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Earn a Juris Doctor degree from top ranking law university

If becoming a lawyer is something you realized later on in life, it isn’t too late to get a Juris Doctor degree. Juris Doctor programmes in Hong Kong were made for those, like you, who have already completed a 4-year degree.

Become a lawyer with a Juris Doctor

Lawyers hold high esteem in society and are both admired and respected by both personal and professional associates and relations. Along with society’s high regard for them, lawyers are also able to enjoy more privileged lives. Not a lot of people have the same prestige that lawyers do and it’s no surprise that many will do what they can to earn the same status by taking up a Juris Doctor degree.

Pursue a career in law

To become a lawyer, one must have graduated from a 4-year undergraduate course. This 4-year course does not necessarily have to be a pre-law course but taking up a Bachelor of Laws will undoubtedly be an advantage. Proceeding to study a Juris Doctor is the step one can take to become a lawyer if such individual did not take up a pre-law undergraduate course.

CityU’s School of Law legacy

The City University of Hong Kong established the School of Law in the year 1987 and continued on to make history as the first university to offer further studies in law. Attaining your Juris Doctor from a university that strives to be the number 1 law university in Asia is without a doubt the only consideration anyone should be making.

The School of Law at CityU prioritizes the administration of excellent education in its commitment to becoming the lead institution for law education in all of Asia. True to its objectives, the university has sought the services of internationally acclaimed law professionals to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to Hong Kong’s aspiring lawyers.

Juris Doctor studies at CityU School of Law

The Juris Doctor degree is recognized by 200 universities internationally, bearing the same degree of significance across the globe.Although the title bears the word ‘doctor’, graduates of a Juris Doctorprogramme are not to be called doctors.

To complete a Juris Doctor, one must be enrolled at the university for a full-time period of 2 years. Throughout the 2-year duration, Juris Doctor students will have acquired extensive knowledge and a comprehensive understanding on Hong Kong law. Furthermore, completing the law studies will enable students to advance their careers in the law profession. With a Juris Doctor, graduates can apply their knowledge in various industries should they find themselves unable to continue to becoming lawyers.

Enhancing the educational experience

Maximize your opportunity by taking up subjects in more specialized disciplines of study. Electives are available for Juris Doctor students to further distinguish the career path that they intend to build with their CityU education.

Juris Doctor students will be made to select their electives from the following curriculums: Master of Laws (LLM) and Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (LLMArbDR).

Furthermore, the City University of Hong Kong School of Law entrusts its classroom instruction to highly credible law professionals. The faculty is comprised of international law professionals that collaborate to produce the best law educational system for Hong Kong Juris Doctor students and aspiring lawyers.

The university is also home to a comprehensive library of law books, materials, and references. The university also boasts of its technologically advanced legal database systems to which the CityU Juris Doctor community is afforded access both on school premises and through remote access.

Juris Doctor (JD)

Why introduce a JD? | What is the JD? | What will I study? | Programme Structure | JD Admission Scholarship | How long will it take? | Is it professionally recognised? | How much will it cost? | When will it commence? | Am I eligible to apply? | How and when can I apply? | How can I find out more? | Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)


One of Hong Kong's professional law degrees at Hong Kong's innovative Law School

  • Graduate entry
  • 2 years full time
  • Hong Kong law taught by Hong Kong and International faculty
  • Faster route for potential entry to the legal profession
  • Ideal professional degree for leadership in commerce, industry, government, media and community services

Why JD?

The other Hong Kong's professional law degree is the Bachelor of Laws (LLB). The LLB is currently a 4 year full-time programme. This is intended primarily to furnish Secondary school-leavers and other undergraduate-entry law students with a broader education than can be accommodated within a 4 year LLB programme. Many people interested in pursuing studies in the law, however, are already graduates in a non-law discipline. They have already achieved the enhanced academic experience for which the 4-year LLB is intended. Graduate entrants into law school should have a route to professional legal qualifications more suited to their situation and needs.

City University of Hong Kong is the first university in Hong Kong to offer a programme leading to the award of a graduate-entry Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

JD Admission Information


What is JD?

