【SJ Discuss!】焦慮!收到牛劍Offer讀Law,定係去Harvard/Yale好?

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SJ前言:有無曾經幻想過如果同時收到牛津劍橋,哈佛耶魯斯坦福大學呢個level的大學offers,會是怎樣的一種體驗? 絕大部分人都唔會浪費時間去唸,因為呢個機會實在距離自己太遙遠!but today,SJ讀者AN就來到人生交叉點 v1
!! 各位前輩幫幫手俾啲意見呢位未來的Star ***
“Hello StealJobs,

 

我係一個中六學生。今年考大學,唔知點解(可能用曬自己一生所有的運氣)入到Oxbridge其中一間既 law + 美國HYPSM (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT) 既其中一間。(實際邊間就唔講啦,privacy reasons)。我宜家唸去邊間唸到好焦慮,想睇下你地有咩意見。

 

我個人善辯,文科一向出色,理科唔係最top但都唔錯。 所以我覺得讀law好適合我,我自己對law都好有興趣,會讀得開心。 如果去英國讀law,需時3年;如果去美國讀law,需時7年(4年undergrad+3年law school)。再加上美國law school好貴,如果我決定讀law選擇英國是一個no-brainer。不過,我又唔係好肯定我應唔應該讀law理論上, 我應該就唔需要擔心自己入唔入到pcll或者搵唔搵到工。但如果一定要係雞蛋入面挑骨頭,lawyering似乎係一個高付出(long work hours),低回報(in terms of both money and recognition from clients/ society)既行業。我唔係好清楚如果做到partner情況會唔會改變。 如果唔做law,唔創業, 係咪只係得金融業可以揀?

 

In short, 我要係18歲既時候決定我以後係咪做律師。我唔知道點揀。

 

補充:I’m the kind of person who’s interested in everything, so I don’t mind majoring in anything. Read: I will probably major in whatever is best for my ultimate career goal. The only problem is that though I am above average at maths, I am not the best at it so physics/maths would be off the table. ”

 

SJ提示:最新回覆於2018.4.19收到,已更新內文。請繼續拉下閱讀回覆。

 

回覆

 

法律界讀者Max回覆:

“老老實實,讀Law確實高付出,但未至於低回報,可到係中-偏高回報。 讀Law幾年,老盡少年心,當人地去玩去Party去旅行時,你就每日對住沒完沒了的Reading,寫Essays,以及背Cases。尤其你讀Oxbridge,更加據聞癲到一個星期3篇Essays。

 

讀Law唔係唔得,始終係好體面的學科以及職業,但要設定期望:
1) 讀Law,你是否應付得來? 你會唔會Enjoy讀Law?你文字功底有幾強?能否承受極大讀書壓力?
2) 做律師,正如你所講,唔係想像中咁賺大錢。當然,睇你點定義賺大錢。做得成功的Lawyer一個月一百萬唔係無可能,但可能係行業Top 0.5%,其餘Median以執業十年計,好似係十幾二十萬左右,唔算失禮。咁你做US Firm一執業都十萬八萬,初期來講錢唔會差過投行。之後當然好睇際遇,行行都係架啦。

 

但重點係,做Lawyer你基本上80%時候係收錢受氣,收錢賣時間每日OT隨傳隨到,其餘20%先係賣你的Professionalism專業知識之類講起來好聽的東西,尤其呢個年代的客,同以前的好唔同,唔好期望佢會點尊重你的專業及尊貴身分,可能不過當你係一個Overpaid clerk。所以全世界的律師都係 「不開心職業」排名榜榜首,呢一點你要好小心。 但你睇得開的話,將重點放在「Service」,適時將壓力排解,好似一部車定期維修,一樣行到幾十萬Mileage無問題唔會Breakdown。排解唔到壓力的人,或者係想太多的人,做律師行業就好容易Burnout。

 

Bottom line 係,做律師算係穩定的專業,雖然難以發達,但肯定唔會窮,長遠計過中產生活肯定無問題。就算你的客戶唔當你一回事都好,呢個社會同身邊人都會好尊重你,呢點可能係最大優點。其次係伸張正義 ,如果你有呢方面志向的話,做律師理論上係比較接近。

 

但另一個角度,如果你好有創意,好跳脫,呢個乜都講求Rigidity講規矩的傳統行業就未必好適合你。尤其呢個年代,毛記搞Gag都上主板啦,係咪?

