Specialised Master Programme
Pasha L. Hsieh
Director, Master of Laws (LLM)
Programme and Associate Professor of Laws
Institution: Singapore Management University
Programme: Master of Laws
Why does SMU offer the Master of Laws programme?
Today’s globalised marketplace requires lawyers to understand transnational commercial practices. Contemporary legal services constitute a critical catalyst for facilitating cross-border transactions and investments that underpin the multilateral business network. With the economic power shifting to Asia, the regional legal market has expanded rapidly. Yet, it remains a challenge for practitioners to grasp complex legal systems and business operations.
SMU School of Law designed the specialised Master of Laws (LLM) programme for 21st century lawyers and judicial officials.
Could you give us an overview of the programme?
The SMU programme is carefully designed to expand students’ legal knowledge in classic and novel areas of business and finance law, while simultaneously equipping them with the skills essential to render on-point advice on cross-border transactions. Like all programmes at SMU, it is taught in a small-sized, interactive class environment by professors who have gained insights from diverse work experiences.
We have curated three specialised tracks within the programme aimed at nurturing intellectual curiosity and creativity, while at the same time meeting the demands and standards set at leading law firms as well as in the region’s judicial institutions. The three tracks are in Judicial Studies, CrossBorder Business and Finance Law in Asia, and the Dual LLM in Commercial Law (Singapore & London) track.
Who is eligible to take the programme and how long does it take to complete it?
SMU designed the programme for lawyers, legal counsels, judges and government officials who are keen on advancing their knowledge of new aspects of transnational commercial law. You will work closely with international faculty members and fellow classmates who come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. The programme can be completed over one year with full-time study or over 15 months in a part-time format for working professionals
Can someone without a law degree apply?
The LLM requires a basic law degree. However, someone with substantive knowledge of the law might be considered on an individual basis. In the past, candidates with substantial experience in accounting firms and regulatory bodies such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, for example, have been admitted into the programme.
How many students enrol and what is the typical class profile?
We offer up to 30 places each year to successful candidates. These typically range in age from early 20s to 40s. Our students usually have working experience as lawyers, in-house counsels or legal academics at the time of application. They represent various jurisdictions, including graduates from National University of Singapore, Hanoi University, King’s College London, Thammasat University, University of Dehli, University of Tokyo, and Wuhan University.