The JD is an internationally recognised degree awarded by about 200 universities world-wide. It is well established in several Common Law jurisdictions overseas (Australia , Canada and the United States) with a meaning that is universally understood. Although the award has the word 'Doctor' in its title, this is a traditional usage and it is not generally regarded as equivalent to the PhD degree or other doctoral awards. It is a first law degree for students who are already graduates in a non-law discipline.

The JD programme leads to a law degree at the postgraduate level. It is not an external law degree programme.


What will I study?

City University of Hong Kong offers a taught programme of study tailor-made for students aiming for admission as a solicitor or barrister in Hong Kong.

The programme is also suitable for students looking for a professional alternative to the MBA degree and aiming for leadership roles in commerce, industry, government, the media and community services.

The core of the JD programme will consist of three courses that are essential for a proper understanding of the law and its workings in Hong Kong: Legal Methods, Research and Writing, Legal Systems of Hong Kong and Mainland China, and Jurisprudence.

Students will also be required to select courses from a wide range of electives drawn from the JD curriculum, the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Master of Laws in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (LLMArbDR) programmes.

Among the electives available, the following which are required for admission to the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) programme and to the legal profession in Hong Kong: Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Company Law I & II, Criminal Law I & II, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Land Law I & II, Equity & Trusts, Law of Evidence and Commercial Law. Students who are going to pursue the PCLL Programme and subsequently a legal profession in the future should ensure that they have completed all necessary courses required for PCLL entry before they graduate from the JD Programme.

Classes are conducted by an international faculty at City University of Hong Kong. Faculty staff bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise in a wide range of areas.

The Library provides an extensive selection of law books, periodicals and reference tools such as law reports, statutes, encyclopedias, dictionaries and indexes. Major legal databases are also available for on-campus and remote access. JD students will have free access to major on-line legal research facilities. In addition, Career Corner has been established in the Law Section to assist students with their job search and career development. The Corner contains literature relating to companies, law firms and other relevant information.

JD and LLB lectures will be given together in most courses.


Special Features

1. Overseas study experiences
In addition to Hong Kong (Asia), study a credit-bearing intensive elective law courses under G-LEAP (Global Legal Education Awareness Programme) in Monash University (Australia) and University College Oxford (UK).

2. Legal Placement
Experience the ‘law in action�?by doing internship with law firms, banking and international companies and in Hong Kong and/ or courts in mainland China.

3. Trained to Excel in Mooting
Extensive professional training to sharpen advocacy skills and participate in international mooting competitions.

4. CityU Law Review - Edit a Law Journal
Join the Editorial Board of the City University of Hong Kong Law Review and sharpen your writing and editing skills.

5. Complete JD (CityU) and LLM (University Paris 1)
Apart from completing JD at CityU, students have an opportunity to study one semester at the University Paris 1 to get an LLM.

6. Complete JD (CityU) and LLM (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland)
Students will have the opportunity to complete JD with CityU and LLM with Université de Fribourg, Switzerland.


Optional specialization

As a result of the programme re-structuring, students have scope to do more non-PCLL elective courses (i.e., 6 courses under the existing structure). They are offered an option to specialise in the following areas by taking at least 4 elective courses (minimum 12 credits) from the respective list:

International Commercial Law

LW6161E Competition Law;
LW5631 Banking Law;
LW5664 European Competition Law of Policy (G-LEAP);
LW5641 Intellectual Property: Theory, Copyright and Design (G-LEAP);
LW5643 Cyber Law;
LW6144E International Trade Law;
LW6140E Chinese and Comparative Commercial Law;
LW6180E International Commercial Contracts and Uniform Sales Law;
LW6167E Current Issues in WTO Law

Air and Maritime Law*

LW6175E Maritime Insurance Law;
LW6176E Aviation Law;
LW6179E Maritime Arbitration Law;
LW6189E Bills of Lading Law;
LW6190E Charterparties Law;
LW6191E Admiralty Procedure Law;
LW6192E Admiralty Law;
LW6194E The Law of the Sea;
^LW5649 International Mooting and Advocacy
^LW5649B International Mooting and Advocacy


