Juris Doctor (JD) - Information for entrants to be admitted in 2013-14 & thereafter

Why introduce a JD? | What is the JD? | What will I study? | Programme Structure | How long will it take? | Is it professionally recognised? | How much will it cost? | When will it commence? | Am I eligible to apply? | How and when can I apply? | How can I find out more? | Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

   

One of Hong Kong's professional law degrees at Hong Kong's innovative Law School

  • Graduate entry
  • 2 years full-time
  • Hong Kong law taught by Hong Kong and International faculty
  • Faster route for potential entry to the legal profession
  • Ideal professional degree for leadership in commerce, industry, government, media and community services

Why JD?

The other Hong Kong's professional law degree is the Bachelor of Laws (LLB). The LLB is currently a 4 year full-time programme. This is intended primarily to furnish Secondary school-leavers and other undergraduate-entry law students with a broader education than can be accommodated within a 4 year LLB programme. Many people interested in pursuing studies in the law, however, are already graduates in a non-law discipline. They have already achieved the enhanced academic experience for which the 4-year LLB is intended. Graduate entrants into law school should have a route to professional legal qualifications more suited to their situation and needs.

City University of Hong Kong is the first university in Hong Kong to offer a programme leading to the award of a graduate-entry Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

 

What is JD?

The JD is an internationally recognised degree issued by about 200 universities. It is well established in several Common Law jurisdictions overseas (Australia , Canada and the United States) with a meaning that is universally understood. Although the award has the word 'Doctor' in its title, this is a traditional usage and it is not generally regarded as equivalent to the PhD degree or other doctoral awards. It is a first law degree for students who are already graduates in a non-law discipline.

The JD programme leads to a law degree at the postgraduate level. It is not an external law degree programme.

 

What will I study?

City University of Hong Kong offers a taught programme of study tailor-made for students aiming for admission as a solicitor or barrister in Hong Kong.

The programme is also suitable for students looking for a professional alternative to the MBA degree and aiming for leadership roles in commerce, industry, government, the media and community services.

The core of the JD programme will consist of three courses that are essential for a proper understanding of the law and its workings in Hong Kong: Legal Methods Research and Writing, Legal Systems of Hong Kong and Mainland China, and Jurisprudence.

Students will also be required to select courses from a wide range of electives drawn from the JD curriculum, the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (LLMArbDR) programmes.

Among the electives available, the following which are required for admission to the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) programme and to the legal profession in Hong Kong: Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Company Law I & II, Criminal Law I & II, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Land Law I & II, Equity & Trusts, Law of Evidence and Commercial Law. Students who are going to pursue the PCLL Programme and subsequently a legal profession in the future should ensure that they have completed all necessary courses required for PCLL entry before they graduate from the JD Programme.

Students will also be required to complete an extended research paper pursuant to either the Independent Research or Dissertation courses.

Classes are conducted by an international faculty at City University of Hong Kong. Faculty staff bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise in a wide range of areas.

The Library provides an extensive selection of law books, periodicals and reference tools such as law reports, statutes, encyclopedias, dictionaries and indexes. Major legal databases are also available for on-campus and remote access. JD students will have free access to major on-line legal research facilities. In addition, Career Corner has been established in the Law Section to assist students with their job search and career development. The Corner contains literature relating to companies, law firms and other relevant information.

 

Special Features

1. G-LEAP (Global Legal Education Awareness Programme) - Study in Four Continents
In addition to Hong Kong (Asia), study credit-bearing intensive elective law courses at leading institutions in three continents: Columbia Law School (United States), University College Oxford (Europe) and Monash University (Australia).

2. Legal Placement
Experience the ‘law in action’ by doing internship with law firms in Hong Kong and/or banking and international companies and courts in mainland China.

3. Trained to Excel in Mooting
Extensive professional training to sharpen advocacy skills and participate in international mooting competitions.

