Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

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Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:29 pm

How marketable is such a joint degree program? To work for, say, Davis Polk's HK office, does having an LLM from HKU matter?

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HITeacher2
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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby HITeacher2 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:38 pm

Why does Penn Law have a goat?

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Veyron
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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Veyron » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:40 pm

HITeacher2 wrote:Why does Penn Law have a goat?


To appease our future communist overlords.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:44 pm

.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Snooker » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:18 pm

Doesn't sound terribly useful, actually it looks more gimmicky than designed to get you results. A good GPA from a top school is what is needed to get into big law and anything that looks international won't help, which is the opposite of business. One hears of deals going bad all the time for lack of language skills, but that doesn't seem to make an impression on hiring.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:20 pm

Post more info about yourself in your thread if you actual want useful information. Career goals (especially with respect to geographic preferences), language background, work experience, family ties. The general advice that you were given here -- that you still have to have good grades from a top school to land a job -- is definitely true, but if you go into more detail I can give you more specific advice about your specific situation.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Post more info about yourself in your thread if you actual want useful information. Career goals (especially with respect to geographic preferences), language background, work experience, family ties. The general advice that you were given here -- that you still have to have good grades from a top school to land a job -- is definitely true, but if you go into more detail I can give you more specific advice about your specific situation.


Hi, OP here.
Career goals: corporate lawyer working in Asian financial hub; get to travel a lot.
Language background: some fluent Asian languages and a few European languages.
Work experience: none, other than an advanced degree from Asia.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:48 pm

OK, this is kind of like pulling teeth, no offense. :roll: I'm sorry if I sound impatient in this post, but each legal market is very specific and has its own legal-cultural idiosyncrasies. With this level of generality, no one can give you legit, useful information, and you shouldn't make people who are trying to be helpful have to work at it. This is why I asked you for specifics.

Do you have any SPECIFIC cities, or are you just interested in "working in Asia"? I personally have a decent (for an internet bulletin board) understanding of the mainland China and Hong Kong markets and keep up with market developments via my practicing-attorney friends in China and Hong Kong, but have only sketchy knowledge about Singapore, Japan, and Korea.

Do you have any particular career goals? Is it "must work in a big firm with Anglo-American roots" or "could work in a high-caliber local firm"?

What SPECIFIC languages do you know? "A couple of Asian languages" -- could be Khmer and Mongolian, for all I know? What level of "fluency"? People tend to vastly vastly exaggerate their level of fluency. In my years of coming in contact with American-born-Asian and non-Asian professionals who grew up outside of Asia, I've met only ONE person (super Asia-obsessed, socially impaired) who can legitimately claim to speak multiple Asian languages fluently -- and I am not that person, even though I grew up speaking four dialects of Chinese.

I understand your reluctance to post the specifics of your background -- and don't blame you for that necessarily -- but a general field (social sciences, hard science, and business/finance) and a country will NOT out you. Many, many non-Asian people take their advanced degrees in Asia these days.

My suggestion to you is -- considering your lack of basic knowledge, you need to do a shit-ton more research before you even consider applying to the LL.M. program at HKU. You should also consider strongly WHY you want to go to Asia. Considering the lack of specificity of your stated goals, you need to take the time to develop a strong case as to why you want to be in Asia -- not just "I'm interested in living in the mysterious East with its exotic women." You might also reconsider the idea that you'll have TIME to travel. In Hong Kong, associates at Anglo-American law firms work probably harder than their New York counterparts.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:OK, this is kind of like pulling teeth, no offense. :roll: I'm sorry if I sound impatient in this post, but each legal market is very specific and has its own legal-cultural idiosyncrasies. With this level of generality, no one can give you legit, useful information, and you shouldn't make people who are trying to be helpful have to work at it. This is why I asked you for specifics.

Do you have any SPECIFIC cities, or are you just interested in "working in Asia"? I personally have a decent (for an internet bulletin board) understanding of the mainland China and Hong Kong markets and keep up with market developments via my practicing-attorney friends in China and Hong Kong, but have only sketchy knowledge about Singapore, Japan, and Korea.

Do you have any particular career goals? Is it "must work in a big firm with Anglo-American roots" or "could work in a high-caliber local firm"?

