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Hong Kong Law Careers Guide

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Legal Law careers guide for Hong Kong, for students.

Text of Hong Kong Law Careers Guide

Guidebook 2010Hong Kong Legal Careers

ContentsContents .....................................................................................................................................................i Preface and Acknowledgments .............................................................................................................ii Copyright information ...........................................................................................................................ii Disclaimer .................................................................................................................................................ii A Legal Career in Hong Kong ................................................................................................................1 Pathways to admission in Hong Kong...............................................................................................3 When should I apply for internships and training contracts? ......................................................5 A typical week of an associate with Brenda Lui ..............................................................................6 A typical week of a trainee with Winnie Ling ................................................................................9 A typical week of a winter clerk with Erica Lam ..........................................................................11 A typical week of an intern with omas Liu ...............................................................................14 A selected list of law rms in Hong Kong ......................................................................................16 A Legal Career in China ........................................................................................................................20 ACYA: Study and work in China ....................................................................................................21 Interning at a Leading Chinese Law Firm: TransAsia Lawyers .................................................21 PCLL Admission Requirements .........................................................................................................23 PCLL Admission Requirements: Competence in 14 subjects ...................................................24 PCLL Conversion Examinations required by Australian students ...........................................26 Visiting internal students (exchange programs) .......................................................................27 Examination preparation: Commercial providers of preparatory courses ..............................28 Examination preparation: Exam tips .............................................................................................29 PCLL Admission Requirements: IELTS ........................................................................................33 e Postgraduate Certi cate in Laws (PCLL) ..................................................................................35 A side-by-side comparison of PCLL providers in Hong Kong ..................................................38 Some Final Information and Tips .......................................................................................................44 e PCLL admission checklist ........................................................................................................45 Plan ahead! .........................................................................................................................................46 On the lighter side .............................................................................................................................48 You are about to y to Hong Kong: A nal checklist ..................................................................52

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Preface and acknowledgementsis guide is a collaborative project between the University of New South Wales Law Society (UNSW LawSoc), the University of Sydney Chinese Law Students Society (USYD CLSS) and the Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA). e aim of this guide is to combine various information on pursuing a legal career in Hong Kong, especially on qualifying as a solicitor in Hong Kong. Moreover, this guide is prepared by Australian students for Australian students. We have tried to create a publication which Australian students will nd easy to understand, practical, and useful. In preparing this guide, we have received much help. We would like to thank all the people who have made this publication possible:UNSW LawSoc: Valerie Suen Sheldon Leung Hugo Chan Winnie Liang Alain Teh Sonya Chen omas Liu USYD CLSS: Tracy Liu Jessica Chung Amy Ngan Rebecca Pu Sarah Li Hans Angus Daniel Nguyen ACYA: Jessica Liang Elizabeth Reside Patrick Mayoh

Law rms: Lovells (Brenda Lui) Fresh elds Bruckhaus Deringer (Winnie Ling) Mallesons Stephen Jaques (Erica Lam) DLA Piper

Universities: City University of Hong Kong e Chinese University of Hong Kong e University of Hong Kong

Copyright informationCopyright subsisting in this guide belong to the University of New South Wales Law Society (UNSW LawSoc), the University of Sydney Chinese Law Students Society (USYD CLSS) and the Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA). Copyright is protected in Australia by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) which, inter alia, prohibits unauthorised reproductions and unauthorised publications.

DisclaimerWhilst all care has been taken to ensure that all the information in this guide are correct and accurate, neither the contributors of this guide nor any of the copyright holders are responsibility for any information subsequently proved false, misleading or inaccurate. Readers are advised that a lot of information in this guide are subject to change with time. Further, readers are advised to conduct their own research on important details in order to verify the accuracy of information in this guide.

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Pathways to admission in Hong Kong

A Legal Career in Hong KongHong Kong Law Careers Guide

When should I apply for internships and training contracts? A typical week of an associate with Brenda Lui A typical week of a trainee with Winnie Ling A typical week of a winter clerk with Erica Lam A typical week of an intern with Thomas Liu A selected list of law rms in Hong Kong

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A Legal Career in Hong KongComparing Australia to Hong Kong Weve all heard about the downsides of working in Hong Kong: cramped apartments, expensive rent and longer working hours. e road also seems longer you will o cially qualify two and a half years a er those who nish university as the same time as you, but what about the bene ts of working in Hong Kong? e bene ts of working in Hong Kong Hong Kong rms have smaller o ces, giving you greater exposure to di erent types of work. In some cases, the type of work some trainees receive can be the same as lawyers with a few years of post-quali cation experience in Australia. You may also want to consider whether you want to work in an international (American, English or Australian) rm or a local Hong Kong-based rm. Most international law rms tend to be biased towards corporate departments and have smaller dispute resolution practices. e city o ers a great lifestyle and there is the possibility of a secondment to London (mainly in corporate or nance) and/or another part of Asia for a seat during the trainee contract. From a nancial perspective, top-tier law rms in Hong Kong pay at respectable rates approximately HKD $43,000-45,000 per month or more for rst year trainees. e tax rate is also lower than in Australia for the same level of income. As for working hours, we wont deny that lawyers work hard in general and working as a solicitor in Hong Kong may not be for everyone. e amount of work, however, depends on various factors such as the rm culture, the current market, the practice group you are working in. It would be quite unjust to say that Hong Kong lawyers work a lot more than Australian lawyers across the board. Refer to the sections A typical week of an associate with Brenda Lui and A typical week of a trainee with Winnie Ling in this guide to determine whether you can handle the workload of associates and trainees. See for yourself ! If you have the time and assuming you plan well ahead, you can consider doing a clerkship in Australia and an internship(s) in Hong Kong to compare which lifestyle is better for you. Language requirements e Hong Kong legal system operates under a common law system quite similar to the one we have in Australia. In fact many Ordinances are based on Australian legislation; and retired Australian judges sit on Hong Kongs Court of Final Appeal. Having Mandarin or Cantonese language skills is not essential for working in Hong Kong, but knowledge of either language at an intermediate level or above is certainly advantageous. It goes without saying that you should be prepared to be tested on Chinese language skills in most job interviews.

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Pathways to admission in Hong Kongere are two avenues to qualifying as a solicitor in Hong Kong either as a trainee solicitor or via the overseas lawyer route. 1. ualifying as a solicitor through the trainee solicitor route is is the most obvious pathway to quali cation for university graduates. In summary, to be admitted, prospective solicitors are required to complete a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or a Juris Doctor ( JD) from a common law jurisdiction, the Postgraduate Certi cate in Laws (PCLL) in Hong Kong, and nally a two-year training contract with a law rm. e trainee route as a diagram !"#$%&'&()"*+(,*-'+.%/.0( %.1(2&3+&& 6.+9:/$.'&(/0(/0'&+0-5/$;-

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