4. CityU Law Review - Edit a Law Journal
Join the Editorial Board of the City University of Hong Kong Law Review and sharpen your writing and editing skills.

5. Video-link Teaching 
Interact with world-class scholars on cutting-edge issues without leaving the CityU campus.

6. Complete JD (CityU) and LLM (University of Vienna) or (University Paris 1) in 3 years
Apart from completing JD at CityU, students have an opportunity to study one semester at the University of Vienna or University Paris 1 to get an LLM.

 

Optional specialization

As a result of the programme re-structuring, students have scope to do more non-PCLL elective courses (i.e., 5 courses instead of 3 under the existing structure). They are offered an option to specialise in the following areas by taking at least 4 elective courses (minimum 12 credits) from the respective list:

International Commercial Law

LW6161E Competition Law;
LW5631 Banking Law;
LW5664 European Competition Law of Policy (G-LEAP);
LW5641 Intellectual Property: Theory, Copyright and Design (G-LEAP);
LW5643 Cyber Law;
LW6144E International Trade Law;
LW6140E Chinese and Comparative Commercial Law;
LW6180E International Commercial Contracts and Uniform Sales Law;
LW6167E Current Issues in WTO Law

Air and Maritime Law

LW6175E Maritime Insurance Law;
LW6176E International Air Law;
LW6179E Maritime Arbitration Law;
LW6189E Bills of Lading Law;
LW6190E Charterparties Law;
LW6191E Maritime Law I: Admiralty Procedure;
LW6192E Maritime Law II;
LW6193E Maritime Property Law;
LW6194E The Law of the Sea;
^LW5649 International Mooting and Advocacy
^LW5649B International Mooting and Advocacy

 

Chinese and Comparative Law

LW5626 Comparative Law;
LW6127E Chinese and Comparative Intellectual Property Law;
LW6134E Chinese and Comparative Company Law;
LW6140E Chinese and Comparative Commercial Law;
LW6141E Chinese Foreign Trade and Investment Law

Alternative Dispute Resolution

LW6126E Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice;
LW6405 Arbitration Law;
LW6406 Mediation Practice;
LW6407 Arbitration Practice and Award Writing;
LW6408 International Arbitration;
LW6142E International Investment Law;
^LW5649 International Mooting and Advocacy
^LW5649B International Mooting and Advocacy

 

^Students can take either LW5649 (3 credits) or LW5649B (6 credits)

Depending upon the interest of students and the course offering in future, these specialised streams may be modified. The offering of the above courses may be reviewed and amended from time to time subject to the availability of the teaching staff. We shall keep students informed regarding the offering of the elective courses.

Students who specialise in any of the above areas will receive a specific award title, namely, Juris Doctor (International Commercial Law); Juris Doctor (Alternative Dispute Resolution); Juris Doctor (Chinese and Comparative Law); Juris Doctor (Air and Maritime Law). Students who do not choose to specialise in any stream will receive the award title as Juris Doctor.

 

Programme Structure

Programme information (applicable to the 2010 and subsequent cohorts)

 

How long will it take?

You will be eligible to graduate with your JD degree after you have completed 72 credit units of study (71 credits for the 2012 and earlier cohorts). Most semester-length courses are 3 credit units. Normally, full-time JD students can expect to complete the programme in 2 years by undertaking a higher academic loading in each semester A and B (subject to the University's prescribed maximum requirements) and taking courses in the 2 summer terms.

Of course, students can take the liberty to undertake a lower academic load in regular semester and hence take longer to complete the programme.

The maximum period of study which is applicable to students of 2010 cohort and thereafter is five years.

Although students from 2009 cohort and before are not restricted by such requirement, students are strongly encouraged to complete their studies and graduate within a reasonable period.

 

Is JD professionally recognised?

Students who wish to practise law in Hong Kong will need to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) programme at City University of Hong Kong or at other Universities in Hong Kong . The JD degree is recognised for the purposes of applying for entry into the PCLL programme, provided the student has completed all courses required for PCLL admission.

