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    Hi,

    I am a law graduate from Hong Kong and I obtained my LLB degree this year. I have been thinking of pursuing my career in the UK since I studied in England as an exchange student a year ago. My interest is in human rights/ criminal law, which are not promising areas in Hong Kong anyway. I am aware that the possibility of me securing a job in the UK is very low since it is difficult even for local students. Now I'm considering doing a masters degree in the UK and I hope someone can give me some advice on how it would improve my career prospect in the UK. Thanks.
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    (Original post by Anniechong)
    Hi,

    I am a law graduate from Hong Kong and I obtained my LLB degree this year. I have been thinking of pursuing my career in the UK since I studied in England as an exchange student a year ago. My interest is in human rights/ criminal law, which are not promising areas in Hong Kong anyway. I am aware that the possibility of me securing a job in the UK is very low since it is difficult even for local students. Now I'm considering doing a masters degree in the UK and I hope someone can give me some advice on how it would improve my career prospect in the UK. Thanks.
    An LLM isn't required in the UK for practicing law and whether or not you should do one to improve applications is a mixed bag. Some solicitors/barristers I've met have said it is good because it can make you stand out like if you have a commercial law LLM and want to work as a solicitor in the City. An increasing number of barrister pupils have LLMs too. Then again, other practitioners have said to me it isn't worth it because they know an extra year of study won't make you a better advocate.

    Do you want to be a solicitor or barrister? Those courses are so expensive that affording an LLM beforehand could be extremely expensive.
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    The difficulty you will have is your right to work in the UK. This will not change or be improved by completing a LLM or any other qualification.The type of law you are looking to go into is more likely to not meet work permit eligibility criteria, mainly due to it paying less than commercial areas of law. Organisations or firms you would probably be looking at might not have the ability to get you a work permit too, and even those that do might choose not to apply them to junior positions.I'd definitely try and network with individuals who have worked with this field and get their advice, even if it is just doing it online. They will be able to tell you if they have non-EU junior staff in their organisation and whether a LLM would be advisable.
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    (Original post by alexgilder)
    An LLM isn't required in the UK for practicing law and whether or not you should do one to improve applications is a mixed bag. Some solicitors/barristers I've met have said it is good because it can make you stand out like if you have a commercial law LLM and want to work as a solicitor in the City. An increasing number of barrister pupils have LLMs too. Then again, other practitioners have said to me it isn't worth it because they know an extra year of study won't make you a better advocate.

    Do you want to be a solicitor or barrister? Those courses are so expensive that affording an LLM beforehand could be extremely expensive.
    I want to be a solicitor. I understand that LLM is not a prerequisite but my concern is my LLB degree from Hong Kong is not internationally competitive enough among UK graduates. I heard that it is difficult to get a training contract in the UK and I am not sure how international students fare in the job market. Plus another reason I would like to work in the UK is that I think it is more likely, at least than in Hong Kong, to practise in human rights related areas.
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    (Original post by Anniechong)
    I want to be a solicitor. I understand that LLM is not a prerequisite but my concern is my LLB degree from Hong Kong is not internationally competitive enough among UK graduates. I heard that it is difficult to get a training contract in the UK and I am not sure how international students fare in the job market. Plus another reason I would like to work in the UK is that I think it is more likely, at least than in Hong Kong, to practise in human rights related areas.
    Okay I see your problem now. Technically it isn't hard to get a training contract. I remember the stats are that pretty much all of the people who have a 2:1 on their LLB and then pass the LPC get a training contract. But the difference it what level of training contract... city firms in London vs high-street firms in smaller towns. Obviously the London ones are far more competitive and I would probably recommend you try to do an LLM at a university near the top of the tables. It would also give you a year to get some work experience in the city and build a network. You'll need to work at the bigger London ones if you want to handle human rights issues but I also can imagine that the work is quite niche with most big firms carrying out commercial/chancery work for the bulk of their income.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    The difficulty you will have is your right to work in the UK. This will not change or be improved by completing a LLM or any other qualification.The type of law you are looking to go into is more likely to not meet work permit eligibility criteria, mainly due to it paying less than commercial areas of law. Organisations or firms you would probably be looking at might not have the ability to get you a work permit too, and even those that do might choose not to apply them to junior positions.I'd definitely try and network with individuals who have worked with this field and get their advice, even if it is just doing it online. They will be able to tell you if they have non-EU junior staff in their organisation and whether a LLM would be advisable.
    Hi and thanks for your advice. I have not really thought about the right to work in the UK and will certainly look into that.
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    (Original post by Anniechong)
    Hi and thanks for your advice. I have not really thought about the right to work in the UK and will certainly look into that.
    It is a major obstacle and no matter how good your CV/academic qualifications, is likely to influence your ability to get a role in the area of law you are interested in.
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    (Original post by alexgilder)
    Okay I see your problem now. Technically it isn't hard to get a training contract. I remember the stats are that pretty much all of the people who have a 2:1 on their LLB and then pass the LPC get a training contract. But the difference it what level of training contract... city firms in London vs high-street firms in smaller towns. Obviously the London ones are far more competitive and I would probably recommend you try to do an LLM at a university near the top of the tables. It would also give you a year to get some work experience in the city and build a network. You'll need to work at the bigger London ones if you want to handle human rights issues but I also can imagine that the work is quite niche with most big firms carrying out commercial/chancery work for the bulk of their income.
    That is what I was thinking too being not from the country.
    What makes me hesitate and think is I also see lots of people from Hong Kong going back home for work, for whatever reasons, after doing a masters degree in the UK. So it seems to me it is hard to survive in the job market in the UK being a foreigner.
    I think my results are good enough for me to consdier the likes of UCL/LSE but there is no point in doing a LLM in the UK if I have to return to Hong Kong after that.
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    (Original post by Anniechong)
    Hi and thanks for your advice. I have not really thought about the right to work in the UK and will certainly look into that.
    What JSP said about the major obstacle being the right to work. Its not impossible but will be difficult.

    LLMs are not required, but as you said, then you would be better off if your degree was from England. It would improve your depth of knowledge, but it is a gamble. Because of what you have said I cna see the advantage just for you considering the area you wnat to join.

    What I wouuld do is take a step back and look at who might employ you after.
    Human Rights is very laudible, but not very commercial and thats where all the money and demand is. Look at chamvers , searchlinkedin and get advise from firms and lawyers who are in the field you wnat to enter.

    Criminal pays much less, unless its a top firm that has rich clients to defend. It also means they have less scope to take on trainee, so its a gamble. Criminal firms are less likely to give you assistance with funding the LPC.

    What you might do is find a practice which does mostly criminal with HR on the side as and when it happens. I would also suggest you start getting some experience in HR work maybe working for a charity or just doing some criminal work.
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    You also need to be aware there is a strong chance you will need to do some of the GDL where your LLB is not in the UK if you were to pursue a TC.

    Your exchange year might provide you with some exemptions but it is highly likely you will need to take at least some modules before then taking the LPC.


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    Thanks everyone. There is a lot for me to think about.
 
 
 
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