Skip to content Skip to navigation

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*.
 
Remianing Clinic Dates for 2018:
4 May 2018, 11 May 2018, 18 May 2018, 25 May 2018,
1 Jun 2018, 8 Jun 2018, 22 Jun 2018, 29 Jun 2018,
6 Jul 2018, 13 Jul 2018, 20 Jul 2018, 27 Jul 2018,
3 Aug 2018, 10 Aug 2018, 17 Aug 2018, 24 Aug 2018, 31 Aug 2018,
7 Sep 2018, 14 Sep 2018, 21 Sep 2018, 28 Sep 2018,
5 Oct 2018, 12 Oct 2018, 19 Oct 2018, 26 Oct 2018,
14 Dec 2018, 21 Dec 2018, 28 Dec 2018
 
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.
 
Please call Pro Bono Centre hotline at +65 68281951, or email us at probonocentre@smu.edu.sg to register for the Pro Bono Centre Legal Clinic.
 
 * 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
 
 # SMU-exclusive pro bono placement 
 
 
  1. SILE Approved Projects run by Community Justice Centre

On-Site Legal Advice Scheme (OSLAS) @ State Courts#

OSLAS @ State Courts is a collaboration between the SMU Pro Bono Centre and the Community Justice Centre. It operates as a walk-in legal clinic within State Courts, 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

    # SMU-exclusive pro bono placement 

 

On-Site Legal Advice Scheme (OSLAS) @ Supreme Court#

OSLAS @ Supreme Court is a collaboration between the SMU Pro Bono Centre and the Community Justice Centre. It operates as a walk-in legal clinic within Supreme Court, providing legal advice on bankruptcy and insolvency issues 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

    # SMU-exclusive pro bono placement 

 

University Court Friends (UCF) programme

UCF – Crime Division:

Volunteers will assist with duties at the Bail Centre, the Criminal Court and the Magistrate’s Complaint in the State Courts. At the Bail Centre, volunteers will be taught the bail process and thereafter, provide information on the process and conduct interview with the bailors to determine their suitability. At the Criminal Court, volunteers will assist Court officers with their duties and consequently, provide information on the process to AiPs and / or their family members when necessary. Volunteers will also receive directions from the Judge to refer AIPs and / or their family members to the appropriate agencies for further assistance. Volunteers could also attend a surety hearing at 1500h every Wednesday. At the Magistrate’s Complaint, volunteers will be taught the complaint process and thereafter, provide explanation on the process and assist complainants with drafting of their complaints.

UCF – Civil Division:

Volunteers will assist with duties at the Civil Legal Clinic and the Small Claims Tribunals. At the Civil Legal Clinic, volunteers will assist lawyers with on-site research and note taking during the legal consultation. Volunteers will also attend one session of the Civil Legal Clinic from 1830h to 2000h on Thursday. At the Small Claims Tribunals, volunteers will be taught the mediation process and procedure for claimants to file for claim(s). Thereafter, volunteers will provide explanation on the process and assist LiPs with filing of their claims via the CJTS (https://www.statecourts.gov.sg/CJTS/). Volunteers will also guide LiPs on usage of the queue management system and provide information on the documentary requirements for consultation (e.g. uploading of LOA, ACRA, etc.) when necessary. In addition, volunteers will be given the opportunity to sit in for mediation / consultation sessions.

UCF – Family Division:

Volunteers will assist with duties at the Divorce Registry, the Family Court, the Family Legal Clinic and the Family Protection Centre in the Family Justice Courts. At the Divorce Registry, volunteers will be taught the divorce proceedings and thereafter, provide information on form filling and Court procedures to LiPs. At the Family Court, volunteers will receive directions from the Judge to refer LiPs to the appropriate agencies for further assistance and to provide information on Court procedures, including documentary requirements, when necessary. Volunteers will also attend one session of the Family Legal Clinic where volunteers will assist lawyers with on-site research and note taking during the legal consultation. At the Family Protection Centre, volunteers will assist Court staff with their duties (assessment of PPO cases) and consequently, provide information on the process when necessary. Volunteers will also guide LiPs on the usage of iFAMS (https://ifams.gov.sg/) at the self-help kiosks.

UCF – Maintenance Division:

Volunteers will assist with duties at the Family Court, the Family Legal Clinic, the Maintenance Mediation Chambers and the Maintenance Registry. At the Family Court, volunteers will receive directions from the Judge to refer LiPs to the appropriate agencies for further assistance and to provide information on Court procedures, including documentary requirements, when necessary. Volunteers will also attend one session of the Family Legal Clinic where volunteers will assist lawyers with on-site research and note taking during the legal consultation. The Family Legal Clinic is from 1800h to 1930h every Tuesday. At the Maintenance Mediation Chambers, volunteers will assist Court staff with their duties and provide explanation on documentary requirements for further mediation. At the Maintenance Registry, volunteers will assist CJC officers with their duties and thereafter, provide information on the Court procedures for new maintenance and enforcement of the maintenance order. Volunteers will also assist LiPs with their maintenance application via the iFAMS (https://ifams.gov.sg/). 

 

  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. 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, which is twice 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. 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) Church of Christ the King Legal Clinic

CTK 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 Christ the King Legal Clinic, 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, CTK 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.   

 

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) Jurong Spring Legal Clinics

Legal clinic at Jurong GRC, supported by the Jurong Spring Community Club in aid of the community. 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) Kebun Baru Legal Clinics

Legal clinic at Ang Mo Kio GRC, supported by the Kebun Baru Link Residents' Committee in aid of the community. 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. 

 

viii) 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. 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.  

 

ix) The Law Society of Singapore - Pro Bono Services (PBS)

PBS Community Legal Clinics (CLCs)

Community Legal Clinics (CLCs) is a community outreach project by the Pro Bono Services 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.

 

PBS 2-week Attachment Programme

Students will be attached to PBS 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.  

 

x) Legal Aid Bureau 40-hours Programme

The Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) Mandatory 40-hours Pro Bono Programme requires volunteers who are able to commit to five sessions of 8-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.

 

xi) 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.  

 

xii) National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) LawWorks Legal Clinic

NTUC LawWorks 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.  

 

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

PPCSS Legal Clinic is held on the second Thursday 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.

 

xiv) Seng Pang Tua Pek Kong Keng - Jusequity Legal Clinic

Legal clinic at Seng Pang Tua Pek Kong Keng in Yishun, 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.

 

xv) 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.  

 

xvi) 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.

   

xvii) Woodlands Community Club Legal Clinics

Legal clinic at Sembawang GRC, supported by the Woodlands Community Club 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.

 

 

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 02 May 2018 .