3rd law school for Hong Kong

July 28, 2006

A third law school is to open in Hong Kong this September while legal graduates with poor English skills continue to struggle to find jobs in the city.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) will teach a full-time bachelor of laws and postgraduate programmes. Some academics have criticised the decision to widen the pool of lawyers at a time when poor English language skills are forcing top firms to look overseas for talent. Graduates are left to fight for a limited number of places at local practices.

Most case law in Hong Kong remains in English and many cases are still held in the language, especially those involving overseas litigants.

In April, Hong Kong's legislature sought reassurance from the CUHK that the benchmark for English would be high for its law students.

Andrew Bruce, a member of the Hong Kong Bar Association's legal education committee, said: "It doesn't matter in terms of advocacy how good your university results are if you can't get across all of that learning and knowledge that you acquired. Broadly speaking, we have no shortage of lawyers, but a serious shortage of good ones."

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