Programme Brochure - Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong

Programme Brochure - Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong KongFaculty of

Dean’s Message‘The aim of education should be to teach how to think,rather than what to think,’ It is with this conviction inmind that we introduced our JD programme on theFortieth Anniversary of our Law School. Having been apioneer in undergraduate legal education for forty years,we believed the time was ripe for us to introduce aunique and vigorous graduate law programme that takesinto account the needs of mature graduate students.Our vision is to create a top quality common lawprogramme that focuses both on depth and breadth.From the very beginning, we decided to have a smallintake. This would allow us to get to know our studentswell, to create a cozy, cordial and supportive learningenvironment, and to give individual attention to eachof our students. It is now a few years down the roadand we know we made the right decision. We areable to give our students individual attention rangingfrom academic studies to career advice to personaldevelopment. Our graduates from this programmefind that they have experienced a most memorableand rewarding part of their life’s journey. There isa stimulating and vibrant academic environmentfor learning, where they can learn from the leadingscholars, not only in our Law School, but from everypart of the world. The Programme is carefully structured,and the learning is vigorous and inspiring, focusingnot only on what the law is but what the law ought tobe, great emphasis being accorded critical analysisand lawyering skills. There is regular interaction andfeedback between students and teachers, and thereis a strong bonding among the students themselvesand between the students and the academic staff.As an internationally prestigious university, we alsooffer our students ample opportunities for internationalexposure, including international mooting competitionsand student exchange programmes, as well as careerplacement. We also run a joint JD-LLM programmewith the University of Pennsylvania Law School underwhich our students can spend a year on scholarship atone of the Ivy League Universities to obtain a mastersqualification. In short, our aim is to provide the bestlegal education for our students.This is a highly competitive programme, with topstudents applying from all over the world, and we lookforward to your joining us.Professor Johannes Chan SC (Hon)Dean, Faculty of LawThe University of Hong Kong1

Overview of the ProgrammeQin LIU• Class of 2011• Bachelor of Science, Wuhan University, 2006• Bachelor of Arts, Wuhan University, 2006• Master of Arts, Boston University, 2008• Research Associate, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals,New York• Trainee, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom,2012Besides being one of the most dynamic and colorful cities in the world, HongKong has a legal system known for its judicial integrity and the subtle balance itmaintains between two disparate legal traditions. With its prestigious teachingstaff and the extensive opportunities it provides, the HKU Faculty of Law wasmy first choice for a sound common law education. The Faculty’s commitmentto the JD programme impressed me and eventually drew me to it. The idea ofbringing together the best minds from different fields underpins the programmeand has been well executed by the Faculty. My peers together created the mostintellectually challenging and fulfilling experience I have had so far. Anyonewho is willing to take on the challenge would choose the JD programme in aheartbeat.The JD is a full-time, two-year law degree that provides comprehensive and in-depthlegal education to students without prior background in the law. The emphasis ofthe programme is not on rote learning of legal rules, but on critical appreciation andassessment of the underpinnings of these rules. The programme distinguishes itself byits small class size. JD students will be taught as a separate group of about 40 students.We believe that an intimate environment will facilitate interaction and enhance thelearning experience.The programme will provide students with a solid foundation in traditional commonlaw subjects, which are the bedrock of the Hong Kong legal system. In addition, theprogramme will introduce students to new ways of thinking about the law. Courses oninterdisciplinary and theoretical approaches to the law are a required component ofthe programme. These courses will challenge students not only to understand what thelaw is, but also to contemplate what the law should be. The programme also includes abroad range of electives, which will allow students to explore their academic interestsand to develop a specialty. Such exploration and specialization will culminate in asubstantial dissertation, in which students are expected to engage with and advance thescholarship on cutting-edge areas of law.The JD programme offers all the courses required for admission to the PostgraduateCertificate in Laws programme (PCLL). Graduates who have taken these courses willbe eligible to apply for admission to the PCLL and eventually to practise either as abarrister or a solicitor in Hong Kong.Learning in the JD programme will not be confined to the classroom. The Faculty ofLaw is a serious community of research and scholarship. As a leading centre of legalresearch in Asia, students will benefit from the constant stream of visiting academicsfrom around the world. Recent visitors included eminent academics from institutionssuch as the University of Oxford, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, to name buta few. The Faculty hosts frequent talks and workshops, and participates in numerousinternational mooting competitions, which are excellent opportunities for students tohone their research, writing, and oratorical skills.2

