A. No. Some lawyers do appear in court to argue cases, but most practising lawyers in Hong Kong will only go to court rarely – and many will never go to court.
The majority of lawyers in Hong Kong will work in a firm of solicitors, where they give legal advice to their clients about legal matters. Sometimes this may relate to disputes that arise in the course of their clients’ business. But a lot of advice will also be given about how business deals and investments can be structured to avoid disputes in the future. In such matters a young lawyer will normally find himself or herself working as part of a team in a particular area – such as commercial law, intellectual property law, entertainment law etc.
A. Initially, most young lawyers will join a firm of solicitors and will do a variety of tasks in different legal areas. After gaining this experience, he or she will have plenty of opportunity to specialize in a particular area if he or she wishes. Common areas of specialization include:
A. Absolutely. Some lawyers do enjoy that sort of work and want to specialize in criminal law - but this is a small minority.
A. Yes. Much more. Probably less than 10% of our students want to become barristers. Most want to be solicitors. But this is a decision that can be made much later in your career path.
A. No. The LLB is the academic stage of your training. In the LLB you develop both intellectual skills and general legal skills. There is also a vocational or professional stage to your training. This is a one-year programme called the PCLL (Post-graduate Certificate in Laws). The PCLL is where you will learn about the day-to-day aspects of being a practising lawyer in Hong Kong.
A. Correct. Most students choose to work in a firm of solicitors.
A. When you first go to work in a firm of solicitors you are called a “trainee solicitor”. After 24 months you will be admitted as a (full) solicitor. Fortunately, there are no more exams to be taken after completing the PCLL!
A. It, of course, will depend on how good you are. At present, if you do well in your studies and go to work as a trainee solicitor in a big firm (often called a “City Firm”) you can expect a salary of $30-40,000 per month. When you are admitted as a solicitor two years later, you can expect your salary to increase further.
But, of course, not everyone gets to work for a big firm. Medium sized firms pay less.
Also, no one can tell you what salary levels will be in five years’ time. As for everyone, when the economy is good, salaries go up, when it is bad, they go down.
But lawyers, especially good ones, are handsomely rewarded for their work.
The following diagram set out the career path:
Q. Are there any additional admission requirements for the LLB above the university minimum requirements?
A. No. But JUPAS admission results over the past two years indicate that successful applicants obtained an average grade for the HKCEE and 2AL1AS at Grade B and a minimum grade for UE at Grade B. For details of the JUPAS admissions figures, please visit http://www.jupas.edu.hk/jupas/content_download.htm
Q. Is the LLB only appropriate for “arts stream” students?
A. No. Many good lawyers did science subjects at secondary schools. If you have good intellectual and language skills then the LLB may suit you.
Q. Is UE given extra weight in LLB admissions?
A. Yes. UE is given extra weighting in comparison with other A-level and AS-level subjects, due to the demanding nature of the legal material law students are expected to read and discuss form their first days in law school.
Q. Will the Faculty only consider Band A applicants?
A. In theory, we consider applicants of Band A, B and C, but experience tells that all places can be filled without exhausting the Band A pool. Therefore, students who really wish to get into Law Faculty should put LLB not only as a Band A choice, but preferably as their first choice since this will give them the best chance of being included by the Faculty in its offering list when we match the applicants with their choices after the release of examination results.
Q. How many places are there in the LLB for JUPAS and Non-JUPAS students?
The intake quota is 86, and will mostly be filled by JUPAS, non-JUPAS and EAS students. The proportions vary from year to year, depending on the quality. Applicants can expect that around 15 % to 20% of the total places will be allocated for competition among non-JUPAS candidates, if quality permits.
Q. Are there interviews for Non-JUPAS applicants?
A. Normally yes. Further details will be uploaded to this website in the near future, http://www.hku.hk/law/.
Q. Are there interviews for JUPAS applicants?
A. Normally no.
Q. Will the Faculty give exemptions from any of the admission requirements?
Q. What are my career prospects after graduation from Law Faculty?
A. The majority of our LLB graduates will proceed to study the one-year long PCLL programme which is the qualification for entry into the legal profession in Hong Kong, either as solicitors or barristers. Some law graduates may choose to enter into other sectors, such as business, banking and public service etc.
Q. Are there opportunities to go on exchange at an overseas university?
A. Absolutely yes. We encourage exchanges very much. One semester or one year exchanges are readily compatible with our programme. Exchange scholarships or financial sponsorships will be available to LLB students with good academic standing. In addition to exchange programmes organized by the University as a whole, the Faculty of Law has its own, additional exchange agreements with a range of leading law schools in North America, Australia, the UK, and Europe. It is also possible to do an exchange period at a law school in the PRC.