Chinese and Comparative Law

LW5626 Comparative Law;
LW6127E International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law: Trademarks and Patents;
LW6134E Chinese and Comparative Company Law;
LW6140E Chinese and Comparative Commercial Law;
LW6141E Chinese Foreign Trade and Investment Law

Alternative Dispute Resolution

LW6405 Arbitration Law;
LW6406 Mediation Practice;
LW6407 Arbitration Practice and Award Writing;
LW6408 International Arbitration;
LW6126E Dispute Resolution in Theory and Practice;
LW6142E International Investment Law;
^LW5649 International Mooting and Advocacy
^LW5649B International Mooting and Advocacy


*The specialization in Air and Maritime Law will be discontinued subject to approval.
^Students can take either LW5649 (3 credits) or LW5649B (6 credits)

Depending upon the interest of students and the course offering in future, these specialised streams may be modified. The offering of the above courses may be reviewed and amended from time to time subject to the availability of the teaching staff. We shall keep students informed regarding the offering of the elective courses.

Students who choose or do not choose to specialise in any of the above areas will receive the award title Juris Doctor. In pursuance of City University’s new policy on streamlining award titles, it has been decided that from 2015-16 onwards the award titles will not include areas of specialisation. Rather the specialised areas, if elected by a student, will appear on the student's transcript.


Programme Structure

Programme information (applicable to 2020 cohort)

Programme information (applicable to 2019 cohort)

Programme information (applicable to 2016 to 2018 cohorts)

Programme information (applicable to 2013, 2014 and 2015 cohorts)


JD Admission Scholarship

  1. There shall be a maximum of 4 scholarships in each academic year. Each recipient will receive a scholarship of HK$100,000.  The Scholarship shall be paid to the recipients in two instalments: in Semester A of Year One and Semester A of Year Two.
  2. All JD full-time applicants (local, non-local and international) are eligible to apply for the Scholarship.
  3. A Selection Committee will review applications, and then make a decision for awarding the Scholarship.
  4. Selection of recipients will be based on the consideration of relevant factors, primarily the academic achievements of applicants (i.e. academic performance in an undergraduate degree and/or a postgraduate degree).

For enquiries about JD Admission Scholarship, please email to


How long will it take?

You will be eligible to graduate with your JD degree after you have completed 72 credit units of study. Most semester-length courses are 3 credit units. Full-time JD students can expect to complete the programme in 3 years.

Of course, students can take the liberty to undertake a higher academic load in regular semester and hence complete the programme at a quicker pace.

The maximum period of study which is applicable to students of 2010 cohort and thereafter is 5 years.


Is JD professionally recognised?

Students who wish to practise law in Hong Kong will need to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) programme at City University of Hong Kong or at other Universities in Hong Kong . The JD degree is recognised for the purposes of applying for entry into the PCLL programme, provided the student has completed all courses required for PCLL admission.


How much will it cost?

Fees of subsequent cohorts may be subject to review and adjustment from time to time.

Please click HERE for the tuition fee information.

For tuition fee enquiries, please contact the School of Law General Office by email at or by phone at 3442 7367.


When will it commence?

JD students will commence their JD courses in late August / early September (Semester A).


Am I eligible to apply?

The minimum entry requirements for admission to the Juris Doctor programme are:

  1. A Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in a non-law discipline; or
  2. A Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in law from a non-common law jurisdiction, which was obtainable after at least eight semesters of full-time study. Holders with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction are not eligible to apply; and
  3. Proficiency in English.

English Proficiency Guidelines

For applicants whose entrance qualification is obtained from an institution where the medium of instruction is not English, the minimum English language proficiency requirement will usually be:

  • a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (internet-based) or 71 (revised paper-delivered test; sum of Reading, Listening and Writing section scores); or
  • an overall band score of 7.5 in IELTS, with no individual score below 6.5, and a minimum score of 7.0 in the Academic Writing; or
  • a total score of 520 in the Chinese mainland’s College English Test (Band 6).

TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years. Applicants are required to provide their TOEFL / IELTS test results obtained within the two years preceding the commencement of the University’s application period. For CET-6 scores, the validity period is three years.


How and when can I apply?

Apply online at //

Admissions Enquiry:

Telephone: (852) 3442 5588
Fax: (852) 3442 0187
Website: //


How can I find out more?

