Anonymous User wrote:does anyone know what kind of law is in most demand in asian markets?
seems like all they do is M&A...
Capital markets is big, big, big. Hong Kong has the 3rd most sophisticated financial market/infrastructure in the world after New York/London and the market has picked up again a lot more this year.
I would say that one doesn't *need* to speak Cantonese/Mandarin in Hong Kong (although Mandarin, not Cantonese, is preferred in a lot of the bigger firms) -- however, on the personal side, you really miss out on a lot if you don't have even a rudimentary grasp of the local language... I mean the English-only parts of Hong Kong are fun and all but if you do end up learning how to read Chinese characters eventually, you'll definitely wonder how the f you got around without knowing how to read.
That said, I think it's kind of hysterical that people would think they can learn enough Mandarin to be "competitive" with bilingual persons working in China. If it's something you really enjoy then go ahead and take your 2 years' worth of Chinese classes in law school, but that's not really much of an "edge" at all; there's no way you'll learn enough Mandarin for it to be usable for the workplace. Recruiters for Asian markets will appreciate it, but unless they were interested in your credentials anyway, it would be a hard sell in this market. And the kind of Mandarin that you learn in American schools wouldn't be very helpful at all in Singapore (accounting for the fact that most business transactions are in English anyway) unless you have a really good ear for Mandarin -- the accent is very distinctive. I mean, some American English speakers have trouble enough understanding Singaporean English.
xqhp82 wrote:I'm wondering though, what's the job prospect like if i hold a JD degree? i'm definitely going back to asia in the future (preferrably hk, or china, or taiwan) but it seems to me that LLB is still the major player...only two universities in HK have just introduced 2-year JD programs, not sure if they're as prestigious as the US JD, but in my opinion the JD is virtually unknown and often misunderstood...i'm not so much interested in the big-law/business side of things, more leaning towards public interest, am i doomed?
If you only want to work in HK after you graduate: as someone who considered doing her LL.B. at HKU but wasn't planning on settling there indefinitely -- if you can get a sizeable scholarship to an American school that would be famous in Hong Kong (you know -- the usual suspects among Asians -- Harv, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley and to a lesser extent Cornell), it's probably a good way to distinguish yourself from the fresh grads all coming out at HKU and get a leg up in the big firms. But like... if you're from HK anyway and don't have admission to one of the most famous schools, it's probably a lot cheaper to go to HKU, and yeah, the non-international firms will understand the LL.B. a lot better.
Otherwise, if you don't mind working in the US before transferring over, just set yourself up in a competitive position to be hired by firms that have both US and Hong Kong offices. The UK firms in HK tend to have a more visible presence than the US newcomers.
Somewhere buried in my emails is a PDF containing first-hand perspectives from hiring partners about the employability of people who obtain Chinese LL.M.s or study Chinese in China or just have Chinese language skills in general -- if anyone is interested in reading it, PM me and I can find it for you.