The JD programme can usually be finished in two years. To start off their study in law, newly admitted JD students are required to attend a three-week induction period in August. There are two regular semesters in each academic year: the first semester, which lasts from September to December, and the 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 are required to take courses worth a total of 144 credits. A one-semester course in the JD programme is usually worth 6 credits, and a full-year course 12 credits. 84 of the required 144 credits comprise core courses, which are listed below:
- Administrative Law
- Commercial Law
- Constitutional Law
- Contract Law I & II
- Criminal Law I & II
- Equity & Trusts I & II
- Land Law I & II
- Legal System & Legal Research
- Tort Law I & II
Students are also required to take one of the following courses to fulfill the capstone course requirement:
- Clinical Legal Education
- International Mooting
The remaining 54 credits are devoted to electives. Students who wish to apply for the PCLL must take the following 6-credit PCLL pre-requisite courses as their elective (see Note 1):
- Company Law
- Land Law III
Note 1: The Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training has recently resolved that the two procedure courses cease to be PCLL pre-requisites from the academic year of 2021-2022. Therefore, the offering of Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure as electives will subject to student demand and teaching staff availability.
In the first year, students will start with an introductory course, Legal System & Legal Research, during the induction period in August. This course commences earlier than other courses to introduce students to the basics of legal study and prepare them for the substantive courses. Then, students will take three full-year courses in Contract Law, Tort Law, and Criminal Law respectively. They will also take Constitutional Law and Administrative Law in the first semester, and Commercial Law and one elective course in the second semester.
The second-year curriculum is primarily devoted to electives to allow students to explore their academic interests and to develop an area of focus. The only core courses remaining are the full-year Equity & Trusts, Land Law, and the Dissertation. The Faculty of Law offers electives in a wide variety of cutting-edge areas of law, such as financial law, international arbitration, environmental law, competition law, intellectual property law, to name but a few. There are no restrictions on the selection of electives, except that students must fulfill certain programme requirements as stated in the syllabus.
Suggested Sequence of Study
(Effective from the academic year 2020-2021)
* Students who intend to proceed to the PCLL must take three electives of PCLL pre-requisites.
** Optional electives for JD students.