Further information about the programme is obtainable from:

Associate Professor
JD Programme Director
School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 7624
Fax: (852) 3442 0190

Ms Sara TSUI
Teaching Fellow
JD Programme Associate Director
School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 7162
Fax: (852) 3442 0190

General Office, School of Law
City University of Hong Kong
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 8008
Fax: (852) 3442 0190
Website: //



Frequently Asked Questions for the JD Programme

  1. What is the Juris Doctor, and how is it different from the Bachelor of Laws (LLB)?

    The Juris Doctor is a professional law degree offered at the postgraduate level. It is tailor-made to the requirements of graduate-entry applicants who already have a bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a non-law discipline or a law degree from a non-common law jurisdiction. 

    The minimum GPA for graduation in JD is 2.0, compared to 1.7 for LLB.

    Juris Doctor graduates and LLB graduates who have completed the prescribed courses are eligible to apply for admission to the Postgraduate Certificate of Laws (PCLL) programme at City University of Hong Kong or at other universities in Hong Kong. The PCLL is a prerequisite for admission to the legal profession in Hong Kong.

  2. How is the Juris Doctor different from the Common Professional Examination (CPE)?

    Both the Juris Doctor and the CPE are open only to graduates. The Juris Doctor, however, is a graduate-entry university degree with international academic recognition. Completion of the CPE course does not result in a degree qualification, but only a diploma.

    The CPE is an external programme of study, whereas the Juris Doctor is a full-time programme taught by regular faculty at City University of Hong Kong.

    Juris Doctor graduates and CPE graduates are eligible to apply for admission to the PCLL programme at City University of Hong Kong or at other universities in Hong Kong.

  3. Can I use the title “Dr” with a Juris Doctor degree?

    It is not customary for holders of the Juris Doctor degree to use the title “Dr” before their names. The JD is not a doctorate of philosophy degree commonly known as a PhD. The JD is therefore NOT equivalent to a PhD.

  4. What GPA do I need in order to be admitted into the Juris Doctor programme?

    Admission to the Juris Doctor programme is mainly based on academic merit. Other relevant factors such as working experiences and extra-curricular activities will also be taken into consideration. 

  5. What kind of supplementary information would strengthen my application?

    We will consider your application in totality of available evidence that demonstrates your ability to complete the Juris Doctor programme successfully. This could include, without being limited to, academic references, professional references and a statement from you setting out your reasons for wishing to join the Juris Doctor programme. We do not require you to submit a result from the United States Law School Admission Test (LSAT); if you have such a result you may submit it if you wish and we will take it into account. Please do not attach more than two references.

  6. Will there be interviews?

    Admission will be based primarily on the demonstrated performance in your academic studies, although we will also take into account any personal statements you make and any academic or professional references you provide. Interviews may be arranged if they are considered necessary in individual cases. You should not assume that your application has been unsuccessful simply because you have not been invited for an interview.

  7. When will classes be held?

    The Juris Doctor is only offered in full-time mode.

    Almost all classes will be held during the daytime on weekdays. The elective courses will normally be held on weekday daytime or evenings.

  8. When will the programme commence?

    The full-time Juris Doctor programme will commence in Semester A (late August or early September).

  9. How long do I need to study?

    You will be eligible to graduate with your Juris Doctor degree after you have completed 72 credit units of study. Most semester-length courses are 3 credit units.

    Full-time students can complete the programme in 3 years.

    Of course, students can take the liberty to undertake a higher academic load in regular semester and hence complete the programme at a quicker pace.

    The maximum period of study which is applicable to students of 2010 cohort and thereafter is 5 years.

    Although students from 2009 cohort and before are not restricted by such requirement, students are strongly encouraged to complete their studies and graduate within a reasonable period.

  10. What is the tuition fee?

    Fees of subsequent cohorts may be subject to review and adjustment from time to time. Please click here for the tuition fee information.

  11. Am I eligible for any Credit Transfers?

    Credit transfers may be granted for completed law courses from other postgraduate programmes of study where they are academically equivalent to a course in the Juris Doctor programme. Please note, however, that we normally do not allow credit transfers.

