Legal Education: Entry to the legal profession now increasingly accessible thanks to distance learning law courses

Legal education: entry to the profession now increasingly accessible thanks to distance learning courses


Are you prepared for the PCLL exams this June?! We can help! Here’s the schedule!

PCLL Conversion Exam Dates for 2017

Examinations in June 2017 will be held in Hong Kong as follows:
01 Civil Procedure 9:30am 26/06/17
02 Criminal Procedure 9:30am 23/06/17
03 Commercial Law 9:00am 27/06/17
04 Evidence 2:30pm 22/06/17
05 Business Associations 9:30am 22/06/17
06 Hong Kong Constitutional Law 2:30pm 23/06/17
07 Hong Kong Legal System 3:00pm 27/06/17
08 Hong Kong Land Law 2:30pm 26/06/17

For more information Contact Us

How do you work out what a firm’s culture is before joining?

Have you ever woken up and thought, why am I doing this? I feel unappreciated and miserable. I never see my friends. My boss is rude and generally horrible, I get told to cancel my holidays, clients are demanding and don’t understand the personal sacrifices I make to provide them with an outstanding service, chances of making partnership are non-existent…. there must be more to life?

Here’s the thing… every job has its down sides and law is no exception. Many lawyers leave the profession every year because of the reasons above.

The good news is not all law firms and chambers are the same. There are some amazing places to work, with great people. If you are having a hard time it is probably the situation and the environment rather than the work itself.

Problem is, how do you work out what a firm’s culture is before you join? Here’s how to scout out the perfect culture in five easy steps.

Know what you want! Write down what really matters to you in a work environment. Put the things in order of importance for example…

  • I want to see my friends
  • join a firm sports team
  • go to the gym at lunchtime
  • work from home
  • get coached
  • have a realistic chance of partnership
  • go on secondment

From this you can start to get an impression of the kind of firm or company for which you would like to work.

Different cultures suit different personalities.

People have different rules, values and beliefs. They appreciate different things. So it makes sense people like to hire people like them. This is the beginning of a firm culture.

To some extent the legal profession is still a man’s world and some law firms have a very long way to go from a diversity prospective. For example, I recently came across a job where they were asking for a first class degree from a top university. All 11 partners at the firm were white males and over 50. Knowing this small amount of information people start to form an impression of the firm. Chances are, the partners are looking for a junior clone of themselves.

“The relationships you build will determine the level of happiness you have in a job.”

Today you can find out a wealth of subjective and objective information in a couple of clicks. So research the people with whom you will be working.

Social media will be a great source of information, for example: Facebook (what they are like outside of work, their interests etc. you can use this to build rapport); LinkedIn (how they want clients and other professionals to see them); YouTube (on video you get a better impression of their personality); and Twitter (which will show you what is important to them).

Regarding the firm itself, read rankings, general media and their mission statement.

Ask them about their processes and what clients say about them. Glassdoor, Vault and Above the Law will give you accounts of people who have worked at the firm but read the comments with an open mind.

Would you join a gym or send your child to a school without looking around it first? Probably not. If you are offered a role ask to look around the office and speak to people before you sign on the dotted line. It is very different being in the conference area of a firm to seeing behind the scenes.

How tidy is the office, do people smile and say hello when you walk by, what is the general mood of the office? How forthcoming are they when you ask them questions like “what is the best and worst thing about working here?” “How would you describe the firm in three words?”

We spend so much time at work it’s important to get the right fit, otherwise it can affect our families, emotional wellbeing and career progression. Really do your research on the people you will be working with and the firm itself. If you are not enjoying work right now, it may be the environment you are in rather than the work itself.  Remember “change creates possibilities.”


Law School Pyramid of Success: If Coach Wooden Had Been a Lawyer

Law School Pyramid of Success: If Coach Wooden Had Been a Lawyer ….

Posted on 01-06-2017 by

Ten NCAA Championships in 12 years (including seven in a row) … these are the success numbers of basketball coaching great, John Wooden.

Want to know Wooden’s game plan for winning?

It was his Pyramid of Success, which contains 15 building blocks, beginning with “Competitive Greatness” at the top. Wooden defined “Competitive Greatness” as:

Competitive Greatness is having a real love for the hard battle knowing it offers the opportunity to be at your best when your best is required.

Wooden’s Pyramid isn’t the only coaching guide to success. Legendary football coach Bill Snyder lists 16 Goals for Success for his K-State football teams. These goals include, among other things:

  • Commitment … to common goals and to being successful
  • Self-Discipline … do it right, don’t accept less
  • Eliminate Mistakes … don’t beat yourself
  • No Self-Limitations … expect more of yourself

And if you’re really ambitious, there’s the satirical Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness (NBC’s Parks and Rec). It stands tall – very tall – with 45 building blocks.

