© Department of Professional and Legal Education, Faculty of Law, HKU All Rights Reserved

Department of Professional Legal Education, HKU

Mode of Studies

The Full-time Mode

The full-time PCLL programme is normally completed over one year commencing from September and ending in June in the following year.

 

The HKU PCLL will provide typical transactional knowledge and fundamental and core skills training to all students with a degree of specialization.

 

Cores, Electives and Pervasives

  • Compulsory Core Practice Areas focusing on essential procedural and transactional knowledge and skills;

  • Elective Practice Areas with specific focus so that students can receive training which is better suited to their interest and career choices, and the diverse needs of different sectors of the profession can be better provided for.

  • Pervasive subjects including Professional Practice and Taxation with introduction by way of separate and distinct large group sessions followed by issues integrated into small group practice sessions.

 

The PCLL Regulations and Syllabuses can be downloaded for your reference.

 

Fundamental and complex skills

  • A key set of fundamental lawyering skills which are non-practice specific but are building blocks for the practice of other (more complex) skills.

  • More complex lawyering skills taught in the context of specific practice areas (in Cores and/or in Electives).

 
 

The Part-time Mode

The part-time PCLL programme will normally be completed over two years.

This programme is well suited for people who wish to study the PCLL while continuing with their working lives.

Students need to attend three to four evening classes (normally 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.) on weekdays, and classes on Saturday afternoons. There will also be some scheduled court visits, examinations and occasionally other learning activities during the daytime on weekdays.

The part-time PCLL curriculum is identical to that of the full-time PCLL, except for the duration. The first year of the part-time curriculum is equivalent to the full-time PCLL’s first semester, and the second year of the part-time curriculum is equivalent to the full-time PCLL’s second semester.

 

Application

2019-20 PCLL Applications is now closed.  The information below is for reference only.  Application for 2020-2021 Admissions will start in mid/late January 2020.

You MUST read the BrochureNotes for Applicants 2019-2020 and FAQ's BEFORE submission of your application. WE ONLY ACCEPT ON-LINE APPLICATIONS.

Application forms:

1. [ALL APPLICANTS] University Application Form: 
You are required to submit ONE application for EACH of the Full-time and Part-time PCLL by the Application Deadline. Please click H E R E for the University Application Form.

NOTE: if you wish to be considered for BOTH the Full-time and Part-time modes, you MUST submit TWO University Application Forms, one for the Full-time mode, and one for the Part-time mode.  The order of preferences must be consistent on both forms. Please note your 10-digit Application Number(s) (one for each University Application Form) and keep it (them) confidential.

The Application Deadline is 12:00 noon (Hong Kong time) on 30 April 2019 (for admission in September 2019). Application form(s) must be submitted by this deadline. Please note that the PCLL application webpage will shut down promptly once the Application Deadline has expired so all applications must be completed by this time. As such, we do not recommend leaving your application until the last minute. Late applications will not be accepted.

Address for provision of your supporting documents (such as interim/final transcripts, IELTS Test Report Form, PCLL Conversion Examination result/exemption letters):

 

PCLL Admissions Office, 
Department of Professional Legal Education
The University of Hong Kong, 
10/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus,
Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

 

We are no longer able to verify documents ourselves. All applicants must provide either the original or a certified true copy of their documents. Please ensure that all supporting documents are sent to us by REGISTERED POST. We have had a few instances of documents sent by ordinary post not arriving. We do not accept documents submitted to us in person.

 

As strong applicants may be given offers prior to the application deadline, early application is recommended.

 

Applicants requiring student visas should note that it will take several weeks for visa applications to be processed.  It is therefore even more important for these applicants to send us all of their information and supporting documents as early as possible so that, where appropriate, we can issue early offers to them to enable them to make their visa applications.

