Graduate Pathways Guide – Law in Hong Kong
Although many of the large Australian and international law firms have set up representative offices in mainland China, by far the most realistic place for Australian law graduates to begin their China law career is in Hong Kong.
This is because foreign noncitizens are still prohibited from registering to practice law in Mainland China. There are also a number of restrictions placed on foreign law firms operating in China, including giving advice on PRC law. Many of the large international firms restrict graduate intake to their Mainland China offices to domestic PRC law students.
Hong Kong, by comparison, with its common law background, British influence and established presence of multinational law firms, offers a more familiar and compatible environment in which to train as a junior lawyer.
In addition to the graduate opportunities listed in this guide, many firms also offer training contracts to Australian law students directly upon application. Interviews for training contracts are otherwise undertaken at the end of internship placements. Hong Kong traineeships run for two years following completion of your degree.
For most of the large firms listed in this guide, applications for summer vacation schemes generally close early in 2016. Some applications processes are made on a rolling basis, so applying early is critical. Also be sure to keep your eyes peeled in 2016 for the Hong Kong law fairs which do the the rounds of Australian universities throughout the year.