解答讀Law JD/PCLL問題 : At a crossroads in life

最近StealJobs收到大量讀者電郵問讀JD / LLB/ PCLL前途問題,其中由SJ法律編輯解答部分問

At a crossroads in life

Hi SJ,

First, thank you so much for the website – it’s the single most helpful resource I’ve found in providing honest career advice targeted at young professionals/graduates in Hong Kong.

I’m at a crossroads in my life and am writing to ask for your advice. My situation is probably quite unique, so apologies in advance for the lengthy email to explain the whole story.

Right now I am enrolled into the HKU JD program for Class 2017, which is scheduled to begin in about two weeks. The problem is that I think my chances of getting an internship at a top law firm next summer is pretty low, because my Chinese and Mandarin skills (written, spoken, and reading) are not very good. I’ve been studying at international schools all my life. I’ve heard that Chinese language abilities are really important in securing an internship, and if I don’t get an internship it’ll be very difficult to get a TC and PCLL offer. The other thing is that I don’t think I’m really passionate about the law.

I’m currently doing an internship at an early-stage startup in Beijing and have the opportunity to stay on as a full employee. My bosses here are very willing to teach me about doing business in China, and I’ll be able to work on improving my mandarin while I’m here. I’ve been meeting a lot of people in the startup community.

I’m also in CU’s BBA JD program so I actually have an open offer for CU JD for the next two years.

So to sum up, my choice is between going back to Hong Kong to start the HKU JD in two weeks (with the risk of not getting an internship/TC/PCLL), or to stay in Beijing for at least a year or two to work on my Chinese and maybe discover my passion. I can come back to do the CU JD in two years. If I stay in Beijing I will have to give up the 80,000 HKU deposit I have already paid.

What would you advise on which option I should choose?

And does it really make a difference whether I graduate from HKU or CU JD when I look for an internship/ TC offer at an international law firm?

Can’t thank you enough for your help. You are doing a wonderful thing here!

Best,

(Name hidden)

Photo credit: Meme HK, 香港最正既網

SJ回答 At a crossroads in life

Thank you for your kind words!

You mentioned something about an early-stage startup in Beijing. There are law students whodidn’t make PCLL but went on to found wildly successful internet startups, and also law students who can get into PCLL but decide to do a “gap year” working in startups. Indeed, especially during the early 2000’s, many practising lawyers even quit their job as a lawyer to build websites in the hope of joining the rank of Bill Gates and Jerry Yang (founder of Yahoo!) one day.

Needless to say, most of these veteran lawyers / aspiring startup entrepreneurs returned to their legal practice in a year or two. So it’s important to manage your own expectation (I think you’ve already managed it pretty well).

The upside for you to spend a year or two in Beijing is that at least you get to brush up your Mandarin, and that you will likely become even more presentable in the eyes of international law firms recruitment partners/ HR.

With an international school background, you are at a huge advantage comparing to the locals to start with in the legal profession. If you manage to somehow speak decent Mandarin and have working knowledge of the Chinese language, and with a bit of working experience in Beijing, you will most likely get into an international firm unless you flunk your exams in JD.

If you think you will do very well in your JD (say top 10%), you might as well do HKU JD now. Your top grades will likely compensate for your Chinese shortcomings.

Otherwise, spending some time in Beijing might be good. Best if you can work at the Beijing office of an international financial institution, or that of an MNC. Startups are fine so long as you believe that the very startup you are joining will not wind up in the near future. Of course, if you are wise and lucky enough to join the next Tencent / Alibaba then that will be like winning the lottery!

If I were you, assuming money is not an issue (probably not a serious issue at least?), then go spend some time in Beijing. Come back with some useful experience and speaking like a Beijinger. And do the JD later.

And one more thing, take out a writ and sue HKU if HKU is foolhardy enough to forfeit your HK80,000 deposit. The clause that mentions the forfeiture might fall within the definition of a “penalty clause” if the Court thinks that it’s not a genuine pre-estimate of loss.

Hire a lawyer and s/he will give you some more insightful advice. Good luck!

PCLL Admission

Dear Editor,

I have just graduated from London U LLB (External) with a second up degree with an average of 61 marks in all nine subjects. May I know if I have a chance to get into PCLL?

I am thinking about HKU part time PCLL and City part time. It appears that the scores required by CityU is lower but it has fewer places.

People said if I apply for both HKU and CityU PCLL, I would get rejected by both programmes. Is it true?

Many thanks!

Best regards,

(Name hidden)

(The Latest Update: The School of Law of City U will NOT be offering a part-time PCLL programme in the coming future. For reference, please click HERE. )

SJ回

61 used to be pretty safe a few years ago. But it’s probably quite marginal now.

As to which one is easier to get in (HKU Part Time / City U PCLL), it seems HKU part time is slightly easier to get in but don’t take my words for it. Reason being City U has its own LLB and JD lots who will no doubt apply to City U PCLL anyway.

HKU part time seems to be less sought as most people probably would only go for full time PCLL courses. But of course it’s a guessing game. Either way, 61 is by no means a poor score. Don’t worry too much.

(The Latest Update: The School of Law of City U will NOT be offering a part-time PCLL programme in the coming future. For reference, please click HERE. )

CPE問

你好!

本人剛讀完CPE YEAR 2,成績avg有66分左右,唔知應不應該報TOP UP LLB,想報2016 PCLL但又驚唔收,聽聞今年我D同學仔D成績極好,我十五十六,如果成績不夠好上PCLL 就唔想浪費40+K讀多年啦。TOP UP Year 報名快結束,希望可以儘快收到你的意見啦!

Thanks!

(Name hidden)

SJ回

CPE的行情真的不太熟,抱歉! 希望有其他讀者可以留言 / PM幫忙解答CPE問題!

讀法律一

編輯先生你好!因為見到 貴網對攻讀法律系既資料十分清楚,所以來涵一問,希望可以得到解答。

我今年係港大文學院畢業,second-up,一直都好想讀法律故報左中大同城大JD,仲有英國BPP University既GDL。我三月先報JD,唔知係咪因為太遲報既關系,中大已經Reject左我,城大就仲未有結果,但GDL就已經收左我。想請問其實我係咪應該去讀BPP University既GDL呢?因為聽英國既朋友講呢間都幾出名,好多人番黎都讀番HKU PCLL,連Temple既梁允信大律師都係呢間grad。但係香港又好似完全冇人識咁… 定還是我應該等多一年再申請過HKU/CU/CITY既JD呢?因為聽聞我HKU GRAD Second-up要入JD應該唔太難… 謝謝!

SJ回

Again, 希望GDL同學可以幫忙回答呢個問題。 但SJ聽聞 GDL 好難入PCLL。

最後,希望大家轉行讀Law前好好想清楚:

我應該轉行做律師嗎?

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