. The forum was launched in the SAL Law Week in 2013, and its current panel of editors include lawyers and academics. The website has since seen a considerable increase in viewership and membership, and thus the editorial team convene a group of student volunteers to assist in managing the website. Student volunteers provide administrative help in assisting panel of lawyers to answer questions asked by members of public on a pro bono basis.  

 

x) National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) Law Works Legal Clinic

NTUC Law Works Legal Clinic is held on the third Thursday each month (except eve of/on public holidays) from 7pm – 9.20pm at NTUC Centre. Students will sit in with volunteer lawyers and assist by taking notes.  

 

xi) NTUC U-Care Legal Clinic

The U-Care Legal Clinic under NTUC provides walk-in applicants with general legal guidance, focusing on employment matters. It is held on the last Wednesday each month (except eve of/on public holidays) from 8pm – 10pm at U-Care Centre, Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. Students will provide general administrative support, sit in and take notes for lawyers giving advice at legal clinic.  

 

xii) Potters Place Community Service Society (PPCSS) Legal Clinic

PPCSS Legal Clinic is held on the third Monday each month (except eve of/on public holidays) from 7.30pm – 9.30pm at Potter’s Place Community Service Society Office. Students will assist on-duty lawyers with the following duties:

  • Register applicants and other administrative duties; and
  • Help applicants (who cannot afford their own legal counsel) in drafting work (such as writing letters of appeal, mitigation pleas for traffic offences), filling of forms (for financial assistance applications, affidavits of assets and means in Divorce matters, Lasting Power of Attorney) and simple written submissions for Small Claims Tribunal matters.

 

xiii) Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) Legal Clinics & Muslim Law Legal Clinics

With the assistance and support of Singapore Association of Women Lawyers (SAWL) and Law Society of Singapore’s Muslim Law Practice Committee, the legal clinics are open to all women residing in Singapore and whose income does not exceed $1050 a month.

SCWO Legal Clinics:

SCWO Legal Clinics focus primarily on issues relating to divorce, maintenance, Personal Protection Orders, custody and variation of orders.

SCWO Muslim Law Legal Clinics:

SCWO Muslim Law legal clinics are catered to Muslim women for legal advice specifically pertaining to Syariah law. Students will assist in the operational and administrative aspects of the legal clinic by taking down notes of the case and advice given by volunteer lawyers during consultation. Students will also be able to observe and learn from qualified lawyers on addressing the legal issues faced by clients. They are then given the opportunities to discuss the case with volunteer lawyers at the end of the day.  

 

xiv) Syariah Court

The Friend of the Syariah Court (SYC) – RAkan MAHkamah, also known as the “raMAH programme” at Family Link @ Lengkok Bahru, has the jurisdiction to hear matters related to Muslim personal family law under Section 35 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act. They process and handle matters related to divorce and inheritance for mainly LiPs. Student will:

  • Assist in pre-divorce briefing,
  • Assist in matters related to the Inheritance certificate,
  • Explain court processes to clients, including variation & enforcement,
  • Filling up forms,
  • Assist in checking for completeness of files before appointments,
  • Assist with legal research.

   

b) Law Firms

Students will be assisting lawyers in pro bono cases. Please refer to http://www.sile.edu.sg/pro-bono-programme for the latest list of approved Law Firms.    

 

Please note that the months of April and November are pro bono black-out periods due to examinations. During this period, no placement in any pro bono programmes will be conducted.

Last updated on 17 Apr 2017 .