What is CLAS?
CLAS refers to The Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme. This scheme aims to provide assistance to the poor and needy who cannot afford a lawyer. The CLAS office focuses on criminal cases covered under specific statutes concerning non-death penalty offences.
What is expected of CJC-CLAS members?
Students who are successfully matched to a lawyer-mentor represent CJC and well as NUS Law at all times. Apart from being genuinely interested in criminal defence work, students are expected to be pro-active and accountable.
What are the similarities between the CLAS Office attachment and CLAS Private Firm attachment?
Both types of attachments will give students the same exposure to Criminal Defence and Pro Bono work in Singapore. Regardless of the type of attachment, students will be assigned to a mentor lawyer, get first-hand experience of criminal practice and receive similar responsibilities.
Does the CJC-CLAS Initiative extend to private firms?
Yes, depending on availability, CJC-CLAS members will also have opportunities to work with private firm lawyers that are working on CLAS or criminal matters.
I am interested in the CJC-CLAS attachment, how do I apply?
Applications are managed by the CJC. Students should not apply directly to The Law Society of Singapore or CLAS.
New applications for freshmen will only open after Semester 1. Keep a lookout for announcements!
What are some of my responsibilities as an extern?
An externs’ responsibilities will largely involve legal research, drafting, interviews, case and trial preparation, and possibly investigation. However, externs may also be called on to assist with administrative tasks, in support of the evolving needs of CLAS.
What are the differences between the CLAS Office attachment and CLAS Private Firm attachment?
For the CLAS Office attachments, students will be assigned to a lawyer at the CLAS office located at the State Courts. Whereas for the CLAS Private Firm attachment, students will be attached to a lawyer from a private firm who has taken on a CLAS case. They also differ in terms of duration and intensity. Each CLAS Office attachment will last for a fixed duration of around 8-10 weeks and students can expect a constant flow of work (especially during the Summer Tranche). In contrast, the duration of CLAS Private Firm attachments depends on the specific case and could last beyond the semester. The workload will also vary depending on the stage and needs of the case.
I am a practicing defence lawyer and would like to extend an attachment opportunity to your students, who can I contact?
Yes, we are always looking for opportunities for our students! Kindly drop us an email at [email protected] and we will get in touch soon. Thank you.
I am interested in the CJC-LASCO attachment, how do I apply?
The CJC-LASCO initiative is not open for application. Students who perform well in the CLAS Office Attachment and who are recommended by their CLAS mentors would be automatically eligible for the programme.
Are there any pre-requisites for the CJC-CLAS attachment?
Currently, it is a pre-requisite for students to have completed their LARC and Criminal Modules by the time they begin their attachments. This means that First Years would be eligible to apply for the Summer Externship after completing their first year in law school.
I’ve been accepted for a CLAS Office / Private Firm attachment, what happens next?
Check out our resources page at nuscriminaljustice.com/cjc-clas-resources for more information on what to do!