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Higher Diploma Programmes

 

Higher Diploma for Legal Executives

Programme Code:

  • Year 1 & 2, Higher Diploma (HD)

HD Application Code: HP 83-808

Legal Executives in law firms enjoy professional status and may be given certain limited rights of audience in accordance with the Court’s Practice Direction to represent lay client. To use the title "Legal Executive (LE)", graduates of this programme must meet the new Benchmark standard of The Law Society of Hong Kong (HKLS).

 

Programme Aims and Features

  • This programme aims to equip students with the fundamental legal knowledge and administrative skills to support legal professionals in law offices or related public services, or to carry out administrative duties in the general administration units of business and industrial organisations. The legal knowledge and practical skills learnt from the course can pave their future career pathway in the legal sector and support their pursuit of further studies;
  • Specialism courses are taught by experienced practitioners and legal academics;
  • In accordance with the HKLS’s Benchmark, students will attend interactive sessions in medium class-sized groups;
  • Workshops focused on law-related work and skill-based tasks.
     
 

Opportunities for Further Studies

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to different degree programmes offered by local universities (including HKU) through non-JUPAS means. The academic progression pathways will include LLB programmes offered locally and overseas.

Holders of the HKU SPACE's Higher Diploma programme satisfy the general entrance requirements of the University of London International Programmes. However, the University of London International Programmes reserves the right to request applicants to provide evidence acceptable to the University of oral and written competence in English before an offer of registration can be made.

 

Professional Recognition

  • U.K. Institute of Paralegals

The Higher Diploma for Legal Executives (“HDLE”) is recognised by the Institute of Paralegals, the UK professional body for paralegals which sets national competency standards for paralegals and others. 
(see www.InstituteofParalegals.org).

Successful completion of this programme will allow students to be elected to “Associate Paralegal” (A.Inst.Pa.) status; thereafter graduates can obtain “Qualified Paralegal” (Q.Inst.Pa.) status with over 6 years' worth of legal practice experience (LPE). Fellow of the IOP can be obtained by those who have at least 7.5 years' worth of LPE.

  • Law Society of Hong Kong

Under the Law Society of Hong Kong’s Benchmarks#, HDLE graduates will be eligible to use the title “Legal Executive”.

The Law Society of Hong Kong's Benchmarks
Applicants who do not possess the minimum entry requirements, but are aged 21 or above and have 3 years law-related working experience will be considered by the College. These applicants, if admitted, will still need to fulfill the English language proficiency requirements of the Law Society of Hong Kong's Benchmarks before they are eligible to use the professional title “Legal Executive” in law firms. They will be reminded that if they are admitted to the Programme, their eligibility to use the “Legal Executive” title is subject to their achievement of a minimum:

- Level 3 or above in English Language in the HKDSE since 2012; or 
- Levle 3 or above in English Language in the HKCEE, or Grade D or above in English Language (Syllabus B) or equivalent in the pre-2007 HKCEE; or
- Overall score of 6 or above in IELTS (International English Language Testing System). 

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

HDLE graduates can apply for Paper F4 exemption from the Association of Chartered Certificate Accountants (ACCA).

  • Hong Kong Judiciary

HDLE holders must have at least 3 years' legal work experience who are given certain limited rights of audience in accordance with the Court's Practice Direction to represent lay client.

- Practice Direction 14.1 - Rights of Audience Before a Master
- Practice Direction 27 - Civil Proceedings in the District Court

 

Support by Legal Practitioners

Pádraig Walsh
Partner, Hong Kong
Bird & Bird
International Law Firm

“Legal executives are the oil that fires the engine of much of the work of a law firm. Not only will legal executives perform a vital role in a wide range of legal work undertaken by law firms and private businesses, but also the role of legal executive can provide a platform for further development of a professional career in law. It is a significant advantage in a very challenging recruitment market for aspiring legal executives to demonstrate their training and ability by having a dedicated qualification that focuses on the needs and requirements of a successful legal executive in Hong Kong. The Higher Diploma for Legal Executives fulfils this need admirably and is welcome addition to the available options for people wishing to pursue this career path.”

 

James O’ Connell
Head of Policy
Institute of Paralegals
Solicitor, England & Wales
Solicitor, Hong Kong

“HDLE recognised as an international qualification”
“The Institute of Paralegals warmly welcomes this excellent, practice-orientated HDLE.”
“Although law and procedure tends to be jurisdiction-specific, this HDLE provides students with many skills which are recognised and needed in all jurisdictions.”

 

Career Prospects

Job opportunities can be found in both public and private business sectors, such as solicitor’s firms, barristers’ chambers, law enforcement bodies and government.

 

Press Interview – Sing Tao Daily

2-year Higher Diploma Programme

HKDSE

  • Level 2 or above in four subjectsin HKDSE including Chinese Language; and a minimum of Level 3 in English Language, or equivalent;

OR

HKALE

  • Pass in one AL subject or two AS subjects in the HKALE; AND three passes in the HKCEE* PLUS Level 2 / Grade E or above in Chinese Language and a minimum Level 3 / Grade D in English Language, or equivalent;

OR

  • Equivalent qualifications will be considered by the College.

Applicants are allowed to use not more than two Applied Learning (ApL) subjects in the application. The recognition of the ApL subjects is as follows: “Attained with distinction” is deemed equivalent to Level 3; and “Attained” is deemed equivalent to Level 2 of the HKDSE Examination.

Applicants are allowed to use not more than two Applied Learning (ApL) subjects in the application. Successful completion of an ApL subject will be recognised as comparable to a HKCEE subject pass.


Applicants who do not possess the above academic qualifications, but are aged 21 or above and have relevant work experience will be considered by the College.
 

The Law Society of Hong Kong's Benchmarks

Applicants who do not possess the above academic qualifications, but are aged 21 or above and have 3 years law-related working experience will be considered by the College. These applicants, if admitted, will still need to fulfill the English Language proficiency requirements of the Law Society of Hong Kong’s Benchmarks before they are eligible to use the professional title “Legal Executive” in law firms. They will be reminded that if they are admitted to this programme, their eligibility to use the “Legal Executive” title is subject to their achievement of a minimum:

  • Level 3 or above in English Language in the HKDSE since 2012; OR
  • Level 3 or above in English Language in the HKCEE, or Grade D or above in English Language (Syllabus B) or equivalent in the pre-2007 HKCEE; OR
  • Overall score of 6 or above in IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

Higher Diploma Year 1

  • General English III
  • English for Academic and Professional Purposes Part I
  • Practical Chinese
  • Information Technology and Applications
  • Introduction to Law and Hong Kong Legal System
  • Law and Contractual Transactions
  • Land Law and Conveyancing
  • Legal Writing and Drafting
  • Business Associations
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
  • Torts Law and Personal Injury Practice

 

 

Higher Diploma Year 2

  • English for Academic and Professional Purposes Part II
  • English for Business
  • Advanced Chinese Language
  • Intra- and Interpersonal Competencies
  • Professional Responsibility and Advocacy
  • Family Law and Matrimonial Practice
  • Civil Procedures I and II
  • Law of Succession and Probate Practice
  • Negotiation and Handling Disputes
  • Using Legal and Company Forms for Business
  • Introduction to the Mainland Legal System

 

Non-Chinese speaking students or students who have not received sufficient training in the Chinese language may apply for exemption from the Chinese course(s), and alternative courses may be assigned.