Programme StructureBasic StructureThe JD programme can usually be finished in two years.There are two semesters in each academic year: the firstsemester, which lasts from September to December, andthe second semester, which lasts from January to May.There is also a one-month June semester in the second year.In order to complete the programme, students arerequired to take courses worth a total of 144 credits.A one-semester course in the JD programme is usuallyworth 6 credits, and a full-year course 12 credits. 84 ofthe required 144 credits comprise core courses, whichare listed below:Core Courses:• Commercial Law• Constitutional Law• Contracts I & II• Criminal Law I & II• Equity & Trusts I & II• Land Law I & II• Legal Research & Methods• Legal System• Torts I & IIStudents are also required to complete a 6-creditdissertation.The remaining 54 credits are devoted to electives.Students who wish to apply for the PCLL must take thefollowing 6-credit PCLL pre-requisite courses as theirelectives:• Civil Procedure• Company Law• Criminal Procedure• Evidence• Land Law III (Conveyancing)In the first year, students will take three one-year coursesin Contracts, Torts, and Criminal Law respectively.They will also take three one-semester courses in LegalSystem, Legal Research & Methods, and ConstitutionalLaw in the first semester, and two elective courses in thesecond semester.Legal System and Legal Research & Methods, whichintroduce students to the basics of legal study andprepare students for the substantive courses, willcommence earlier than other courses. They will start inthe Induction Period, which takes place in the last twoweeks of August before the start of the first semester ofthe first year. Legal Research & Methods will continueuntil the end of September, while Legal System willconclude at the end of the first semester.The second-year curriculum is primarily devoted toelectives to allow students to explore their academicinterests and to develop an area of focus. The onlycore courses remaining are the full-year Equity &Trusts and Land Law courses, and the one-semesterCommercial Law course, which takes place in the firstsemester. The Faculty of Law offers electives in a widevariety of cutting-edge areas of law, such as financiallaw, international arbitration, environmental law,competition law, intellectual property law, to namebut a few. There are no restrictions on the selectionof electives, except that students must choose at leastone elective from the “International, Comparative andTheoretical Perspectives of Law (“ICT”)” list of courses,and one elective from the “Chinese Law” list of courses.Students are also encouraged to take part in local andinternational mooting competitions.3

Suggested Sequence of StudyYear 1 (66 credits)Year 2 (78 credits)Induction Period First Semester Second Semester First Semester Second Semester June SemesterLegal System(6 credits)Dissertation(6 credits)Contract I(6 credits)Contracts II(6 credits)Land Law I(6 credits)Land Law II(6 credits)Torts I(6 credits)Torts II(6 credits)Equity and Trusts I(6 credits)Equity and Trusts II(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)Legal Research& Methods(6 credits)Criminal Law I(6 credits)Criminal Law II(6 credits)Commercial Law(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)Constitutional Law(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)*Elective(6 credits)* Students who intend to proceed to PCLL must take five PCLL pre-requisite courses as electives: Civil Procedure, Company Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Land Law III (Conveyancing).* Students must choose at least one elective from the “International, Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives of Law (“ICT”)” list of courses, and one elective from the “Chinese Law” list of courses.4

Tuition FeesFor those enrolling in September 2012, the tuition fees are HKD 136,800(roughly USD 17,540) per year, or HKD 273,600 (roughly USD35,080) for the entiredegree. The tuition fees for the academic year 2013-2014 are now under review bythe University and are subject to upward adjustment.A non-means tested loan scheme is also available to students who meet theresidency requirements. Details and application forms are available at the Centre ofDevelopment and Resources for Students (CEDARS) ( ROJTANONGCHAI• Class of 2013• B.A., University of Cambridge, 2010I considered studying Law as an undergraduate,but at that time law appeared to me as quite a rigidsubject and I was not ready to commit to a specificcareer path. While reading history in Cambridge,I came across the field of law in my course andinteracted with many law students. I began to see that law is a multifaceted fieldthat is not only intellectually stimulating but also highly practical: the study of lawequips you with a set of essential skills to effectively handle various types of work.I chose the JD programme for its compact structure and the diversity of thestudent body. HKU, with its well-respected Faculty of Law, was always myfirst choice. I must say that the JD programme has been more fulfilling andchallenging than I had imagined. The small class size allows me to connect withand learn from my classmates, and to comfortably participate in the seminar-styleclasses. The programme is demanding, but I am very much looking forward towhat is yet to come.5