What SPECIFIC languages do you know? "A couple of Asian languages" -- could be Khmer and Mongolian, for all I know? What level of "fluency"? People tend to vastly vastly exaggerate their level of fluency. In my years of coming in contact with American-born-Asian and non-Asian professionals who grew up outside of Asia, I've met only ONE person (super Asia-obsessed, socially impaired) who can legitimately claim to speak multiple Asian languages fluently -- and I am not that person, even though I grew up speaking four dialects of Chinese.

I understand your reluctance to post the specifics of your background -- and don't blame you for that necessarily -- but a general field (social sciences, hard science, and business/finance) and a country will NOT out you. Many, many non-Asian people take their advanced degrees in Asia these days.

My suggestion to you is -- considering your lack of basic knowledge, you need to do a shit-ton more research before you even consider applying to the LL.M. program at HKU. You should also consider strongly WHY you want to go to Asia. Considering the lack of specificity of your stated goals, you need to take the time to develop a strong case as to why you want to be in Asia -- not just "I'm interested in living in the mysterious East with its exotic women." You might also reconsider the idea that you'll have TIME to travel. In Hong Kong, associates at Anglo-American law firms work probably harder than their New York counterparts.


Apologies for the impeding level of generality. Here is the specifics: I'm fluent in English, French, and a southeast asian language, did a master's degree Asia with coursework taken in both Chinese and English split, and thesis entirely in Chinese though Chinese isn't my mother tongue. I'm confident I can converse on any topics in these 4 languages. I'm advanced in Japanese, holding JLPT Level 1 certificate, so I can at least read Japanese fluently, though speaking it may take lapses. So that's the language side. I'm hoping to graduate with a JD from a T10 and then work in the US for a few years, then seconded back to HK or Tokyo, where I can continue to work for a US large-size law firm until I make partner there, or leave the firm to do something else like finance or partner for start-up. As for why I want to work in Asia, it has to do with geography. I'd like to be closer to home. Cultures and peoples are also a factor. Your advice much appreciated. If you still need more specificity, let me know and I will try my best.

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Re: Penn JD/LLM in Chinese Laws or Corp & Fin Law at HKU

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:43 am

OK. I can work with this.

It sounds like you're still in the process of applying for a JD and haven't yet received an acceptance from Penn. This early in the process, my general advice to you is not to base your school choice solely on the existence of the LLM program at HKU. You probably are aware that HKU is generally well-regarded, but as of two or three years ago English-language LLMs did not present a significant advantage over traditionally more important credentials such as top grades from a top school and top experience at a top firm. At the time the survey reflecting this sentiment was distributed (on the China Law mailing list run by Don Clarke of GWU), the economy was still chugging along on its bubble, so you can imagine how hiring standards have gotten much more strict.

Given your previous experiences and language background, I would say that you're in a good position as-is without the LLM to accomplish your career goals in China or Hong Kong -- IF, and this is a BIG if -- you achieve grades sufficient to get into a V20 firm or so. I'm assuming that your prior degree is in China -- in which case the language fluency + prior degree should suffice to establish "China cred," so to speak. Based on my knowledge of the Chinese market and assuming equal grades, you would be in a much better position than a non-fluent Penn JD/LLM, although someone who is a truly bilingual Chinese/English native Chinese person educated at a top-ten school would trump you both. If you end up going to Penn, I would actually advise against taking the JD/LLM -- as a US-school graduate, your utility is that of an expert on US, not Chinese law, and you should spend your time beefing up on subjects that are relevant to your US-based practice. If, however, your degree was in Singapore (or another SE Asian country? I have no idea where else they widely speak both English and Mandarin?), it's a harder call, but given that Singapore is so connected to HKG, you should have reason to be optimistic; it would probably still be a good idea to forgo the HKU degree.

This all carries a huge caveat: more and more Chinese-born JDs are entering the Anglo-American hiring market in China and the hiring picture may look very, very different 3 or 4 years from now. I strongly suggest you keep track of the "Asia Chronicles" on abovethelaw, since the recruiters there discuss hiring trends in much more detail than I do and are obviously more informed.

I would NOT bank on a career in Tokyo. Their immigration policies remain very strict, and their attitude towards foreigners make Tokyo practice an uphill battle.

Good luck. Try to be specific when you ask questions on TLS -- you'll get a lot further.




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