About the PCLL
The HKU PCLL programme is a leading professional legal education programme devoted to the training of intending lawyers in Hong Kong. The programme is mainly aimed at intending solicitors and barristers in Hong Kong who have completed their Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) or equivalent legal studies either in Hong Kong or other common law jurisdictions, or have passed the Common Professional Examinations or equivalent.
The HKU PCLL programme instills and strengthens core competences of legal skills required of solicitors and barristers practising in Hong Kong. These skills include legal research and writing, document drafting and analysis, problem-solving and advocacy. Moreover, our students will learn professional ethics and analysis of company accounts.
Our student profile is highly international, with students coming from, for example, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and the People's Republic of China. Most of our students have undertaken their undergraduate legal studies in prestigious law schools from common law jurisdictions around the world. Some of our mature students may be working or have worked in local law firms, others in the government and private sectors. We have a cosmopolitan mix of PCLL students from diverse backgrounds.
An intending solicitor who has completed the PCLL will be required to complete satisfactorily a period of employment as a trainee solicitor (two years) in order to be eligible for admission to practice in Hong Kong as a solicitor.
An intending barrister who has completed the PCLL is eligible for admission as a barrister, but must undertake pupillage for 12 months (during the last 6 months of which there is a limited right of practice).
The HKU PCLL programme brings together a strong team of excellent and experienced teachers who are committed to providing world-class professional legal education in Hong Kong.
Our full-time teachers come from a wide range of common law jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia. All of them are professionally qualified and experienced in their respective areas of expertise. Many of them have also worked in major law firms (both local and international) and barristers’ chambers in Hong Kong.
Besides, we have a strong team of practitioners serving as part-time teachers in our programme, bringing a wealth of practical insight to our students. Our students can therefore benefit from our teachers’ international and local practice experience.
Many local judges and practitioners participate in our programme as advocacy assessors and part-time tutors. The knowledge and exposure that our students acquire in the PCLL programme are invaluable to their future legal careers in Hong Kong.
To be eligible for admission to the PCLL, an applicant must at least have completed their Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) or equivalent legal studies either in Hong Kong or other common law jurisdictions, or have passed the Common Professional Examinations (CPE or CPEC) of Hong Kong or of England and Wales or equivalent.
Applicants will have to demonstrate competence in the following nine 'Core' subjects: Contract, Tort, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Land Law, Equity, Evidence, Business Associations, and Commercial Law; and three 'Top-up' subjects: Hong Kong Constitutional Law, Hong Kong Legal System and Hong Kong Land Law. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, please contact:
In addition, all applicants (including native English speakers) must take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test (the Academic module) and submit the band score obtained as soon as possible and in no case later than the first Friday of August each year, i.e. for a 2021 application, you must submit the IELTS test results by 6 August 2021. No further extension on IELTS submission will be allowed. No other English language test (e.g. TOEFL) will be accepted.
A minimum standard of the IELTS test must be achieved as a requirement for admission to the PCLL. At present the prescribed minimum IELTS overall band score is 7. This is a requirement of the Hong Kong Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training. No exemptions will be granted. The Department of Professional Legal Education accepts an IELTS test result as valid where it is obtained within three years of the application deadline, i.e. for a 2021 application, the test date shown on the Test Report Form cannot be earlier than 30 April 2018.