Mention law school, and even the most seasoned of lawyers may involuntarily shudder at the memory of reading 50-page judgments while experiencing chronic sleep deprivation. On top of the hard work, the competitive environment is equally legendary. And yet, batch after batch of SMU law graduates will tell you that law school was the best four years of their lives. Our third-year School of Law student Jeremy Toh talks about why he chose SMU, and shares some of the high points that he’s experienced during his time here.
By Jeremy Toh, SMU School of Law
1. Perhaps the most important reason why I chose SMU is its pedagogy. I know this point frequently comes up, but it is for a good reason.
It’s been a great experience to be in a learning environment which allows me to confront bold ideas on my own terms. It’s about not blindly taking at face value what is being taught, but questioning as well – an approach well-suited for a legal career. I really learned (and not merely heard) what was taught.
2. Camaraderie. Before I entered SMU, I heard the horror stories about the intense competitiveness, especially among law students. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t true, but I’ve also been fortunate to have found a fantastic group of friends who are really supportive of each other. It’s easier to keep going when the going gets tough knowing that if I fall, I will have folks who will first laugh at me and take a picture, and then help me back up.
3. It’s not just about the books. While we’re at the School of Law, we may be all about the legalese. But once we’re out of the seminar room, there’s something for everyone, wherever our skills, talents, and interests may lie. For example, I got to employ my polytechnic training by directing the marketing trailer for the SOL freshmen orientation camp. You just have to say “yes” to opportunities that come along; after all, is there a good story that began with a “no”?
4. Overseas travels. I’m now in my third year and I’ve already been overseas with SMU twice – once for an exchange program, and once for an Overseas Community Service Project. My classmates have also been on law study missions, international moots, and more.
I guess I had my wanderlust taken care of very nicely here. But beyond that, the plethora of overseas experiences available adds another dimension to my learning: it’s not just about the law, it’s also about the people you meet. So often, I get caught up in the grind that I forget that the world has so much more to offer. These overseas travels are a timely and welcome reminder.
5. Location, location, location. We’re the only law school located right in the city centre – which has its pros and cons. For me, the most important upside is that there are fantastic food joints located near campus. Also on the upside, my weight. That said, I’m sure I’ll take the opportunity to join my classmates for one of their nice, de-stressing runs at Fort Canning Hill… someday.
Undergraduate applications are open — visit admissions.smu.edu.sg to learn how you can Transform into a Different U.