Student Profile for 2012/2013 intakeMichelle Suhundergraduate educational background4%• Class of 2014• Bachelor of Law, Seoul National University, 2011I have always wanted to work in the internationalarena of legal profession and came to desire thatI attain professional legal qualifications in HongKong. I chose Hong Kong not only because I ampersonally affiliated with the city, but also becauseit virtually has the largest legal market in Asia with a great deal of potential as aresult of the entry of many international law firms and growing business relationswith mainland China.14%14%11%17%40%US UniversitiesMainland UniversitiesLocal UniversitiesUK UniversitiesCanadian UniversitiesOthersI am honored to join in HKU’s JD Programme, as HKU Faculty of Law is knownfor its prestigious reputation. It seems like every day is a challenge as studentshave to cope with the tight schedule and heavy workloads. I am sure I will gain alot from the excellent faculty members as well as the well-motivated classmates,and build a good foundation of common law by the end of the programme.Students with Postgraduate Degrees11%With Postgraduate DegreesWithout Postgraduate Degrees89%6

Students with Work ExperienceSIU LUNG (KANE) LO11%6%11%72%Fresh Graduate1-2 Years3-4 Years> 4 YearsBreakdown of Undergraduate Subjects• Class of 2013• B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, University ofRochester, 2010• M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, 2011During my postgraduate study at Yale’s School ofEngineering and Applied Science, I had the opportunityto patent a bacteria detection device in a team projectwhich subsequently won a national competition. That experience illustrated theoverlap between engineering and law but left me with more questions than answers.It piqued my curiosity about the legal field. After consulting with fellow students,I was surprised to discover the complementarity of skill-sets between engineering andlaw, and realized the value in acquiring both of them.14%6%11%40%29%Economics, Finance, and AccountingHumanities and Social SciencesLanguagesSciencesLaw (non-Common Law Jurisdictions)I chose HKU because of the renowned reputation of its law faculty as well as theample career opportunities in Hong Kong. A few months into the programme,it has already exceeded my expectations. My professors are experts in their fieldsand dynamic in the classroom, and the small class size enables students and thefaculty to interact closely. The small class size also makes it easy for students to formstudy groups early on. It is exciting to collaborate outside of the classroom, and ourdiverse backgrounds contribute to the medley of viewpoints and ideas, enrichingthe discussion and providing new perspective when solving legal problems. I amconfident that the JD programme will provide a great foundation to embark on mylegal career.7

Admission CriteriaBasic Selection CriteriaWe receive over 400 applications each year for a class of approximately 40 students.The JD programme looks for a record of demonstrated academic excellence. We expectto admit applicants with degree qualifications with at least a 2:1 or the equivalent(cum laude from North American universities / CGPA 3.3 out of 4 or above) froma reputable university in Hong Kong or overseas. We seek to admit students withdiverse backgrounds and relevant professional and other experiences. To help us makebetter decisions, some applicants may be asked to attend in-person or phone/videointerviews.English Language RequirementCourses in the JD programme will require a substantial volume of reading and regularwritten assignments. Moreover, students are expected to make frequent contributions toclass discussions. Therefore, we expect a high degree of proficiency in English from ourstudents.Applicants who did not graduate from a university in which the medium of instructionis English are required to take either IELTS (International English Language TestingSystem) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The following are theminimum requirements on IELTS and TOEFL for admission to the JD programme:IELTS: a minimum overall band score of 7.5, with no individual score below 6.5, and aminimum band score of 7.0 in the academic writing module.TOEFL: a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test (or 250 on the computerbasedtest or 100 on the internet-based test).These results must be obtained no more than two years prior to the expected date ofentry to the JD programme. For example, if a candidate is submitting his/her applicationfor entry in September 2013, his/ her English test scores must have been obtained noearlier than September 1, 2011.8