In any event, once you have made your application(s), please provide us with all your supporting documents, in particular, a transcript of the results in your primary law qualification (including, where you have not yet completed your primary law qualification, your latest available interim transcript), AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

If you are a sufficiently strong applicant, once we are in possession of your supporting documents we will be able to make an early admission offer to you. To the extent that some supporting documents are not yet available, for example, because you have not yet had an opportunity to take the IELTS test, we can make our offer conditional upon your obtaining satisfactory IELTS results. It would therefore be in your interests to provide us with your full supporting documents (or as many as are available) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

 

PCLL Admissions Office
January 2019

Fees & Deadline

 

Full-time (government-funded): HK$42,100* (‘local’  students);  HK$164,000* (‘non-local’ students)
(For Government funding purposes, a ‘non-local’ student is a person entering Hong Kong for the purpose of education with a student visa/entry permit issued by the Director of Immigration.)

 

Full-time (self-funded): HK$184,500*
(Successful applicants may, subject to means tests, apply for bursaries).

 

Two-year Part-time (self-funded): HK$214,000*
(payable in two annual installments of HK$107,000* each).


*2019-20 Tuition Fees are for reference only.

YOU MAY SUBMIT YOUR ON-LINE APPLICATION(S) in January 2019

The application deadline is 12:00 noon (Hong Kong time) on 30 April 2019 (for admission in September 2019). ALL application forms must be submitted by this deadline.  Please note that the PCLL application webpage will shut down promptly once the application deadline has expired so all applications must be completed by this time. As such, we do not recommend leaving your application until the last minute. Late applications will not be accepted.

 

For further information on the forms that must be submitted by the application deadline, please see the application section of the PCLL webpage.

 

As strong applicants may be given offers prior to the application deadline, early application is recommended.

 

Applicants requiring student visas should note that it will take several weeks for visa applications to be processed.  It is therefore even more important for these applicants to send us all of their information and supporting documents as early as possible so that, where appropriate, we can issue early offers to them to enable them to make their visa applications.

 

In any event, once you have made your application(s), please provide us with all your supporting documents, in particular, a transcript of the results in your primary law qualification (including, where you have not yet completed your primary law qualification, your latest available interim transcript), AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.


If you are a sufficiently strong applicant, once we are in possession of your supporting documents we will be able to make an early admission offer to you. To the extent that some supporting documents are not yet available, for example, because you have not yet had an opportunity to take the IELTS test, we can make our offer conditional upon your obtaining satisfactory IELTS results. It would therefore be in your interests to provide us with your full supporting documents (or as many as are available) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

 

Bursaries

The HKU PCLL Bursaries
 

Details of the scheme
 

  • All full-time self-financing students who either have right of abode in Hong Kong or have resided continuously in Hong Kong for three years immediately before 1 September 2019 are eligible to apply.
     

  • The bursaries should take the form of a grant to cover part of the tuition fees and will be awarded to financially needy students.
     

  • The precise value of the bursaries will be determined by the Department of Professional Legal Education and the maximum amount of grant a student may be entitled is HK$77,500.
     

  • The amount of grant will be determined with reference to the level of the ‘Adjusted Family Income’ of the applicant, a concept which has been adopted by the Government Grant and Loan Scheme.
     

  • This is a departmental grant and will be paid out subject to sufficient funding and reserve in the account of the Department.

Other means for students to finance their studies
 

  • Self-financing students are eligible for the Government non-
    means tested loan.
     

  • There are other forms of financial assistances, including emergency loans, available within the University. http://www.cedars.hku.hk/campuslife/finances/ufa
     

  • Some banks may be interested in arranging education loans for students.

Download application form HERE.  The application deadline is 8 October 2019.

Notes and Calculator

JAC Hui Bon Hoa Bursaries
 

The JAC Hui Bon Hoa Bursaries was set up in 2006 by Mr. Stephane Hui Bon Hoa (an ex-full time PCLL lecturer/tutor who is now an Adjunct Professor to the Faculty of Law teaching part-time in our PCLL programme), to provide financial support to full-time, self-funded PCLL student experiencing financial difficulties.  Non-local PCLL students are also eligible to apply.

The number of award to be made each year is normally one, based on the financial needs and academic merits of the applicants.  The value of the award shall be determined by the Management Committee and is capped at $77,500 in the current academic year.