 

How much will it cost?

Fees of subsequent cohorts may be subject to review and adjustment from time to time.

Please click HERE for the tuition fee information.

For tuition fee enquiries, please contact the School of Law General Office by email at slwjdp@cityu.edu.hk or by phone at 3442 7367.

 

When will it commence?

JD students will commence their JD courses in late August / early September (Semester A).

 

Am I eligible to apply?

The minimum entry requirements for admission to the Juris Doctor programme are:

  1. A Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in a non-law discipline; or
  2. A Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in law from a non-common law jurisdiction, which was obtainable after at least eight semesters of full-time study. Holders with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction are not eligible to apply; and
  3. Proficiency in English.

English Proficiency Guidelines (For entrants to be admitted in 2013-14 & thereafter)

For applicants whose entrance qualification is obtained from an institution where the medium of instruction is not English, the minimum English language proficiency requirement will usually be:

  • a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (internet-based); or
  • an overall band score of 7 in IELTS, with no individual score below 6.5; or
  • a total score of 520 in the Chinese mainland’s College English Test (Band 6).

The School has stipulated a validity period of three years for results of the above tests. Applicants are required to provide their English test results obtained within the three years preceding the commencement of the University's application period.

 

How and when can I apply?

Apply online at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sgs/tpg/admission

Admissions Enquiry:

Telephone: (852) 3442 5588
Fax: (852) 3442 0187
Email: tpadmit@cityu.edu.hk
Website: http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sgs

 

How can I find out more?

Further information about the programme is obtainable from:

Dr Surya DEVA
Associate Professor
JD Programme Leader
School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 7370
Fax: (852) 3442 0190
E-Mail: suryad@cityu.edu.hk
Ms Sara TSUI
Teaching Fellow
Associate JD Programme Leader
School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 7162
Fax: (852) 3442 0190
E-Mail: lwsara@cityu.edu.hk
 
General Office, School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 8008
Fax: (852) 3442 0190
E-Mail: slwjdp@cityu.edu.hk
Website: http://www.cityu.edu.hk/slw

 

 

Frequently Asked Question for the JD Programme

  1. What is the Juris Doctor, and how is it different from the Bachelor of Laws (LLB)?

    The Juris Doctor is a professional law degree offered at the postgraduate level. It is tailor-made to the requirements of graduate-entry applicants who already have a bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a non-law discipline or a law degree from a non-common law jurisdiction. 

    JD students, unlike LLB students, will be required to undertake a mandatory Research Project or Research Dissertation. Furthermore, the minimum GPA for graduation in JD is 2.0, compared to 1.7 for LLB.

    Juris Doctor graduates and LLB graduates who have completed the prescribed courses are eligible to apply for admission to the Postgraduate Certificate of Laws (PCLL) programme at City University of Hong Kong or at other universities in Hong Kong. The PCLL is a prerequisite for admission to the legal profession in Hong Kong.

  2. How is the Juris Doctor different from the Common Professional Examination (CPE)?

    Both the Juris Doctor and the CPE are open only to graduates, and both may be completed in 2 years of study. The Juris Doctor, however, is a graduate-entry university degree with international academic recognition. Completion of the CPE course does not result in a degree qualification, but only a diploma.

    The CPE is an external programme of study, whereas the Juris Doctor is a full-time programme taught by regular faculty at City University of Hong Kong.

    Juris Doctor graduates and CPE graduates are eligible to apply for admission to the PCLL programme at City University of Hong Kong or at other universities in Hong Kong.

  3. Can I use the title “Dr” with a Juris Doctor degree?

    It is not customary for holders of the Juris Doctor degree to use the title “Dr” before their names. The JD is not a doctorate of philosophy degree commonly known as a PhD. The JD is therefore NOT equivalent to a PhD.