How to applyApplication Form and Supporting DocumentsThe online application form can be found at from basic biographical information and information about past academicperformances and professional experiences, applicants are required to submit thefollowing supporting documents after they have submitted an online application:1. One photocopy of applicant’s HKID card or passport showing personalparticulars;2. One personal statement of no more than 600 words;3. One writing sample, which should be an assignment or coursework submittedduring undergraduate or postgraduate study, and of no more than 10 doublespacedpages (font size 12);4. Original or certified copies of academic transcript(s) (certified translations inEnglish where appropriate);5. Original or certified copy of IELTS / TOEFL test score report(s), if required; and6. Two letters of reference and standard reference request forms from academicreferees (the standard reference request form is available for download at theonline application system; the letter of reference and form must be kept in asealed envelope with referee’s signature across the flap).The above supporting documents should be sent directly to the following addressby registered mail or by courier by the application deadline (the post-mark will bereferred to):Faculty of Law10/F Cheng Yu Tung TowerThe University of Hong KongPokfulam Road, Hong Kong(Re: JD Application [Your Name and Application Number here])A complete application should include all of these items, except for the academictranscript(s) and IELTS / TOEFL test score report(s), which applicants may choose toinstruct the relevant entities to send directly to us. Applicants are strongly encouragedto send us a complete application as it can help us expedite the application reviewprocess. An application will not be reviewed and acted upon until it is complete.InterviewInterviews will mostly be conducted in March. Depending on the location and theavailability of the applicant, he/she may be asked to attend an in-person or a phone/video interview. Applicants who are located in Hong Kong will be asked to attend anin-person interview. Applicants who are located outside of Hong Kong will be askedto attend either, where possible, a videoconference interview, or a phone interview.However, highly qualified applicants may be admitted without an interview.10

Application DeadlineThe deadline for application and submission of supporting documents is end ofJanuary. Please check our website ( for the exact date.Subject to availability of places, late applications will be considered.Application ResultMost applicants will receive a decision by mid-April. Admitted applicants willbe required to accept the offer and pay the non-refundable deposit by the endof April.Expedited ReviewStudents who have received admission offers from other programmes that expireprior to our usual notification time should get in touch with the AdmissionsCommittee at We are able to accommodate these applicants andprovide expedited review of their applications. Applicants requesting expeditedreview are required to provide documentary proof of an offer from anotherprogramme.Contact usFor further inquiry, please send us an email at Ho• Class of 2014• MEng, The University of Oxford, 2000• MSc, Imperial College London, 2004• Vice President, Deutsche Bank, 2007-2008• Chief Investment Officer, Austen Capital, 2009-2012Having spent more than ten years in the investment bankingindustry, I realized how widely applicable law was to everyaspect of my career. I was inspired by my wife who was a finance lawyer in a magiccircle firm and decided to strengthen my knowledge in this area. In particular, I wasintrigued by the various regulatory requirements in investment banking and hoped tounderstand and explore them in greater details.It was an easy decision when I had to choose between the HKU and otherequivalent JD programmes. The HKU JD programme simply stands out because ofits outstanding teaching quality and strong alumni network which are essential toa successful career in law. Most of all, the strong and diverse background of myfellow students helps create a competitive yet healthy learning environment. Thesmall class size ensures that lively and in-depth discussions can take place. Apartfrom classroom teaching, the programme features plenty of opportunities for practicallearning, such as attendance of court proceedings and completion of assignmentsbased on real legal cases. These reinforce my belief that the programme excels inpreparing students for a legal career. Indeed, I have already felt like a lawyer intraining after a mere 2 months into the programme!11

Frequently Asked QuestionsGeneral Information1 How long does it take to complete the JD programme?The JD programme will usually take two years to complete. These include fourfull-length semesters and one 4-week semester in June in the second year. Underexceptional circumstances, such as taking up exchange studentships in overseasuniversities, students may be allowed to extend the programme beyond 2 years.2 Is it possible to enrol in the JD programme on a part-time basis?No. The JD programme is a full-time programme. Students must be enrolled ona full-time basis only. Given the intensive nature of the curriculum, students willnot be able to undertake part-time employment while enrolled in the programme.Classes will be held during the day.3 Will the Faculty offer a part-time JD programme in the near future?No. The Faculty has no plans to offer a part-time JD programme in the nearfuture.4 How many intakes of students are there in each academic year?Nathan WONG• Class of 2011• B.A. The University of Hong Kong, 2007• Tax Associate, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu,2007-2009• Trainee, Clifford Chance, 2012My work experience showed me the centralrole the law plays in commercial life - frompermitting the government to raise revenue to structuring corporatetransactions. Building on my interest in the subject, I decided to apply to theJD programme.The programme was challenging yet rewarding. All our classes were in theform of graduate-level seminars which encouraged class participations,and classmates from different walks of life brought diverse perspectives tothe discussions. We were approached by the academic staff and even theDean of the Faculty for feedback so that adjustments could be made to theprogramme.There is only one intake of students in each academic year, which is in August.12

