If it wasn’t ridiculous enough that I wrote an addendum to my There’s No Such Thing as a Shortcut, well here I write another addition under the You Asked I’m Answering series. And this too comes in parts, as I try to answer a rather long multi-part question that brings me back to the whole idea – there’s no such thing as a shortcut (when becoming a solicitor in Hong Kong).
The question was asked quite a while ago, and I reprint it from my About page below, and try to answer it within the text below too:
i am really happy i came across your blog while searching ‘ how to become a lawyer in hk’. i have some questions and hope you could help me with them i am a hong kong citizen and have always wanted to become a lawyer so i took the external LLB program offered by the university of London and have just finished my final year in May ( pending result) i also have a philosophy degree in a local university in HK ( which is irrelevant haha) anyway, as i did not do well in my LLB, i guess i would have a really slim chance to enter PCLL this year, although LLM in alternative dispute resolution from the city University of HK has admitted me. since a LLM is expensive and would not really help me get into PCLL next year, i have decided not to take this offer. ( sadly only after i hv paid a non refundable deposit!! )
First off – I am terribly apologetic for taking so many months to answer this set of questions. I had been meaning to work on it, but I guess a lot of life and laziness got in the way. I am sorry and hope that if I don’t help you, I help someone else who is in similar shoes as you!
I want to say to everyone out there who believe that law is his or her calling, to keep following your dreams. But just know it can sometimes be a long and tough path. The law is not an easy profession and lots of obstacles may be thrown in your path – it seemed that way for me quite a few times as well. But if you believe truly in it and want to be a part of it, don’t get discouraged. On the flip side – if it starts to get in the way of life, then you should consider calling it quits (e.g., far too much expense, time, happiness).
As I wrote in the first part of this series, an LLB is not required, and there are extension programs and other means to get around that requirement. And you can take conversions to prove your capability for the PCLL. This can be quite arduous if you don’t have an LLB, of course, but it should not stop you.
Also, you are not the only one who will be applying to the PCLL more than once. Because there limited seats and so many candidates, not everyone can get in the first go. However, you are right to try to improve your chances – because one way or the other, you are going to have to take the PCLL if you are not an experienced foreign lawyer.
It turns out that this LLM may be your best shot in improving your chances of getting into the PCLL, Bella. I’ve come to learn that only students who have graduated with at least 2:1 honors (as they call it here) can get a place in any of the city’s three PCLL programs, so you will have to do something to show a chance from previously poor LLB grades, which make up the bulk of a PCLL application (as I am told).
If the expense of the LLM is too burdensome, however,is it possible to take the LLM part time and work part time? Or if you’ve already written off your LLM deposit, can you get a paralegal job in a law firm (thoughI hear these jobs are also note easy to come by)?
Stay tuned for Part 2 and more on this Q&A.