To apply, students are required to complete and submit the FORM with enclosure of supporting documents to the office of Head of Department of Professional Legal Education, Faculty of Law, in September every year.  Late applications will not be considered.  Enquiries should be directed to pcll@hku.hk.

Other Forms of Financial Assistance

  • There are other bursaries and scholarships available.  Applications will be separately called for via mass e-mail from the Faculty Office, Faculty of Law.

  • Self-financing students are eligible for the Government non-means tested loan .

  • There are other forms of financial assistance, including emergency loans, available within the University.

  • Some banks may be interested in arranging education loans for students.

 

FAQ

Answer:

No, we do not give offers on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, we will give out early admission offers (which may be subject to conditions) to strong candidates who are able to show us sufficient academic results (including interim results) before the close of applications. If at all possible, therefore, please make sure you attach at least the latest available interim transcript to your application.

Applicants requiring student visas should note that it will take several weeks for visa applications to be processed.  It is therefore even more important for these applicants to send us all of their information and supporting documents as early as possible so that, where appropriate, we can issue early offers to them to enable them to make their visa applications.

Question 2:

If I am unable to send in my final academic transcript but only able to show an interim transcript (because I have not yet completed all my law subjects), will I only get an admission offer when I send in my full academic results?

Question 3:

Do I have to send in ALL my supporting documents by the application deadline of 12:00 noon (Hong Kong time) on 29 April 2020

Question 4:

I am studying overseas and note that you accept originals or copies of documents which have been duly declared as true copies before a notary public. May the transcripts and other documents be certified by a solicitor instead of a notary public, or in any other way?

Question 5:

I am presently studying overseas for a LL.B. degree. I note that in order to be eligible for admission into the PCLL programme, I need to pass eleven Core subjects, namely, Contract, Tort, Constitutional law, Criminal Law, Land Law, Equity, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Business Associations and Commercial Law. As the courses I am studying bear different titles from those listed as the Core subjects, how do I know whether I am taking the courses which will fulfill these PCLL prerequisite core subjects?

Question 6:

I am presently studying law overseas and my university does not offer all the eleven Core subjects. How can I fulfil the requirement of competence in these eleven Core subjects?

Question 8:

Will applicants be interviewed?

Question 9:

I know that there is a prescribed minimum IELTS score. Would you accept a candidate with good law related academic results but an overall IELTS score of less than 7?

Question 10:

I am presently studying in an MA in legal study programme in the UK. This programme is recognised by the Law Society of England and Wales and the Bar Council in England as a qualifying law degree for practice in England and Wales. Would passing this course render me eligible for entry into the PCLL programme?

Question 7:

I have completed a law degree, or am presently studying a law degree, but have not studied the three Top-up subjects namely, Hong Kong Constitutional Law, Hong Kong Legal System and Hong Kong Land Law.   How can I fulfil the requirement of competence in these three Top-up subjects?

Question 11:

How do you deal with an application where the University of Hong Kong is only designated as the second preference?

Question 12:

How do you make admissions decisions and how do you allocate the full time government-funded places, the full-time self-funded places and the part-time self-funded places?

Question 13:

I am a University of London external law student. I see that the Transcript Deadline date is in early August, however, my university will not release my official transcript until September. Does that mean I must wait another year before applying to the PCLL? Does the lateness of my marks mean that I will definitely not get a full time government-funded PCLL place even if I obtain very strong academic results?

Answer:

No, this is not necessarily so. For strong candidates, we will issue early admission offers based on their interim results. Those offers of course need to be conditional upon, among other things, the applicant attaining a certain standard on completion of his or her law studies.

