Doing Good: The CLAS Impact
The Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) was launched in 1985. A ground-up movement by senior lawyers, including the late Mr Harry Elias SC, CLAS has played and will continue to play a critical role in providing criminal legal aid for vulnerable persons.
CLAS Fellows are junior lawyers who work with Law Society Pro Bono Services full time as pro bono defence counsel on short term contracts sponsored by generous supporters of the charity. After their term, many of the CLAS Fellows continue to fly the pro bono flag high by volunteering or taking on other roles in the charity. Below is a collection of short stories from some of the CLAS Fellows where they talk about the life-changing and valuable work done during and after their term.
1. Sadhana Rai
Sadhana was a CLAS Fellow from 2015 to 2016, and a CLAS Advocate from 2016 to 2021. Currently, she is an Assistant Director of Representation with Law Society Pro Bono Services. Click here to find out what happened to Sadhana’s client, a young adult who found himself an unwitting pawn in a much larger insurance scam.
2. Ng Pei Qi
Ng Pei Qi was a CLAS Fellow in 2021. Currently, she is a volunteer with the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme. Click here to read how Pei Qi advocated for an accused person with an intellectual disability.
3. Shaneet Rai
Shaneet Rai was a CLAS Fellow in 2018. Read about a case on rehabilitating a client with alcohol addiction in the post here.
4. Siraj Shaik Aziz
Siraj was a CLAS Fellow from 2018 to 2019. Currently, he is a volunteer with the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme. Read about the importance of support in his article here.
5. Marjorie Kong
Marjorie was a CLAS Fellow from 2018 to 2019. Currently, she is an Assistant Manager for Law Society Pro Bono Services’ Family Justice Support Scheme. This scheme bridges existing service gaps by increasing access to legal services to those facing family law issues who fall through the cracks. Read her article here.
6. Foo Juyuan
Foo Juyuan was a CLAS Fellow in 2015. Read about an instance where he advocated for his client with intellectual disabilities and their caregiver. Click here for the article.
7. Goh Qian Hui
Qian Hui was a CLAS Fellow in 2020. Currently, she is an Assistant Manager for Law Society Pro Bono Services’ Community Outreach. Read her story here.
7. Cai Chengying
Chengying was a CLAS Fellow in 2015. Currently, she is a Senior Assistant Director, CEO’s Office at Law Society Pro Bono Services. Read her case for reflection here.
The CLAS Fellowship has always relied solely on fundraising efforts to sustain itself. Give to The Fellowship Fund so more junior lawyers can be the voice for the last, the lost and the least. Any amount donated at https://bit.ly/lg_fellowshipfund will receive dollar-for-dollar matching under the Tote Board’s Enhanced Fundraising Programme, subject to caps.