  4. What GPA do I need in order to be admitted into the Juris Doctor programme?

    Admission to the Juris Doctor programme is mainly based on academic merit. Other relevant factors such as working experiences and extra-curricular activities will also be taken into consideration. 

  5. What kind of supplementary information would strengthen my application?

    We will consider your application in totality of available evidence that demonstrates your ability to complete the Juris Doctor programme successfully. This could include, without being limited to, academic references, professional references and a statement from you setting out your reasons for wishing to join the Juris Doctor programme. We do not require you to submit a result from the United States Law School Admission Test (LSAT); if you have such a result you may submit it if you wish and we will take it into account. Please do not attach more than two references.

  6. Will there be interviews?

    Admission will be based primarily on the demonstrated performance in your academic studies, although we will also take into account any personal statements you make and any academic or professional references you provide. Interviews may be arranged if they are considered necessary in individual cases. You should not assume that your application has been unsuccessful simply because you have not been invited for an interview.

  7. When will classes be held?

    The Juris Doctor is only offered in full-time mode.

    Almost all classes will be held during the daytime on weekdays. The elective courses will normally be held on weekday daytime or evenings.

  8. When will the programme commence?

    The full-time Juris Doctor programme will commence in Semester A (late August or early September).

  9. How long do I need to study?

    You will be eligible to graduate with your Juris Doctor degree after you have completed 72 credit units of study. Most semester-length courses are 3 credit units.

    Normally, full-time students can complete the programme in 2 years by undertaking a higher academic loading in each semester A & B (subject to the University prescribed maximum requirements) and taking courses in the 2 summer terms.

    Of course, students can take the liberty to undertake a lower academic load in regular semester and hence take longer to complete the programme.

    The maximum period of study which is applicable to students of 2010 cohort and thereafter is five years.

    Although students from 2009 cohort and before are not restricted by such requirement, students are strongly encouraged to complete their studies and graduate within a reasonable period.

  10. What is the tuition fee?

    The tuition fees will be HK$4,540 per credit unit for newly enrolled students in 2014.  Fees of subsequent cohorts may be subject to review and adjustment from time to time. Please click here for the tuition fee information.

  11. Am I eligible for any Credit Transfers?

    Credit transfers may be granted for completed law courses from other postgraduate programmes of study where they are academically equivalent to a course in the Juris Doctor programme. Please note, however, that we normally do not allow credit transfers.

    Students who are planning to pursue the PCLL programme in the future are strongly advised not to assume that the courses (completed outside CityU) which have been granted credit transfer will necessarily be equivalent to the courses required for PCLL entry. Students should take this into consideration before they proceed with any application for credit transfer. Students are further advised to check with the Hong Kong Conversion Examination Board for the course equivalency. The website is as follows:http://www.pcea.com.hk

  12. Are any loans or scholarships available?

    The University does not make student loans or otherwise cover the costs of tuition fees for either local or overseas students. Students who wish to apply for the Non-means Tested Loan Scheme (NLS) may browse the homepage of the Student Financial Assistance Agency at http://www.info.gov.hk/sfaa/ or contact the Agency's hotlines at 2150 6222 or 2150 6223 for eligibility and application procedures. Relevant information can also be accessed through University's Student Development Services (SDS) at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sds/w_f/index.htm

    School of Law JD Admission Scholarship

    The School will reward students who achieve excellent academic results and admitted to the School of Law’s Juris Doctor Programme. There shall be a maximum of 10 scholarships in each academic year. Up to 5 recipients will receive a scholarship of HK$60,000 each and another up to 5 recipients will receive a scholarship of HK$40,000 each. For further details, please visit http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/slw/pros_students/JD_scholarship.html

    Davis Polk Prize
    With the financial contribution from a law firm named “Davis Polk & Wardwell”, the School of Law, the City University of Hong Kong has set up the Davis Polk Prize for JD students with effect from the 2011/12 academic year and thereafter. The prize will be a cash award of HK$10,000 and a paid summer or winter internship in Davis Polk & Wardwell. The value of the prize will be fixed, while the internship allowance will be decided each year by Davis Polk & Wardwell in consultation with the School of Law. The prize shall be awarded to one full-time JD student recommended by the Selection Committee comprising at least one representative each of Davis Polk & Wardwell and the School of Law.