Answer:

No. The end of April deadline is only in respect of the MAKING of your application (and we urge you to send your interim results to us also). Your supporting documents, e.g. academic transcript, can be provided after that date, although all supporting documents must of course be provided to us by the first Friday of August (for exact date see the Notes to Applicants for the Transcript Deadline)

 

Having said the above, if you are a sufficiently strong applicant, once we are in possession of your supporting documents we will be able to make an early admission offer to you. To the extent that some supporting documents are not yet available, for example, because you have not yet had an opportunity to take the IELTS test, we can make our offer conditional upon your obtaining satisfactory IELTS results. It would therefore be in your interests to provide us with your full supporting documents (or as many as are available) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

We reiterate that the onus is on the applicant to ensure his/her application is in order. With the large number of applications and supporting documents (from different institutions and different formats), it is not feasible for us to inform you whether anything is missing. In the past, applicants have had issues with lost supporting documents (in the mail or otherwise). We ask applicants to keep good records and proof of requesting / delivering supporting documents (e.g. transcript request with your university).  Should you have, or envisage, any difficulty complying with the Transcript Deadline, we ask you to inform us as soon as possible. While it is important to comply with the Transcript Deadline, those in non-compliance would still be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the reasons for non-compliance (e.g. whether the applicant is at fault) would be one of our considerations.

Answer:

Please consult the website of the PCLL Conversion Examination Board (http://www.pcea.com.hk).

Answer:

Please consult the website of the PCLL Conversion Examination Board (http://www.pcea.com.hk).

Answer:

No, we cannot accept candidates with an overall IELTS score of less than 7 as that minimum standard is prescribed by the Hong Kong Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training and we cannot deviate from it.

Answer:

Yes, this is considered to be an equivalent programme to an LL.B. or the Common Professional Examination. We are aware of similar programmes in the UK under different names. If these programmes are certified by the Law Society of England and Wales and the Bar Council in England as being either a qualifying law degree for practice or to be equivalent to the Common Professional Examination, then in principle passing them will be no different from securing an LL.B. degree or passing the Common Professional Examination. However, you should note that you must still demonstrate competence in the eleven Core and three Top-up subjects.

Answer:

We do not process or consider such an application until the applicant’s first preference university (i.e. City University of Hong Kong or the Chinese University of Hong Kong) notifies us that they are no longer interested in the applicant or we are informed of a change in the first preference designation to the University of Hong Kong. If you do wish to re-designate the University of Hong Kong as your first preference university, please ensure you let us know prior to rejection by your initial first preference university, otherwise we will not be able to accept such re-designation. In addition, for practical purposes, since all of our places each year are filled by applicants who designate the University of Hong Kong as their first preference, it is extremely unlikely that any applicants designating us as a second or third preference will receive an offer from us.

Answer:

Not normally. We anticipate interviewing applicants only in exceptional circumstances. However, if there are to be any interviews this year, they will likely take place in the weeks of either [  or  August 2020] (after our receipt of applicants’ final results by the transcript deadline earlier in August). In view of the tight timing, applicants will be invited for interview at very short notice. If at all possible, therefore, we would ask applicants who have still not heard from us by then to keep those weeks free, in case they are invited for interview.

Answer:

PCLL admission is primarily based on academic achievement in the primary law qualification, i.e. the first degree in law (such as the LL.B. or JD) or CPE examinations or other diploma course or graduate programmes recognized as being equivalent. Generally speaking, candidates admitted to the PCLL need to attain a minimum of a high 2.2 standard in their law qualification (or equivalent). We do not take classifications of degrees, e.g. first class, upper second class (2:1) or lower second class (2:2), at face value but will take into account the grades/marks obtained in the law subjects.

In terms of getting admitted into the PCLL, an applicant’s expressed preferences in respect of programme modes (i.e. full time government-funded, full-time self-funded or part-time self-funded) would NOT give any “strategic” advantage. For example, it would not make it “easier” to be admitted if an applicant chose full time self-funded (or any other programme mode) as his or her first preference programme mode.

However, if you do have any particular preference in respect of programme modes (e.g. part-time self-funded or full time government-funded), please DO indicate this in your application form(s). If your academic merits are sufficiently competitive, we will endeavour to accommodate your first preference programme mode. Out of fairness to other applicants, requests to change an applicant’s programme mode selection are only permitted in exceptional circumstances. Applicants will not be permitted to change their first preference from a full-time self-funded to a full-time government funded place or from a part-time self-funded place to a full-time self-funded place.