 

另外要考慮就係英國vs美國:
英國傳統好多,美國就自由奔放。
英國成日陰天,美國(加州)就藍天白雲。
呢點自己研究下,睇下邊到的環境同文化你自己比較適合。

 

純碎個人睇法:如果未係好清楚而且唔係等錢洗,不如先讀咗Harvard or equivalent的本科,期間暑假爭取Internship機會乜都試下,無論Law Firms定其他機構,假如有興趣先讀Grad School 或者返香港讀JD。如果無興趣,大把其他野好做,長遠計你有興趣又有天份,賺錢能力比做律師可能更高,但當然回報期比較長。

 

相反,如果好急住賺錢,咁一定係英國讀3年Law然後返來PCLL再做律師,咁就二十幾歲已經月入十萬八萬。”

Anonymous 19.4.2018

“If you go to Oxbridge law, you can come back to Hong Kong and start working in 3 to 4 years, but you are restricted to a training contract. There is no guarantee of a good i-firm training contract with a Oxbridge BA anymore. If you are good enough for a BCL, you can try to make it in the bar.

If you can get into Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale or Princeton (in that order), your options are wide open. You can always become a lawyer. It is just a matter if you can afford 3 more years of school.

The value of education is in decline generally. But, this does not apply to Harvard and MIT. The fact that the value of education is declining everywhere makes Harvard and MIT that much more valuable. They are like holding gold bars during quantitative easing. I would not go to Oxbridge law if I have an option at Harvard or MIT.”

 

Anonymous 19.4.2018

“You always choose Harvard over Oxbridge unless you want to be a barrister in Hong Kong. They are still loyal to tradition. For everything else one can do in life, Harvard is always the best.”

 

Anonymous 14.4.2018

“Private legal practice in Hong Kong is getting more and more competitive, as the number of law graduates keeps increasing, but job vacancies do not increase proportionately.

If you choose to become a solicitor and land a training contract at an international firm, you will probably start earning about 50k per month, and 70-80k upon qualifying as associate. However, it is not as glamourous as you think, due to the long hours and overwhelming work. You would be at the mercy of unreasonable clients and bosses who expect you to deliver immediately. More importantly, you need to be able to bill enough to justify your increasing salary. In the long run (say after 10 years), you should have a book of clients to become promoted as partner, otherwise you will have to leave and seek alternative careers eg in-house counsel, government. Even if you make partner, you would have to continue raking in business to feed the juniors (and yourself), and avoid being forced to leave the firm due to power struggles with other partners. Of course, if you become a star practitioner in your field, you can make millions a month (but that will take at least about 10-15 years).

If you become a barrister, it is even tougher, because it is no secret that there is not enough work at the Bar to feed all young barristers. Many top Ox-bridge graduates join the Bar and so you will have to compete with the trim of the crop to succeed. If you can join the top chambers eg Temple, DVC, you should be able to survive.. but whether you can become SC depends on your ability and luck… the potential return is high, as the top barristers can earn millions a month, but you probably need to toll for at least about 15 years to reach the top.

If you do not have the financial pressure to feed your family upon graduation, you may consider the top US universities and do internships at different companies, law firms, chambers to get a glimpse of the work, and understand what you really want to do first…

Good luck :)”

Anonymous 13.4.2018

“英國同美國最大分別係,去英國讀書,絕大部分人都會返黎香港;去美國讀書,留係美國生活既人多好多。


其實大學唔係職業訓練所。賺錢都唔係人生全部。既然你仲未搵到自己passion,點解要咁快決定你將來career path?

