LAW graduates in Singapore are fuming after being denied internship places at large law firms this year.
Students at the National University of Singapore (NUS) claim fellow institution the Singapore Management University (SMU) has tied up internships for their students with all the big law firms, reports The Strait Times.
One disgruntled second-year NUS undergraduate said last year’s batch of NUS law students had applied as late as March and still got internships at the top law firms during their school break last month.
The student and at least 10 of her classmates applied in January this year, but were not given offers at any of these firms.
They claim their grades and previous internship experience are comparable to that of their seniors, they believe that SMU students have allocated internships within these firms as 100 per cent of this year’s cohort got internship places.
“It is greatly unfair to book places at a firm and deprive other students of open competition,” said the student, who did not want to be named for fear of jeopardising her future internship chances. She had to settle for a month- long internship at a smaller firm.
“Internships are important. We often get offered pupilage places at the end of our internship, so not doing an internship may mean not getting a pupilage offer,” she said.
While SMU has a mandatory 10-week internship requirement for its students, NUS does not require its law students to fulfill this requirement. Which is why NUS law students believe SMU secures internship positions for its students, or they may not be able to graduate.
SMU’s associate dean of external relations and practice assistant professor of law, Rathna Nathan, denied that the school has arrangements with firms to allocate spots for its students.