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Career opportunities for legal professionals


Legal Trainee Scheme


A Training Scheme that will expand your horizons



Objective


The objective of the Legal Trainee Scheme is to provide legal trainees with practical training in accordance with the requirements of the Law Society of Hong Kong or the Hong Kong Bar Association and enable them to acquire experience in various types of legal work undertaken by Government lawyers.

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The Scheme


Legal Trainees (Solicitor) will join a two-year programme comprising attachments* to the following -

    1. our Civil Division for nine months;
    2. our Prosecutions Division for six months;
    3. a private law firm for six months; and
    4. one of the legal/judicial group of departments (including Legal Aid Department, Intellectual Property Department, Official Receiver’s Office, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office of the Lands Department, Land Registry and Companies Registry) according to the preference of individual trainee, or our Law Drafting Division or Legal Policy Division, for another three months.

Legal Trainees (Barrister) will join a one-year programme comprising attachments* to the following -

    1. our Civil Division for three months;
    2. our Prosecutions Division for five months;
    3. the Judiciary as a judge’s marshal for one month; and
    4. a practising barrister in the private Bar for three months.
* The training attachments may be subject to change.

UNIQUE EXPOSURE

This is a unique training scheme in which you will be able to gain insights into the work of a government counsel and that of a lawyer in private practice. Under the training scheme, a Legal Trainee (Solicitor) will be seconded to a private law firm to work for six months to serve a totally different clientele. We will try to arrange for the trainee to work in a firm of his/her choice and in the areas that the trainee is interested in. Likewise, we will try to arrange for a Legal Trainee (Barrister) to be attached to a set of chambers of his/her choice to learn directly from a barrister in private practice.


Exposure that could only be found in DoJ

For both streams

  • To attend a 12-week Criminal Advocacy Course including mock trials;
  • To prosecute different types of cases in the magistrates’ courts;
  • To give legal advice to law enforcement agencies; and
  • To assist experienced counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil trials.

For the solicitor stream

  • To advise different Government bureaux and departments in diverse areas of law, such as tort, inland revenue, immigration and civil service employment;
  • To work in one of the legal/judicial group of departments, the Law Drafting Division or Legal Policy Division; and
  • To attend certain chambers hearings in civil cases.

For the barrister stream

  • To work as a judge’s marshal.

What's more

Legal Trainees will be sponsored to attend training courses required by the Law Society of Hong Kong under the Continuing Professional Development Scheme or by the Hong Kong Bar Association under the Pupils Advanced Legal Education Programme.

From time to time, the Department will invite eminent scholars and distinguished practitioners to give talks or seminars to keep the trainees abreast of the latest developments in the law.

MENTORSHIP ARRANGEMENT

Your overall personal growth is as important as your ability to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills for being a successful lawyer. Throughout the training period, two experienced DoJ counsel will be assigned to be your mentors to provide guidance and advice and to share with you their experience.

Experienced counsel in each division of the Department to which you will be attached will also monitor your professional development during the training. They stand ready to provide you with practical advice on the work allocated to you.

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What Former Legal Trainees Say

From Learning to Earning
by Mr Wesley W. C. WONG, SC, Solicitor General

The Right Choice for Me
by Mr Clifford TAVARES, Deputy Principal Government Counsel

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Application


CAREER TALK

Briefing sessions on the Legal Trainee Scheme will be held around March every year at The University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. This year’s briefing sessions will be postponed until further notice.

RECRUITMENT

Invitations to apply will be advertised on 13 and 20 March 2020 in the Ming Pao and on 14 and 21 March 2020 in the South China Morning Post. The advertisement will also be posted on the website of the Department of Justice.

The application period for the Legal Trainee Scheme (2021 Intake) is open now until 30 June 2020 (Please see “Existing job vacancies” under “Recruitment” Section for more details).

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend interview(s) in late September / early October. Successful applicants are generally expected to start their training in the following summer.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

  a. Permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
  b. i. Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) graduates of The University of Hong Kong or City University of Hong Kong or The Chinese University of Hong Kong / PCLL students or potential PCLL students of these universities who will graduate in the following year; OR
    ii. civil servants serving in the Department of Justice, the Legal Aid Department, the Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office of the Lands Department, the Land Registry, the Companies Registry, the Intellectual Property Department, the Official Receiver's Office and the Judiciary who hold qualifications recognised for training purposes by the Law Society of Hong Kong or the Hong Kong Bar Association; and
  c. Have attained 'Level 2' or above in English Language and Chinese Language Notes (1) and (2) in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE) or Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), or equivalent.
Notes:
  1. For appointment purpose, 'Grade E' in English Language (Syllabus B) and Chinese Language in the HKCEE before 2007 is accepted administratively as comparable to 'Level 2' in English Language and Chinese Language in the 2007 HKCEE and henceforth.
  2. 'Level 1' result or above in the Use of Chinese paper of the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) will also be accepted as meeting the Chinese language proficiency requirement for appointment as Legal Trainee.

TERMS OF APPOINTMENT AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

Terms of engagement

Legal Trainees will be engaged on temporary month-to-month terms. Legal Trainees (Solicitor) will join the Legal Trainee Scheme for a period of two years and Legal Trainees (Barrister) will join the Legal Trainee Scheme for one year.

Salary

Legal Trainees will receive, in the first 12 months, a monthly salary equivalent to the pay on point 27 of the Master Pay Scale (MPS), currently $55,995; and in the second 12 months (as applicable to Legal Trainees (Solicitor)), a monthly salary equivalent to the pay on MPS point 28, currently $58,635.

Mandatory Provident Fund

Legal Trainees are subject to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap. 485).

Leave

Legal Trainees are entitled to earn leave at a rate of 14 days per year.

Medical and dental benefits

Medical and dental benefits are available to Legal Trainees in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated from time to time.

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Enquiries


Enquiries can be made to Executive Officer (Personnel)4 or Clerical Officer (Training) of the Department of Justice at 3902 8739 or 3902 8763 or to our Training Registry via email: training@doj.gov.hk.

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