Answer:

We have encountered this quite often in the past. In England, for example, constitutional law may be covered under a course called public law; contract and tort are sometimes covered under a course called law of obligations. As you may need to take the Conversion Examination for PCLL Admission for the relevant subject if your course does not meet the PCLL admission requirement, it would be in your interest to confirm the position with and/or seek exemption for any subject(s) that you have doubt about from the PCLL Conversion Examination Board whose contact details can be found at http://www.pcea.com.hk.

Answer:

Yes, we will accept copies of documents which have been certified in the following ways: 

-   By a notary public
-   By a solicitor or other person who can administer oaths (e.g. a commissioner for oaths) 
-   By the appropriate officials of your home institution if you are an overseas applicant.
-   Academic transcripts sent directly from the awarding institution and bearing a certification stamp or chop will also be accepted.

In addition, we will also accept a declaration made to a Commissioner for Oaths at a Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Home Affairs Department that the copies of your supporting documents are true copies of the originals.

 

We do not accept uncertified photocopies of documents. 

Please ensure that all supporting documents are sent to us by REGISTERED POST. We have had a few instances of documents sent by ordinary post not arriving. We do not accept documents submitted to us in person.

Question 1:

I understand that you encourage early applications together with as much academic information as possible, does it mean that you process the PCLL applications on a first-come-first-serve basis?

Answer:

No to both questions. We are aware of your situation. In respect of the provision of your transcript, University of London students may provide us with a copy of their final results by the Transcript Deadline and must then submit a certified true copy of their official transcript when it becomes available. In respect of the allocation of government funded places, because we are aware of the different dates we may be receiving full academic results from the different categories of applicants, we will take this into account when allocating places.

Question 14:

When will I hear from you regarding the success or failure of my application?

Answer:

We aim to let applicants know of the status of their application as soon as we can. In essence, we will divide applicants into 3 groups:

 

- The “top” group who, on their relative academic merits, will certainly get a place. We will issue offers as soon as practicable;

- The “bottom” group who, on their relative academic merits, will certainly not get a place. We will issue rejections as soon as practicable;

- The “middle” group, in respect of whom we are not immediately certain whether they will or will not get a place. Unfortunately, this group of applicants will have to be kept on hold until mid to late-August when we will receive the final results of all other applicants in this group. Only then would we be able to review the full academic merits of the applicants in this group and make a final decision as to which applicants would be offered the remaining places. In other words, applicants in this middle group will NOT receive any decision from us until mid to late August. Whilst we will use our best endeavours to make this group as small as possible, there will inevitably be some applicants in this group.

Question 15:

Having obtained my law qualification, is there a time limit by which I must apply for the PCLL programme if I am intending to practice in Hong Kong?

Answer:

For admissions purposes there is no time limit within which you must apply for a place on the PCLL programme after completion of your qualifying law degree. Ifyou are intending to practice in Hong Kong, we recommend that you check with the relevant body (namely the Law Society of Hong Kong or the Hong Kong Bar Association) as to how they would view law qualifications that have not been obtained in the last 10 years since they may have concerns over whether your legal knowledge is current.

Question 16:

Having received an offer of a PCLL place from the University of Hong Kong, will I be permitted to defer my place?

Answer:

Absent exceptional circumstances (for example medical reasons), requests for deferral will not be permitted. You will have to choose whether to take up your offer or to decline it for the year in which you have applied. If you decline your offer then your place will be re-allocated to another applicant. While any future application you may make will not be prejudiced by your decision to decline the earlier offer, there is also no guarantee that a place will be offered again in the future.

Question 17:

I have applied unsuccessfully in the past for a place on the HKU PCLL. Is there any point in re-applying or am I prejudiced by my earlier rejection?

Answer:

Applicants are considered on the strength of their current application. We do not take into account our previous rejection(s) of a candidate in reaching admissions decisions. Since the cut-offs change from year to year (depending on the quality of applicants in any given year) there is a chance that you may still be admitted following a rejection in previous year. We encourage you to try again. We admit good applicants; we only reject applicants who, sadly, do not demonstrate sufficient academic merits or who fail to comply with the pre-requisites for admission, for example, by failing the conversion examinations or by failing to submit supporting documents by the applicable deadline. If you have been rejected in the past because of weak academic marks, you may wish to give some thought to improving your marks by studying for a C.P.E. or G.D.L for example.