去自己鍾意既學校,讀自己鍾意既書,了解下依個世界,到你準備好,自然會做到一個informed decision。”

 

Anonymous 13.4.2018

“Your problem can probably be split into two questions.
1. Whether to do law at university
2. Whether it is a good option to practice law

I would first address Q1. From how you described yourself, I’ll say your attributes suit the study of law. Argumentative power, logical deliberation and manipulation of language are the key of the completion of a law degree, from my experience. One more thing to add, with a law degree from oxbridge, with reasonable grades and interview skills, you would be able to land a job at the top magic circle firms or embark on the career path of a barrister at one of the top chambers (e.g. temple or DVC)

As to the second Question – the career prospect of a lawyer. For your reference, international law firms nowadays are offering their trainee solicitors $40K-$50K per month, depending on the firm. While most graduates earn $13000 per month, lawyering appears to be quite a glamorous and sensible option. But of course, lawyers are professional service providers, this nature dictates that lawyers would invariably never earn more than front line division in i banks (I heard the starting salary can be $70000 per month). But you just consider whether it suits you to work as a banker – whether you can or are willing to handle immense stress on a daily basis, whether you can live your life enduring answering your corporate phone 24/7. Most importantly, frontline bankers have targets to meet, major ibanks have ambitious targets and the failure to meet then can mean your are packing your bag in a few months’ time.

Last but not least, there is probably no harm for you to do a LLB first. Graduating with a law degree does not mean you can’t try other things. Quite on the contrary, except certain professions, you can virtually try everything! LLB in my view would be a good training to ones core abilities (analysis, research skills etc). If you decide to enter the banker field after LLB so to say, you can always do a masters degree in finance or business or take exams such as CPA or CFA. ”

 

Anonymous 13.4.2018

“美國讀書多元化,唔係只識本科的東西。個人會knowledgeable啲。英國讀書只focus 自己個科,填鴨識。看看諾貝爾科學方面獎邊個國家拿得多便知….不論科學金融美國都係優勝啲”

 

Anonymous 13.4.2018

“It really depends on what you want. I’m biased towards the US system because I think the liberal arts system is better than the UK system, which is more “profession” oriented. Liberal arts allow you to explore the world and yourself, which can really shape your core values. However, if you are the money oriented type, perhaps the UK system suits you more. One more thing, it’s much more difficult to get a job in the USA if you are a foreign student on visa. It doesn’t matter whether you are from Harvard or not. If you intend to go back to HK to work, then either one should be fine. Personally I have a great time in the USA – l can do and explore whatever I’m interested in. Finally, congrats! P.S. if your US choice is majoring in liberal arts in MIT, choosing the UK might be a better option. Employers do know the differences.

仲有,揀選時學校既環境/文化合適與否好重要,cuz it can make or break your experience。坦白講,career prospect應該係最後先去諗既一環。如果你覺得career prospect係最重要既話,美國大學偏向唔係咁適合你。”

 

Anonymous 14.3.2018

“如果唔做law,唔創業, 係咪只係得金融業可以揀?^ a moment of sadness that even elite students like you think this way ….

Follow your interest. The bloody truth is way too many people have told me they have taken the “wrong” career path (with their hindsight) for the pursuit of prestige… what I want you to know is that fame and money will follow once you have established yourself as one of the top performers in your industry. And the most effective way to maximise the probability of such an outcome is to spend lots and lots and lots of time doing something you are genuinely interested in.

Have you ever considered Computer Sciences or Engineering? Although you said you are not best in maths but as long as you are interested, it should be fine. In the next 10-20 years CS and Engin will lead you to considerably more opportunities than a degree in Law/Business (think about AI, automation, robotics, blockchain etc.)

In short, I would put Ivy League above Oxbridge EXCEPT Cambridge Maths and Oxford PPA (you know the reason). Good luck. ”

 

Anonymous 14.3.2018

“I am not that positive regarding the prospects of studying and practicing law in HK. I will divides my comments into 2 parts: (1) legal study and (2) legal practice.

