Law firm Allen & Gledhill gives $1m to NUS and SMU to support legal education
Leading law firm Allen & Gledhill has given $1 million to two local universities to support legal education.
To mark its 120th anniversary, the firm pledged $500,000 each to the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) law faculty and the Yong Pung How School of Law of the Singapore Management University (SMU).
The donation, which was made at an anniversary dinner event in October, will go towards supporting scholarships and academic programmes from 2023 to 2027.
This is not the first time the law firm has given towards legal education. It previously made two donations, of $150,000 and $250,000 respectively, to NUS law school at its 100th and 110th anniversaries.
In a statement, Allen & Gledhill’s managing partner Jerry Koh said: “As a law firm, we have legal education as an important focus of our giving programme.
“We have benefited greatly from the rule of law and a very developed practice of law in Singapore, and we are committed to supporting our young minds and future lawyers obtain a sound foundation in law and legal principles at our outstanding law schools.”
Allen & Gledhill was founded in 1902 and is one of the leading and largest full-service law firms in South-east Asia, with more than 600 lawyers.
Professor Simon Chesterman, dean of NUS Law, said: “We are deeply grateful that this important anniversary is being used to reaffirm the firm’s commitment to legal education and future generations of lawyers.
“This gift will make our efforts to recruit diverse and talented students far easier, as well as ensuring that our graduates are able to see that the profession supports and nurtures its own.”
Professor Lee Pey Woan, dean of SMU’s law school, said it will work closely with Allen & Gledhill to ensure its gift is fully invested in supporting students and advancing legal research and education.
To mark its anniversary, Allen & Gledhill also launched an initiative under which its lawyers get to give back to the community.
Starting next year, its lawyers are strongly encouraged to spend at least 24 hours volunteering and being involved in pro bono work. This includes in criminal and family law matters.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 100 lawyers from the firm were involved in pro bono matters, completing nearly 10,000 hours of pro bono work in 2020 and 2021.
Mr Joshua Foo, 28, who had previously received a scholarship from Allen & Gledhill in his third year of law school at NUS, said it helped to cover a substantial amount of his tuition fees.
“While we were not in a very dire situation, it really alleviated a big financial burden off the family,” he said.
Mr Foo, who is now an associate in Allen & Gledhill’s litigation and dispute resolution department, said he returned to work in the firm despite not having a bond for several reasons, including the mentorship he has received over the years.
“There are many learning opportunities as the department covers a wide variety of legal work, from criminal to commercial matters.”