5 How large are the classes in the JD programme?One of the distinctive characteristics of the JD programme is its small class size.At least in the initial few years, we expect the annual enrolment to be about 40students. Therefore, students will enjoy an intimate learning environment.6 Would JD students attend classes with other students?JD students will attend classes with each other in all core courses. They will beable to take advantage of the wide array of electives offered by the Faculty ofLaw, where they will broaden their horizons through interaction with our LLMstudents, many of whom are experienced professionals, or exchange students.7 What is the honours classification in the JD programme?Honours classification in the JD programme will be in line with the practice inthe LLB programme. There will be first class, second class (upper), second class(lower), third class and pass.8 Does the JD programme provide exchange opportunities?9 Is it possible to obtain advanced standing for coursework undertaken prior toenrolment in the JD programme?Under exceptional circumstances, the Faculty of Law will grant advancedstanding. However, the standard for advanced standing is very high, and theFaculty must be satisfied that the course(s) undertaken in another programmemeets the rigorous standard of the JD programme. The maximum number ofadvanced standing credits is 12. Under no circumstances will a student beallowed to graduate from the JD programme with fewer than 132 credits worthof coursework undertaken in the programme.10 Is accommodation provided to overseas students?The University provides student accommodation. While the Universityendeavours to meet the accommodation needs of overseas students, supply ofaccommodation usually outstrips demand. If University accommodation provesunavailable, students have the option of renting private accommodation near theUniversity. Further information of University accommodation is available at theCentre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) website at Faculty of Law has entered into an exchange agreement with the Universityof Pennsylvania Law School, one of the top law schools in the US. Under thisexchange agreement, JD students extend their study by one year and go onexchange at Penn Law School, from which they will receive a Master’s of Law(LLM) degree upon completion of their study.13

The Application ProcessWILSON YUEN• Class of 2012• B.A. (Hons), University of California,Los Angeles, 2010I encountered the field of law in a numberof courses, such as International Law andAmerican Constitutional Law, during myundergraduate studies in Political Science andInternational Development Studies at UCLA. My interest in law continuedto grow and I eventually decided to pursue legal study. I chose the JDprogramme because of the reputation of the University’s law faculty amongthe legal professionals in Hong Kong.The JD programme has been a challenging yet rewarding experience, whichrequires an extraordinary commitment to manage the workload. The smallclass size is a unique feature of the JD programme, since it not only providesa platform for exchange of ideas among classmates, but also facilitatesinteraction with faculty members. Furthermore, some of the faculty membersare practicing barristers. From them, students learn legal doctrines andprinciples and acquire insights into the legal profession. This is particularlyvaluable to me given my career aspirations.11 When does the application review process begin?The Admissions Committee will not begin to review applications until after thedeadline. In other words, there is no need to submit one’s application early toattempt to secure an advantage.12 Is there an admissions test as part of the applicant process?No. There is no admissions test as part of the application process.13 Are applicants required to attend an interview as part of the applicationprocess?Some applicants may be asked to attend an interview, either in-person or bytelephone or videoconference. However, it is possible for an applicant to beadmitted without an interview. An applicant should not infer from a lack ofinterview request as an indication of rejection.14 Is a current final-year undergraduate eligible to apply to the JD programme?Yes. The eligibility requirement is that the applicant must have completed his/herundergraduate degree by the time he/she enrols in the JD programme. Therefore,a current final-year undergraduate who will have received his/her undergraduatedegree prior to enrolment in the JD programme is eligible to apply.14