Question 18:

I know that HKU give preference to your own students. Is it extremely difficult for a non-HKU applicant to be admitted to the HKU PCLL?

Answer:

There is no truth to this rumour. We do not reserve places for our own students, nor do we have a quota of places for applicants from any particular group. Each and every applicant to the HKU PCLL is considered individually on the basis of his or her merit. HKU students must compete for a place with all other applicants. We merely seek to admit the best applicants to our PCLL irrespective of their background and we welcome applications from both local and overseas applicants.

Question 19:

Only students with a 2:1 or equivalent will be admitted to the HKU PCLL?

Answer:

The legal profession has set a benchmark for admission to the PCLL of a "high 2.2" degree and all three law schools have been following that benchmark. Our focus in admissions is on academic merit and in this regard, we look primarily at an applicant's All Law Average (the average mark of all Law subjects studied over the entirety of an applicant's qualifying law degree) in light of relevant grading practice rather than just by the class of his or her degree. This means that applicants are treated equally, with their marks compared, as much as practicable, on a like-for-like basis. In past years, applicants with a 2.2 degree have been offered a place on the PCLL if their marks are sufficiently competitive. The ‘cut-off’ point for the law average is different every year. In recent years, it has been a high 2:2 mark. For applicants near the ‘cut-off’ point, we may consider other factors including the average mark of your 6 core subjects (Contract, Tort, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Land Law and Equity), the standing of the institution for your qualifying law degree, and other exceptional achievements.

We also hold a limited number of interviews for the last 10-15 places on the part-time programme for the work experience route to the PCLL. Please see the next question of this FAQ.

Question 20:

What is the work experience route to the PCLL?

Answer:

We hold 10-15 places on the part-time programme for those applicants whose marks are not sufficiently competitive but who are able to demonstrate legal working experience.  Such legal working experience must be of at least 2 years in total duration, involve the use of legal skills such as research, drafting and advising clients and does not include internships or mini-pupillages. These applicants may be shortlisted for an interview, which would usually take place in mid-August. The length of the legal working experience is not our only consideration, but also the quality. The legal skills and knowledge acquired in the legal working experience would be of particular importance.

 

Question 21:

The HKU PCLL is extremely difficult to pass in comparison with the PCLL at other providers?

Answer:

It is not appropriate for us to comment on the PCLL courses offered by other providers and so we are unable to make any comparisons. Our PCLL course is demanding so, roll up your sleeves and continue your pursuit of your legal career with even more dedication than ever. We do fail students but we are here to facilitate students' learning and to meet the standards expected by the legal profession. According to our understanding, our first-attempt pass rate falls within an acceptable and normal range regarded by any reputable Practical Legal Training / Legal Practice Courses overseas. Wherever our PCLL students are from, they are all equal in our eyes. We only fail students who do not reach the level of competence and standards expected by the profession. These practices benefit students, the profession and - ultimately - the public but we believe that it provides excellent training for a future career as a barrister or solicitor. The profession demands no less than competent professionals!

Question 22:

For full-time government-funded spots in the PCLL, how do I know if I fall under ‘local’ or ‘non-local’?

Answer:

We refer to the Notes to Applicants and the Admissions and Academic Liaison Section of the University (https://aal.hku.hk). If you do not fall under the ‘non-local’ as described in the aforesaid, it is likely you would fall under ‘local’. If you have any doubts, please contact us and/or the AAL. Please note that only students in admitted into the self-funded full-time programme would be able to apply for bursaries and government non-means tested loans.

Court

Contact Us

The PCLL Admissions Office
Department of Professional Legal Education
The University of Hong Kong,

10/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower,
Centennial Campus, Pokfulam Road,

Hong Kong

Email: pcll@hku.hk

Fax:(852) 2549 3541