    The criteria to determine the prize recipient are:

    • academic merit as shown in the undergraduate degree and in the JD program;
    • the candidate’s performance during an oral presentation on an assigned topic; and
    • the candidate’s performance during a personal interview conducted by the Selection Committee.


    From time to time, other scholarships or student prizes may be available for JD students. Students can also access relevant information by visiting the website of Student Development Services (SDS): http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sds/sch/index.html or through student's e-portal.

  13. Is the Juris Doctor recognized for admission to overseas legal professions?

    Every jurisdiction has its own policy on the recognition of foreign law degrees for professional admission purposes. You are advised to check with the respective authorities for their admission requirements. Here are some useful websites for your reference: http://www.bond.edu.au/law/prospects/rules.htm; http://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/; http://www.nz-lawsoc.org.nz/; http://www.lsuc.on.ca/; http://www.flsc.ca/

  14. Once I am admitted to the JD programme, can I seek transfer to another programme?

    Students who wish to change from their current programme of study to another of the same level (e.g. transfer from a taught postgraduate programme to another taught postgraduate programme), can apply for such a change by completing an application form for Programme Transfer obtainable from the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Records Service Counter and the SGS website (www.cityu.edu.hk/sgs) within the application period. Applications for programme transfer are processed twice a year, normally in November (for transfers to be effective in Semester B of the current academic year) and February (for transfers to be effective in Semester A of the next academic year). For non-local students, any transfer of programme approved by the University would be sent to the Immigration Department for final endorsement before the transfer comes into effect.

    According to the Academic Regulations for Taught Postgraduate Degrees, a student's previous period of study before the programme transfer comes into effect will be counted in the calculation of the student's maximum period of study.

    Non-local students who have been granted permission by the Immigration Department for ‘full-time studies’ must follow the minimum credit unit load specified in the University’s Academic Regulations for full-time students. Exceptions for reduced study load are permitted for the final graduating semester upon approval by the Head of the academic department or as determined by the Examination Board in any semester for students in academic difficulty.

    For details about programme transfer, please refer to the website of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS): http://www.sgs.cityu.edu.hk/student/TPg/record/progtransfer.

  15. Will I be able to complete the Juris Doctor programme at my own pace?

    The University’s prescribed minimum and maximum credit unit requirements are 12-18 credit units for full-time students.

    The School of Law has adopted a 2-year recommended programme structures for JD students to be admitted in 2013-14 & thereafter.

  16. Are there any Continuing Education Fund (CEF)-approved courses?

    The following are CEF approved courses with effect from 5 May 2008.

    LW5656 Company Law I
    LW5657 Company Law II

    Claimants should submit an application to the Office of the Continuing Education Fund (OCEF). They can proceed with obtaining their reimbursements once the application has been approved. They are also required to observe the following with regard to the eligibility of claiming reimbursements from the OCEF:

    a) CEF claimants would be eligible for fee reimbursement only upon their successful completion of the whole course; and

    b) CEF claimants are required to attain the overall mark of either 50% or such higher percentage of assessment(s) as prescribed for the course (whichever is higher) as assessed by whichever method approved by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare (including any examination and assignment requirements with approved weighting) before they are eligible for fee reimbursement; and

    c) CEF claimants are required to attend no less than 70% of the contactable hours of the course or such higher attendance requirement as prescribed for the course (whichever is higher) to meet the fee reimbursement criteria.

    For details, please refer to the email issued by the General Office at the beginning of a new semester or simply visit the following website:

    http://www.sfaa.gov.hk/cef/intro.htm