15 If an applicant has undertaken some prior study of law, either in his/herprevious degree programmes or in other contexts, is he/she eligible to apply tothe JD programme?The eligibility rule is that the applicant must not have completed a full lawdegree, such as an LLB or the equivalent, from a common law jurisdiction.Applicants who have undertaken some legal study previously are eligibleto apply.16 If the medium of instruction of an applicant’s undergraduate degree wasnot English, but he/she is currently pursuing or has completed a Master’s orcomparable advanced degree in English, is the applicant subject to the EnglishLanguage Requirement?No. However, the more years of education an applicant has completed inEnglish, the more confident the Admissions Committee will be of his/her Englishabilities. Therefore, if the applicant wishes to provide further evidence of his/herEnglish abilities, the applicant may consider taking either IELTS or TOEFL.JENNY CHUNG• Class of 2013• B.B.A., The Chinese University of Hong Kong• Client Partner, Korn/Ferry International,1999-2008• Principal, Heidrick & Struggles, 2009-2011Having worked with a broad spectrum of clientsacross different industries in the leadership advisoryarena, it became apparent to me that legal knowledge is a valuable asset forbusiness practitioners. I believe the rigorous and disciplined training providedby the study of law will hone one’s analytical and communication skills andfurther develop one’s critical thinking–qualities that will complement practicalexperiences and enhance personal effectiveness.The JD programme offers an intellectually challenging environment for a relativelysmall group of students with diverse backgrounds to interact with and learn fromeach other. HKU’s Faculty of Law is a well-established and prestigious institution,attracting top quality faculty members and students from all over the world. I havegreatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn with a highly talented and motivatedgroup and have no doubt that the experience will be equally fulfilling for bothmature students and fresh graduates.15

Charlotte HO• Class of 2011• B.A., Tufts University, 2009• Trainee, Linklaters, 2012While pursuing my undergraduate degree at Tufts, Iencountered the field of law in a number of my courses.I majored in Political Science and the overlap betweenthese two disciplines sparked my initial curiosity for thelegal profession. I found that law offered great insights into business, public affairsand politics, areas in which I have great interests. Furthermore, the appeal of the JDprogramme lies in the fact that it is a versatile degree which teaches you a valuableset of skills that will prove useful in many different career paths. I decided to pursuethe JD at HKU because of the University’s well-established law faculty and strongreputation. More important though was the fact that the programme was specificallytailored towards a small class size, which I believe facilitates the learning processthrough the sharing of ideas and interaction amongst students.Having successfully completed the JD programme in August 2011, I am very proud tobe part of the inaugural class of the JD. The programme far exceeded myexpectations, giving me a solid foundation to pursue a legal profession. It wasparticularly helpful that Professors were always on hand to provide guidance,not only in academic work but also in career paths. I have no doubt that thosewho choose this programme will be well equipped for whatever their future lifechoices may be.17 If an applicant is exempted from the English language requirement, butnonetheless would like to provide the Admissions Committee his/her IELTSor TOEFL scores, would the Admissions Committee take this informationinto account?Yes. Any information that will allow the Admissions Committee to arrive atan informed decision would be appreciated. Additional information aboutan applicant’s English abilities would be particularly helpful if the applicant’sundergraduate subject did not require extensive use of English. In such case,the requirement that the test be taken within two years prior to an applicant’smatriculation at the JD programme would be relaxed. The Admissions Committeewill adjust the weight to be accorded to submitted test scores based on theircurrency.18 If an applicant thinks that his English results from A-Level or DSE do not fullyrepresent his/her current English abilities, what may the applicant do to expressthat to the Admissions Committee?The best way for an applicant to convince the Admissions Committee that his/herA-Level or DSE English results do not fully reflect his/her current English abilitieswould be to take either IELTS or TOEFL and submit the results to the AdmissionsCommittee. The applicant should also expend extra effort on the personalstatement and the writing sample, on which the Admissions Committee will relyto gauge an applicant’s English abilities.16

