CJC-CLAS, CJC-CLAS Resources, CLD Interest Pieces

I’ve been accepted for a CLAS Office / Private Firm Attachment, what happens next?

1. We will link you up with the
respective external parties (i.e. either the CLAS Office or the private firm lawyers). Once you are connected, you can expect to sign confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements.

• The CLAS Office will also require you to fill in some forms and attend an introductory briefing as part of their on-boarding process.
• Private Firm lawyers will usually arrange for a meeting with you. Be prepared to share your availability.
(Tip: If COVID is not in the way, we recommend that you ask to meet in person for your first meeting at least. This will help you build a better working relationship.)

2. Depending on your project, we will also add you into the respective Telegram groups so that you are connected with your attachment partners, a CJC-CLAS Committee member and/or past interns/externs.

3. Please prepare yourself by doing the following:

Register under the right project on Start Now Law (“SNL”) (e.g. “Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) Attachment Programme AY2020/21”) at https://www.startnowlaw.com/
• Read the CLAS cheatsheet (to be released soon)
• Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEhVppdwB3k&feature=you to make sure you have a basic understanding of the Singapore Criminal Justice System
• Watch the CLAS training webinars (to be released soon)


1. Put your best foot forward and make the best use out of your attachment. Stay proactive and be responsible.

2. Diligently keep track of your Pro Bono hours and record them in your

How to record Pro Bono Hours on your timesheet
• Use a 24-hour clock (i.e. 13:00, 21:30) as your time format so that it will be the same on SNL.
• SNL only accepts intervals of 10 minutes, so try your best to keep to 10-minute intervals.
• Should you run into 5-minute intervals, take note of the following:
– If the START TIME is at a 5-minute interval, say 08:45, round UP to 08:50.
– If the END TIME is at a 5-minute interval, say 15:45, round DOWN to 15:40.
– However, there is an exception for 1-hour long activities. For example, if your actual activity is from 08:45 to 09:45, you can still claim one hour by entering 08:50 to 09:50.
• Do not count your lunch break. For those with official working hours that include a 1-hour lunch break, break the record into two. For example, your 9 am to 6 pm working hours on 11 Oct 2020 should be split into two records: 09:00 to 12:00 on 11 Oct 2019, and 13:00 to 18:00 on 11 Oct 2019).

• Any sort of training, orientation, briefing cannot be counted as pro bono hours (unless otherwise stated). To find out more about what counts a pro bono work, kindly refer to http://www.sile.edu.sg/pdf/Probono_Criteria_and_Guidelines.pdf.


3. When working on research or drafting tasks, you can refer to the following documents for some guidance:
– CLAS Manual
– NUS CJC-CLAS Handbook
*These documents will be shared with you privately.

4. If you run into any problems (e.g. assignment trouble, missing partners, silent mentors, etc.), feel free to approach the CJC-CLAS Committee or any seniors that we have put you in contact with.


1. Thank your lawyer mentor for giving you the attachment opportunity.

2. Politely
ask your lawyer mentor to sign (physically or digitally) your timesheet because they are not obliged to do so. 🙂

3. Key in your hours onto SNL.

How to key in Pro Bono hours on SNL
• You can only key in hours that are within the duration of the SNL opportunity. Should your attachment go beyond the project’s duration, key in your hours in the subsequent project entry.
– For example, your CLAS AY19/20 attachment takes place over summer from 1 May 2020 to 7 August 2020. However, the CLAS AY19/20 project entry on SNL ends on 31 July 2020.
– Solution: All pro bono hours recorded from 1 August 2020 onwards must be keyed into the new CLAS AY20/21 project entry.

• The “Remarks” column is not crucial to the success of your SNL entry, but keeping it consistent with your timesheet will speed up approval.
• What if you make a mistake? Don’t fret. Let the CJC-CLAS Director know and we will “reject” the wrong entry so that you can make a new record.

4. Email a copy of your signed timesheet to [email protected] (However, if you choose not to submit your pro bono hours, that’s completely fine too! We will just assume that you don’t need the recorded hours.)

5. Job complete….unless there are issues with your pro bono hours. 



• The CJC-CLAS Director will have to check to see if your SNL records match your timesheet and if the right activities have been recorded. If they match, your SNL records will be “approved”.
• The CJC-CLAS Director will then email your timesheet to the NUS Pro Bono Office (“PBO”) and once they make the final verification, your entries will become “verified”.
• Should any entry be wrong, the record will be rejected and you will have to make a re-entry. This is a troublesome and time-consuming process (especially when it involves PBO) so please be extra meticulous!

Should you have any further questions, feel free to email us at
[email protected]

*The views and opinions expressed in this article do not constitute legal advice and solely belong to the author and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the NUS Criminal Justice Club or its affiliates.