    Students who are planning to pursue the PCLL programme in the future are strongly advised not to assume that the courses (completed outside CityU) which have been granted credit transfer will necessarily be equivalent to the courses required for PCLL entry. Students should take this into consideration before they proceed with any application for credit transfer. Students are further advised to check with the Hong Kong Conversion Examination Board for the course equivalency. The website is as follows:

  12. Are any loans or scholarships available?

    The University does not make student loans or otherwise cover the costs of tuition fees for either local or overseas students. Students who wish to apply for the Non-means Tested Loan Scheme (NLS) may browse the homepage of the Student Financial Assistance Agency at or contact the Agency's hotlines at 2150 6222 or 2150 6223 for eligibility and application procedures. Relevant information can also be accessed through University's Student Development Services (SDS) at

    The criteria to determine the prize recipientis mainly on academic merit in the JD programme.

    From time to time, other scholarships or student prizes may be available for JD students. Students can also access relevant information by visiting the website of Student Development Services (SDS): or through student's e-portal.

  13. Is the Juris Doctor recognized for admission to overseas legal professions?

    Every jurisdiction has its own policy on the recognition of foreign law degrees for professional admission purposes. You are advised to check with the respective authorities for their admission requirements. Here are some useful websites for your reference:;;;;

  14. Once I am admitted to the JD programme, can I seek transfer to another programme?

    Students who wish to change from their current programme of study to another of the same level programme (e.g. transfer from a taught postgraduate programme to another taught postgraduate programme), can apply for such a change by completing an application form for Programme Transfer obtainable from the SGS Taught Postgraduate Student Records Service Counter and the SGS website ( within the application period. Applications for programme transfer are processed twice a year, normally in November (for transfers to be effective in Semester B of the current academic year) and March (for transfers to be effective in Semester A of the next academic year). For non-local students, any transfer of programme approved by the University would be sent to the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department for final endorsement before the transfer or change comes into effect.

    According to the Academic Regulations for Taught Postgraduate Degrees, a student's previous period of study before the programme transfer comes into effect will be counted in the calculation of the student's maximum period of study.

    Non-local students who have been granted permission by the Immigration Department for ‘full-time studies�?must follow the minimum credit unit load specified in the University’s Academic Regulations for full-time students. Exceptions for reduced study load are permitted for the final graduating semester upon approval by the Head of the academic department or as determined by the Examination Board in any semester for students in academic difficulty.

    For details about programme transfer, please refer to the website of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS):

  15. Will I be able to complete the Juris Doctor programme at my own pace?

    The University’s prescribed minimum and maximum credit unit requirements are 12-18 credit units for full-time students.

    Students are encouraged to complete the programme in 3 years but they may study the programme at a quicker pace.

    The maximum period of study which is applicable to students of 2010 cohort and thereafter is 5 years.

  16. Are there any Continuing Education Fund (CEF)-approved courses?

    The following are CEF approved courses:

    LW5656 Company Law I
    LW5657 Company Law II

    With effect from 1 April 2019, applicants who apply for CEF for the first time are required to complete the “Continuing Education Fund Application Form” and provide all supporting documents for applying for both account opening and fee reimbursement at the same time.  This form is also applicable to applicants who have already opened a CEF account to apply for fee reimbursement only.

    If you wish to apply for CEF, please complete the application form which is available here:

    Claimants should submit an application to the Office of the Continuing Education Fund (OCEF). They are also required to observe the following with regard to the eligibility of claiming reimbursements from the OCEF:
    a. CEF claimants would be eligible for fee reimbursement only upon their successful completion of the whole course; and
    b. CEF claimants are required to attain the overall mark of either 50% or such higher percentage of assessment(s) as prescribed for the course (whichever is higher) as assessed by whichever method approved by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare (including any examination and assignment requirements with approved weighting) before they are eligible for fee reimbursement; and
    c. CEF claimants are required to attend no less than 70% of the contactable hours of the course or such higher attendance requirement as prescribed for the course (whichever is higher) to meet the fee reimbursement criteria.

    For details, please refer to the email issued by the General Office at the beginning of a new semester or simply visit the following website: