In conversation with Surendra Ananth, current President of the Asian Law Students Association.
Tell us something about ALSA and its history?
ASEAN Law Students’ Association was established at the First ASEAN Law
Students’ Conference in Jakarta, 18 May 1989. By 2002, the five member
countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, came
to the idea of extending its scope of membership in order to enhance the
achievement of its objectives.
International Law Students’ Association of Peking University (ILSA PKU) which
represents ALSA China was established in March, 2003.
Law Association, Hong Kong University Students’ Union (LA, HKUSU) was
established in 1969. It has long been a local student body serving law students
in the University of Hong Kong. According to its constitution, LA, HKUSU
represents its members locally and internationally. After attending a few
conferences held by ALSA, it decided to join the ALSA.
by the vision and purpose of European Law Students’ Association in 1996, the
Japanese law students decided to set up an Asian Law Students’ Association in
East Asian countries. By the Seoul Declaration in 2001, the International
Department of Legal Aid Association of Peking University, ALSA Japan, ALSA
Korea and ALSA Taiwan officially decided to continue to discuss how to build a network
between the countries. In 2002, after the Korean Conference and in the Asian
Forum held in Japan, the merging with the ASEAN Law Students’ Association was
agreed. This was made upon the vision and purpose of the first ALSA members.
basis for the national committee of the Asian Law Students’ Association in
Korea was first created by Seoul National University law school students in
1998 through ALSA SNU, a full national committee by the name of the Asian Law
Student’s Association of Korea was formed in the summer of year 2000 consisting
of two universities; Seoul National University and Ewha Woman’s University.
ASEAN Law Students’ Association which is composed of the member countries
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand represented by Mr.
NitiNernchamnong, representatives of the International Department of Legal Aid
Association of Peking University, Law Association, Hong Kong University
Students’ Union of the University of Hong Kong (LA, HKUSU), Asian Law Students’
Association Japan (ALSA Japan), Asian Law Students’ Association Korea (ALSA
Korea) and Asian Law Students’ Association Taiwan (ALSA Taiwan) attended the
Asian forum and signed the Tokyo Agreement on 7 September 2002 to agree to
merge into a single association which took effect by a resolution passed
unanimously by ASEAN Law Students’ Association, the International Law Students’
Association of Peking University formerly known as the International Department
of Legal Aid Association of Peking University, LA, HKUSU, ALSA Japan, ALSA
Korea and ALSA Taiwan on 23 October 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand.
sums up our long history. As of now, we have 14 member countries with 12,000
student members. The main goal of this association is to develop the skills and
talents of its members to help them in various aspects of their professional
career. It is association rich with cultural diversity, as our members come
from different races and religions. However, we believe that regardless of our
background, we exist as one. Thus our motto, ‘ALSA Always Be One’.

Tell us about how you joined ALSA and your initial days?
joined ALSA as a first year student in the National University of Malaysia. I
was active in the university chapter, before I was involved in the organizing
committee for the ALSA International Conference in Kuala Lumpur. During my
third year of studies, I was elected as the President of ALSA Malaysia. It was
during my final or fourth year of studies that I was elected as President of
ALSA International.
Q) Can law students from countries not a part of ALSA be involved with ALSA.?
Constitutionally, one has to be in a existing national chapter to become a member. However, non-member students can still be involved, if the host of an event allows
How long have you been the President of ALSA?
about 3 and a half months since end of August 2013.
What do you rank as the greatest achievement of ALSA under you?
we are realizing plans and projects put forth by our predecessors. We are still
at a very early stage. However an achievement to note would be the release of
the Asian Journal of Legal Studies [], where
credit must be given to its editor, Adrian Fong.
What are your plans regarding the growth of ALSA in the near future?
have a few major projects in place. One to note would be the establishment of
our very own Moot Court Competition. We are preparing the ground work, and we
expect to launch it in early 2015. We are also coming up with a systematic
exchange program, where law students would be able to carry out internships in
other countries through ALSA.
Tell us in brief about some activities that ALSA conducts for the benefit of Asian
Law students.
2 major activities would be the ALSA Conference and ALSA Forum. In these
events, we organize debate competitions, moot competitions, workshops, table
discussions and many other academic activities. This is a great platform for
law students to be exposed to the different legal systems in Asia. It is also a
great opportunity for international networking.
addition, we have about 6 Study Trips per year organized by different
countries. Our partnership with the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA)
and the Australian Law Students’ Association (AusLSA) enables our members to
attend their conferences in Europe and Australia respectively. Members also
have access to summer law school programs in Europe through ELSA.
conclude, there are countless benefits for students.
Q)  How can Law students of different countries be
working members of ALSA and work for it?
president of each National Chapter is a member of the Governing Council, which
is the decision making body for ALSA. Despite coming from 14 different
backgrounds, we have had no problems or issues when working together.
Your message for all budding lawyers and future law students.

not stick to your books and grades. Networking is extremely crucial. In the era
of globalization, your network makes all the difference. It is very important
to be exposed in the international arena, may it be through ALSA, Moot or other
competitions. Unlike the past, law students in the present are presented with a
lot of opportunities to hone their skills. My advice is to make use of these
opportunities. Dreams will only remain dreams if you don’t put in effort to turn
them into reality.

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