(9 yrs ago)
My gf is studying law back home (Final year) and is planning to vist hong kong and seeking an internship in a law firm. Do you have any suggestions in mind?
They are all listed here: http://hongkong.asiaxpat.com/directory.asp?cat=164
Try the Law Society: www.hklawsoc.org.hk. At least they publish all law firms with offices in HK, foreign as well as local firms.
Personally, I would go with the big international ones. JSM, Deacons, Baker, Linklaters etc. However, depending where your gf is studying (France, Germany, Switzerland???) it may be worth checking for the foreign law firm offices (which are most likely smaller).
I think she will need to sit the PCLL if she is not a qualified/admitted solicitor or barrister in her jurisdiction. The law society will set out the requirements. You need to pass the PCLL (a one year course) and then apply for traineeships (two years). But these are appointed usually one year in advance, so best to look into this as soon as possible.
I think she needs to sit for the PCLL if she is graduated.... no way she can stay here for one year to apply for an internship then go back finish her degree...i don't think that's feasible..... She is studying in England...
Also she is willing to work for free for the sake of experience... she doesnt really care whether she gets paid or not... Plus she doesn't have the chinese language of course.
She would have to apply directly to the law firms which are usually inundated with intern applications from local law students at this time of year. Some large (non-law) firms have in-house legal teams which might take on interns for the summer but, again, it would be the direct approach, although this might not be quite what she is looking for to have on her resume after she graduates.
She certainly does not need to sit the PCLL. She is an intern after all. Only if she wants to qualify as a HK solicitor will she have to do so.
There may be stacks of law students applying for an internship, but there are also stacks of law firms in HK. I am pretty certain she will find something. Best of luck!
In-house would also be interesting. And, personally, I would disagree with Claire on the value on a CV. Working in-house with a reputable company does look good. And some legal departments, like the one of the Hutchison Group, are massive. Larger than a number of law firm. But - at the end of the day that would be the decision of your girlfriend....
She can't practice law is she isn't admitted in any jurisdiction and if she is coming here straight from university then she cannot be admitted - so she certainly WILL have to sit the PCLL, if she wants to work as a lawyer (intern or not!) and call herself that. Also please note that any experience she gains here, without being qualified will be wasted as it will be equivalent to working as a para-legal. But some people do not mind - so maybe looking for paralegal positions may be the thing to do.
Language is not as important a pre-requisite as it used to be. Some firms with a large project or hearing may just need willing hands - so it will be a matter of timing (and a bit if luck).
Agree though, best to contact the law firms directly via HR - or if you have contacts in firms, use those, they are infinitely better.
Adelaide, to my understanding she is not coming to HK to practice HK law but to work in a firm as an (summer) intern to gain some practical work/legal experience. After all, she has not even finished her studies in UK.
It is also not true that you have to sit the PCLL to practice here as a lawyer. Only if you want to call yourself a HK Solicitor and practice HK law. There are stacks of "Registered Foreign Lawyers" in HK from all over the world who all did not sit their PCLL.
Wupper> I was not commenting on the value of an in-house internship rather on the type of law she might wish to specialise in. After she graduates she might be applying to law firms which prefer to see an internship at a law firm rather than in-house - I have met a few lawyers along the way and there seems to be a touch of snobbery about this, imo.
sorry I think I have the terminology mixed up, to me an intern is the same as a trainee or articled clerk position, so I have been answering as if she has completed her degree and was wanted to start the process of becoming admitted or qualified.
Now i understand that the position being looked for is a holiday position, is that right? If so, yes i agree no need to sit the PCLL.
but to practice as a registered foreign lawyer here, means you have already completed your home jurisdictions requirements and are considered qualified. yet if she has finished her studies and wants to enter as a trainee in HK (in order to become a qualified lawyer) she will not be able until she has sat the PCLL.
As of now she would also have to do a top up course as it is unlikely her UK degree would include the prerequisites for the PCLL, HK constitution, HK land Law amongst others....this is a new requirement since the HK uni's changed to 4 yr degree courses, some of the stuff taught in the PCLL has been moved to the 4yr LLB.