Talk of new topics for a legal education is everywhere, with the constant march of technology regularly opening new areas for study. Often less discussed is how these lessons are delivered to a fresh breed of students. It’s not just that today’s students have reduced attention spans; they also have different expectations of an education (get a sense of this in Netflix’s outstanding The Chair). The co-curricular matters just as much as the curricular,  as I recently discovered.

Enter “What Is Law Even” (www.whatislaweven.com). Through its bright, tongue-in-cheek comics, NUS student Darren Ang explains legal concepts that people are more accustomed to reading about in paragraphs than in pictures. “I don’t particularly like reading, so you can imagine how I felt when I entered law school and faced chunks and chunks of legal text,” quips the fourth-year student from NUS. “It made me wonder if there was a better way of presenting this information, especially for other students who did not like reading but who were passionate about the law.”

“As I got through my first year, I started to see the law in a very visual way. I realised that in some cases, it could be explained graphically, so I got myself a tablet to start ‘drawing the law’,” he continues. Ironically, his passion for drawing the law has forced him to read his textbooks in even closer detail, so that he knows legal concepts at the back of his hand. “It’s been a great motivation to study, really.”


Darren has gone on to draw at least 100 cartoons that explain everything from patents to mortgages. While these are aimed at textbook-wary law students, laypeople, too, will benefit from their simplified explanations of the law.

The cartoons have also caught the eye of Darren’s teachers, among them Prof Alan Tan, who encourage the project and sometimes chip in with ideas for improvement. The NUS School of Law’s contract law department, headed by Assoc Prof Burton Ong, has even tapped on Darren to produce a series of video explainers for its curriculum. “I’m deeply humbled by their trust in me,” he says. “If anything, it’ll push me even deeper into my books.” A law student knee-deep in their books? Perhaps some things don’t change after all.

See Darren’s comics at www.whatislaweven.com

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the individual author/interviewee and do not represent the views of SAL Group or its subsidiaries.