01. How long does it take to complete the JD programme?
The JD programme will usually take two years to complete. These include four full-length semesters and one 4-week semester in June in the second year. Under exceptional circumstances, such as taking up exchange studentships in overseas universities, students may be allowed to extend the programme beyond two years.
02. 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 on a full-time basis only. Given the intensive nature of the curriculum, students will not be able to undertake part-time employment while enrolled in the programme. Classes will be held during the day.
03. 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 near future.
04. How many intakes of students are there in each academic year?
There is only one intake of students in each academic year, which is in August.
05. How large are the classes in the JD programme?
One of the distinctive characteristics of the JD programme is its small class size. We expect the annual enrolment to be about 40 students. Therefore, students will enjoy an intimate learning environment.
06. Would JD students attend classes with other students?
JD students will attend classes with each other in all core courses. They will be able to take advantage of the wide array of electives offered by the Faculty of Law, where they will broaden their horizons through interaction with our LLM students, many of whom are experienced professionals, or exchange students.
07. What is the honours classification in the JD programme?
Honours classification in the JD programme will be in line with the practice in the LLB programme. There will be first class, second class (upper), second class (lower), third class and pass.
08. Does the JD programme provide exchange opportunities?
The Faculty of Law has entered into an exchange agreement with the University of Pennsylvania Law School, one of the top law schools in the US. Under this exchange agreement, JD students extend their study by one year and go on exchange at Penn Law School, from which they will receive a Master of Laws (LLM) degree upon completion of their study.
09. Is it possible to obtain advanced standing for coursework undertaken prior to enrolment in the JD programme?
Under exceptional circumstances, the Faculty of Law will grant advanced standing. However, the standard for advanced standing is very high, and the Faculty must be satisfied that the course(s) undertaken in another programme meets the rigorous standard of the JD programme. The maximum number of advanced standing credits is 12. Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to graduate from the JD programme with fewer than 132 credits worth of coursework undertaken in the programme.
10. Is accommodation provided to overseas students?
The University provides student accommodation. While the University endeavours to meet the accommodation needs of overseas students, demand for accommodation usually outstrips supply. If University accommodation proves unavailable, students have the option of renting private accommodation near the University. Further information of University accommodation is available at the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS).
11. When does the application review process begin?
The Admissions Committee will not begin to review applications until after the deadline. In other words, there is no need to submit one’s application early to attempt to secure an advantage.
12. Is there an admissions test as part of the application 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 application process?
Some applicants may be asked to attend an interview, either in-person or by phone/video interview, depending on the locations and the availabilities of applicants. Interviews will mostly be conducted during March. However, it is possible for a highly qualified applicant to be admitted without an interview. An applicant should not infer from a lack of interview 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/her undergraduate degree by the time he/she enrols in the JD programme. Therefore, a current final-year undergraduate who will have received his/her undergraduate degree prior to enrolment in the JD programme is eligible to apply.
15. If an applicant has undertaken some prior study of law, either in his/her previous degree programmes or in other contexts, is he/she eligible to apply to the JD programme?
The eligibility rule is that the applicant must not have completed a full law degree, such as an LLB or the equivalent, from a common law jurisdiction. Applicants who have undertaken some legal study previously are eligible to apply.
16. If the medium of instruction of an applicant’s undergraduate degree was not English, but he/she is currently pursuing or has completed a Master or comparable advanced degree in English, is the applicant subject to the English Language Requirement?
No. However, the more years of education an applicant has completed in English, the more confident the Admissions Committee will be of his/her English abilities. Therefore, if the applicant wishes to provide further evidence of his/her English abilities, the applicant may consider taking either IELTS or TOEFL.
17. If an applicant is exempted from the English language requirement, but nonetheless would like to provide the Admissions Committee his/her IELTS or TOEFL scores, would the Admissions Committee take this information into account?
Yes. Any information that will allow the Admissions Committee to arrive at an informed decision would be appreciated. Additional information about an applicant’s English abilities would be particularly helpful if the applicant’s undergraduate 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’s matriculation at the JD programme would be relaxed. The Admissions Committee will adjust the weight to be accorded to submitted test scores based on their currency.
18. If an applicant thinks that his/her English results from A-Levels or DSE do not fully represent his/her current English abilities, what may the applicant do to express that to the Admissions Committee?
The best way for an applicant to convince the Admissions Committee that his/her A-Level or DSE English result does not fully reflect his/her current English ability would be to take either IELTS or TOEFL and submit the result to the Admission Committee. The applicant should also expend extra effort on the personal statement and the writing sample, on which the Admissions Committee will rely to gauge an applicant’s English ability.
19. Can an applicant submit a reference without the reference form?
No. The reference form was designed with the express purpose of providing the Admissions Committee the information which it needs to evaluate an applicant. Therefore, applicants are required to ask their referees to fill out the reference forms.
20. If an applicant graduated from university years ago and is no longer able to obtain an academic reference, would an academic reference still be expected?
The Admissions Committee expects at least one academic reference from each applicant. However, under exceptional circumstances, such as that described above, the Admissions Committee appreciates that it may be impossible for an applicant 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 from the writing sample requirement?
The writing sample is generally required of all applicants. If an applicant is unable to furnish a writing sample submitted as part of his/her tertiary education, perhaps because the applicant obtained his/her last degree years ago, the applicant should consider submitting written work produced at work. If that proves difficult, the applicant may seek an exemption from the Admissions Committee. However, applicants should note that absent a writing sample, the Admissions Committee will place greater emphasis on other indicators of English proficiency, such as the personal statement and English test scores.
22. If an applicant has completed a number of degrees, are the results from any of them, for example, the most recent one, more relevant to the admission decision 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 Admissions Committee?
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 with potential applicants. However, applicants are encouraged to submit any questions they may have to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Admissions Committee endeavours to answer them promptly.
24. Where may an applicant certify his/her documents?
Applicant may certify his/her documents before a notary public (e.g. Commissioner for Oaths at Public Enquiry Service Centres of Home Affairs Office, Hong Kong SAR Government), or by the appropriate office/department of his/her institution.
25. Would JD graduates still be required to take further examinations in law to be eligible to apply for the PCLL?
No. Graduates of the JD programme who have taken the listed PCLL pre-requisite courses will satisfy all the core law courses required for eligibility to enter the PCLL. There is no need to take any further 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 the same as other applicants to the PCLL programme.
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 chambers in Hong Kong. Given the small enrolment number in the programme, our JD graduates enjoy an advantage over graduates of comparable programmes in Hong Kong. We also endeavour to maintain very high admission standards so that our graduates will continue to enjoy the reputation of the programme long after their graduation.
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 the field a graduate chooses to pursue. In fact, many of the Faculty’s graduates pursue careers in other fields than law, such as business, politics and civil service.
29. Can a JD graduate practise outside of Hong Kong?
While we believe that our JD graduates will possess the analytical skills and legal training to excel in any jurisdiction, graduates who plan to practise in other jurisdictions must still satisfy local qualification requirements, just like graduates who plan to practise in Hong Kong must complete the PCLL.