19 Can an applicant submit a reference without the reference form?No. The reference form was designed with the express purpose of providing theAdmissions Committee the information which it needs to evaluate an applicant.Therefore, applicants are required to ask their referees to fill out the referenceforms.20 If an applicant graduated from university years ago and is no longer able toobtain an academic reference, would an academic reference still be expected?The Admissions Committee expects at least one academic reference from eachapplicant. However, under exceptional circumstances, such as that describedabove, the Admissions Committee appreciates that it may be impossible for anapplicant to submit an informed academic reference. Under those circumstances,professional references would suffice.21 Are there other circumstances under which an applicant may be exempted fromthe writing sample requirement?The writing sample is generally required of all applicants. If an applicant isunable to furnish a writing sample submitted as part of his/her tertiary education,perhaps because the applicant obtained his/her last degree years ago, theapplicant should consider submitting written work produced at work. If thatproves difficult, the applicant may seek an exemption from the AdmissionsCommittee. However, applicants should note that absent a writing sample, theAdmissions Committee will place greater emphasis on other indicators of Englishproficiency, such as the personal statement and English test scores.17

22 If an applicant has completed a number of degrees, are the results from anyof them, for example, the most recent one, more relevant to the admissiondecision than results from the other degrees?No. The Admissions Committee will take a holistic view of the application,taking into account the applicant’s full tertiary educational record. Therefore,results from every degree will be considered.23 May an applicant request an individual meeting with the AdmissionsCommittee?The Admissions Committee appreciates your interest in the programme.However, in the interest of maintaining impartiality in the review process,the Admissions Committee decided not to have individual meetings withpotential applicants. However, applicants are encouraged to submit anyquestions they may have to The Admissions Committeeendeavours to answer them promptly.18

24 Where may an applicant certify his/her documents?ROBYN CROWTER• Class of 2012• Master of Arts in Psychology, University ofSt Andrews, 2007The JD programme has met all my expectationsin terms of challenging materials, knowledgeableprofessors, and bright classmates. JD students area varied group, having studied at undergraduateprogrammes in North America, Europe, as well as regionally and locally. As JDstudents all share the same courses during the first year, my class developed awonderful sense of camaraderie.I feel that although the JD programme takes only two years, it is intensiveenough to give a good grounding in legal fundamentals in preparation for workin the legal field in Hong Kong. I recommend the programme if you are lookingfor interactive classes, demanding professors, and motivated classmates.Applicant may certify his/her documents before a notary public(e.g. Commissioner for Oaths at Public Enquiry Service Centres of HomeAffairs Office, Hong Kong SAR Government), or certified by the appropriateoffice/department of his/her institution.Alternatively, applicant may bring the originals and photocopies of eachdocument to the HKU Academic Services Enquiry Office for certification:Address:Room G-04, Ground FloorRun Run Shaw Building, Main CampusThe University of Hong KongPokfulam Road, Hong Kong.Office Hours:Monday to Friday: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm;Saturday: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm.(Closed on Sunday, public holidays and University holidays.)Tel.: (852) 2859 243319

PCLL Admissions and Career Prospects25 Would JD graduates still be required to take further examinations in law to beeligible to apply for the PCLL?No. Graduates of the JD programme who have taken Company Law, Evidence,Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Land Law III will satisfy all the core lawcourses required for eligibility to enter the PCLL. There is no need to take anyfurther examination in law.26 Will the Faculty reserve PCLL places for our JD graduates?No. PCLL admissions are run separately and our JD graduates will be treated thesame as other applicants to the PCLL.28 What are the career prospects for our JD graduates beyond the legal field?We believe that the JD qualification will be a valuable credential regardless of thefield a graduate chooses to pursue. In fact, many of the Faculty’s graduates pursuecareers in other fields than law, such as business, politics and civil service.29 Can a JD graduate practise outside Hong Kong?While we believe that our JD graduates will possess the analytical skills andlegal training to excel in any jurisdiction, graduates who plan to practise in otherjurisdictions must still satisfy local qualification requirements, just like graduateswho plan to practise in Hong Kong must complete the PCLL.27 What are the career prospects for our JD graduates in the legal field?Our JD graduates are highly sought after by the best law firms and chambersin Hong Kong. Given the small enrolment number in the programme, our JDgraduates enjoy an advantage over graduates of comparable programmes in HongKong. We also endeavour to maintain very high admission standards so that ourgraduates will continue to enjoy the reputation of the programme long after theirgraduation.20

The University of Hong KongFaculty of Law10/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial CampusThe University of Hong KongPokfulam Road, Hong KongTel: (852) 3917 2932E-mail: jdinfo@hku.hkWebsite:

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