Over a three-month period from June to August, NUS Law engages in a long-held tradition of welcoming new freshmen into the school through a series of Orientation programs. This series aims to cover the highlights of this year’s Orientation.

Matriculation Week

I would first like to applaud the Matriculation Week committee for a job well done. This year’s Matriculation Week was totally different from previous iterations. Instead of “fun days” and “academic days”, the committee this year was found itself reinventing the entire event to create a more enjoyable and enlightening learning experience.

Day 1: Station Games, House Event and CSI Night

Similar to previous years, Matriculation Week was held over a span of 4 days. On 22 July 2019, Monday, the morning started out on a crazy note as seniors made a hilarious parody out of Law Camp’s storyline. With the seniors going crazy and dancing to the catchy tunes, the energy in the air was infectious. Sleepy freshmen immediately brightened up, grins plastered on their faces.

Photo: Seniors kickstarting Matriculation Week on a high.

The day progressed with station games to include freshmen who were unable to get in on the fun during law camp. These games included novel activities like fencing with straws and collecting cotton balls with shaving cream.

It is this author’s hypothesis that the games were a tremendous success, as shown through the two pictures below.

Photo: Freshman playing Cotton Candy, an interesting and new addition to Orientation. Pictured above is a freshman who had so much fun that he had to hide his face behind a bucket (Just kidding, he was using shaving cream to collect cotton balls!)

Photo: Proof of the intensity, rigour and enjoyable nature of the games, as observed from the freshmen pictured above who were ready to fight till the end. Interestingly, the name of the game, Happy Feet, seemed like a misnomer given how serious they were!

While station games were an overwhelming success, the next event of the day was equally important. As part of an initiative to ensure the continuity of Orientation even after the official orientation event ends, each of the four houses organised a “Tinder-style” event with a different purpose – to pair alike seniors and juniors for the inaugural House mentorship program. Through this event, freshmen got to find seniors who shared similar interests. This author understands that the freshmen were subsequently able to indicate their preferred mentors through a survey.

Photo: Seniors from Azura House sharing experiences with their juniors.

While these activities were indeed exciting, the highlight of Day 1 was CSI Night. Voted as the most enjoyable activity by the Freshmen, CSI was truly a stimulating night. Excited murmurs of freshmen were heard as they tried to solve the Escape the Room puzzles. It was mind-boggling activity which not only tested the freshies brains to solve the various problems but also the ability to work under time constraints. I have to commend the seniors for their brilliant acting which deserves an Oscar award. Step aside “Walking Dead”.

Photo: Even paranormal creatures do need to exercise sometimes 😉

Day 2: Inter-OG Games, House Event and Student Life Fair

In line with the vision of bonding the batch not just within the Orientation Group (OG) but also outside of the OGs, Day 2 started off with inter-OG games. While inter-OG games was not a novel idea, the games played were refreshing and exciting. The morning was filled with peals of laughter and amusement as freshmen played the games designed to allow them to make new friends.

Photo: Partner Yoga (this author must say that she is extremely impressed at the flexibility of the freshmen).

After the Inter-OG Games, Student Life Fair (SLF) was organised. What is unique about this year’s SLF is that there were academic booths by rising Y2 students sharing their experiences with dealing with each of the different modules they took as Year 1s.

Photo: Kind seniors sharing any advice they have to the matriculation year 1s.

Student Life Fair was also another opportunity for freshmen to realise that law school was more than just studying and there were plenty of extra-curricular activities, including Justified (which this author is part of!).

Photo: This year, there was an addition of a new club called the Collaborative and Dispute Resolution Club (CDRC). As observed above, they attracted quite a number of freshmen to visit their booth.

Day 3: Firm Visits and Panel Discussions

On the third day, the freshmen had the opportunity to visit various law firms for some exposure into practice and life as a lawyer. The partner firms this year were Drew & Napier, Allen & Gledhill, Baker MacKenzie Wong & Leow, United Legal Alliance, Tan Kok Quan Partnership, Yuen Law LLC and Gloria James-Civetta & Co.

After a fulfilling morning filled with insights into legal practitioners’ tough but satisfying lives, the freshmen came back to BTC, ending the day off with a panel discussion. The panel this year involved various figures who hold a law degree but are working in different industries.

Photo: The panellists this year include Ms. Stefanie Yuen-Thio, Ms. Stella Tan, Ms. Priscilla Shunmugam, Ms. Gloria James-Civetta, Ms. Sylvia Lim, Mr. Kenneth Wong and Mr. Edmund Kronenburg. The panel was moderated by Associate Professor Ruby Lee.

The panel discussion was an eye-opening experience. This author was particularly inspired by a recurring figure on the panel, Ms. Stefanie Yuen-Thio, who spoke about how women should fight for what they believe in and should not be pushed down by men.

Day 4: Picnic Under the Stars

The highlight of matric week had to be the last day where it was “Picnic Under the Stars”. The Matriculation Week Committee had a vision this year to create an event where freshmen can relax and appreciate the beauty of the campus at night. It is this author’s opinion that this was highly successful.

Photo: Inspired by an outdoor wedding, the seniors took a whole day to prepare something similar to end Matriculation Week with a bang.

Photo: Freshmen and seniors relaxing over good food and pretty lights.

Photo: Let’s not forget Law School’s hidden talents – fantastic muses like Shou En and Jing Wen that serenaded us with their voices for the entire night!

It was truly a magical night, with friends, food, and good music.

[Photos taken by Justified and NUS Law Orientation 2019, Creative Committee]

Shahira