A few of the funny ones:

  • Skim milk. Avoid it.
  • Handshakes. Firm, dry, solid. 3 seconds.
  • Stillness: Don’t waste energy moving unless necessary.
  • Poise: Sting like a bee. Do not float like a butterfly. That’s ridiculous.
  • Greatness Itself: The best revenge.

All kidding aside, Wooden and Snyder won (and won big) by following their success principles. If you’re a law student, you can win too by following the Law School Pyramid of Success.

The Law School Pyramid of Success

So here it is (I know … it’s not what you expected):

Two building blocks … just two.

I could’ve added building blocks for grades or law journal or blogging or school pedigree, but time and time again, research and writing prove themselves mission critical for lawyers and law students.

Why writing? Because writing is the means for most legal arguments and procedures. It’s the lawyer’s life blood. Hence, the reason why lawyers, like piranha, frenzy around great writing tips.

Why research? Because over 80% of hiring partners stress the critical skills of legal research and advanced legal research. With young associates spending between 40% and 60% of their time on legal research, the skill is paramount for career success.

Writing  + Research + Principles = Success

Don’t devalue Wooden’s or Snyder’s success principles. Add them to your success tools. They’re valuable (and powerful) when adhered to. But neither Wooden nor Snyder attended law school or practiced law.

If they had, their success principles would’ve increased … by two.


10 jobs you can get with a law degree


Ten jobs you can get with a law degree

by Randall

Getting a law degree is a big deal, or it can be a big deal. What really matters is how you use the degree. There’s a couple of ways you can use your law degree. The first way is to treat your degree like a status symbol. The second way is to actually use the skills and knowledge you picked up in law school. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be a lawyer. So, read on for ten jobs you can do with a law degree.

1. Public Sector

I’m thinking specifically about working in the District attorneys office, or the public defender’s office. There are lots of different ways you can get involved here. You can work on the city level, the county level, the state level, and even the federal level. You can specifically deal with only professional athletes, maybe only prosecute large white-collar crimes, and even deal only with kids cases. There are lots of different jobs in this area for people with law degrees.

2. Private Sector

Here you can work in a small, medium, or large law firm. The practice areas are limitless, almost. You could work as a general practitioner, real estate, divorce, bankruptcy, immigration, civil litigation, secured transactions, negotiated instruments, corporate law, international law. It just depends on your interests.

3. In-House Counsel

Another option is to be an attorney for a corporation. In this job, you’ll essentially be the “legal department” for the company, answering legal questions that range from employment and contract disputes, to intellectual property law. You’ll normally get to deal with a bunch of different kinds of issues, so you won’t have to worry too much about getting bored with doing only one are of law.

4. Mediator

In litigation, most jurisdictions require the parties to attend some form of mediation before proceeding to trial. This means there is a bunch of demand for competent mediators, who attempt to help adverse parties come to an agreement on one or all of the potential issues that could come up in a trial. If you become a mediator, it’s your job to try and help people get along and come to agreements.

5. Author

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Scott Turow. It’s possible you saw “The Paper Chase,” which was based on his book titled “1L.” He writes fiction when he’s not practicing law. There’s a bunch of people out there that went to law school and ended up writing instead. Terry Brooks, Nick Stephensen, and numerous others with law degrees ended up being authors.

6. Consulting

Your legal education will help you to analyze issues, and see things in ways that most people don’t. This puts you in the unique position to be able to help others in their own problems, whether they are personal or business. If you combine your legal education with your life experience, you’ll find that people will come to you for advice, and they’ll listen to it as well.

7. Teaching

Your law degree will also open up avenues to teach in undergraduate, community college, and post-graduate work. There is always a need for people with legal experience to teach students in these school about legal issues that are relevant to their areas of study. Whether it’s business law, public interest law, medical law, or even copyright issues, you can be sure that most colleges have the need to bring in professor who can address these issues.

8. Upper Level Management

You might also find that jobs like CEO, CFO, and COO are suddenly open to you because of your law degree. Granted getting a position like one of these is probably not going to happen immediately, having your law degree will definitely be another reason for one of these opportunities to come your way.

9. Politics

Running for political office is another way you can use your law degree. Not only is it a resume booster, but being able to read and write a statute comes in very handy.

10. Non-Profit Work

Finally, you can work in the non-profit world, as a member of the board, as a founder, or even as retained legal counsel. You’ll be in the unique position to understand the legal issues that face both the non-profit you work for, and the clientelle you serve. You’ll also be able to help the leadership in the non-profit navigate whatever regulatory waters that it’s wading through.

So, if you find that you don’t want to practice law, remember this: your legal education will help you in the long run, whatever area you choose to practice in.