Legal Study
It is extremely competitive among overseas graduates to get a PCLL seat. Local universities retain most of the seats for their own students. It is not a must for a Oxbridge student to get a PCLL seat. Plus, you have to do PCLL conversion exams within 3 years. The Law Society is going to implement the common exam in 2021. God knows how low the passing rate will be and how it will change the whole legal education system. Another factor is the nature of legal study – tremendous workload as a result of statutes and case law. You basically have no work life balance if you have to secure decent grades and a PCLL seat.

Legal Practice
Getting a trainee contract in an international law firm or top chambers is not as easy as what the above readers said. It is extremely difficult given the importance of connections, backgrounds and academic performances in this industry. So ideally you may earn 40k when you graduate. But for most of the cases, even graduates from Cambridge or LSE start their legal career in local firms and earn 20 to 30k per month. Of course they earn more when they qualify but the point is lawyers nowadays do not easily earn as much as the above readers said. Besides money, the working hours is long. You are right in saying that lawyering demands energy but does not yields as much benefits. Thus, I recommend the US route if money is not a concern.”

 

Anonymous 14.4.2018

“讀law就去英國讀並唔係一個no-brainer
去左美國讀大學,同樣可以返香港再讀JD (4+2年)。既然你係想嘗試一下唔同行業同科目,美國會比到更大既自由度。你可以用至少頭一年半讀任何你想讀既課,再選擇主修課。再者,好多美國大學都有pre-law作為另一個副修課,所以你可以先以低成本嘗試一下究竟law適唔適合你。好多身邊讀law既同學都有其他學術興趣,唔好浪費左四年讀書既機會。

小心law係一個有地區限制既行業
相比起商界或科技界,law係比較難調動地方既行業。讀law前應該先考慮你會想係邊度執業及渡過你既餘生。就算你係美國讀JD再考埋bar,你既執業範圍係限制於你考既洲份。你既性格鍾唔鍾意唔同地方工作?你肯唔肯定你將來都會住係香港?

HYPSM邊一間係有分別的
HYP比較傳統,學校氣氛比較多人會去consulting,banking。SM比較著重engineering,所以你要考慮自己既興趣,強項,同身邊結識到既人同機會。例如:如果你入左Stanford,你會係科技界頂級人才與網絡既搖籃之中,創業風氣濃厚,比較多機會認識黎方面既創業家同VC。

選擇職業即係選擇你既生活態度同方式
工作將會係你人生中投資最多時間既活動。金錢,名利,財富,夢想,熱情,家人,興趣,社會責任,等等對你黎講有幾重要?黎一刻既你理解你自己多少?你對於風險持著咩態度?你有能力以堅定既自律性考入高級學府,我相信你亦有能力從經歷中面對以上問題,但往往好多人都被自己既恐懼與身邊既期望而決定放棄尋找答案。大學係一個fail-safe zone。除左搵工,唔好放棄黎堆問題,亦記得有耐性尋找答案。

多想想未來10-30年既世界會點改變
Banking同law都正被科技改變中。係你既生涯中,會點樣被改變? 定係你想做改變世界既先鋒?重有,記住high-risk high-return,賺大錢既係商家,唔好單單只著重於人工。事實上,金融業自2008年一直都係到減人手減cost,加上科技既沖擊,可能你畢業時金融已經不如你想像(當然,亦會有好機會的)。Law亦會被AI改變。觀看長遠一點,多閱讀。我地正處於technology既世界之中,所以個人黎講,我會建議嘗試一下engineering - the ability to create。

上面已經有一堆業界資深解答你法律界既問題。雖然你已經設定一個框架考慮選校,但我想或許將來你會有唔同既考慮,亦會有機會用到以上所問既問題。Congratulations and Good Luck! 有機會,update大家你最終既選擇,加油。”

 

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