Preparatory Course: Legal Essentials Seminars for LLM Students

The Department of Law is organising a series of seminars aimed at providing non-law graduates in the LLM programmes with a better understanding of legal concepts and the legal process prior to starting their LLM studies. These seminars will also help students to improve their legal research and writing skills throughout their first year of studies.

There will be a total of six seminars with a quota of 35 students per group. Students who are interested in the seminars are required to register in advance. Although the seminars are provided on a voluntary basis, students will be expected to attend all of the six seminars as well as participating in in-class activities and writing exercises etc. All seminars will be via Zoom.

Attendance in this course is strongly recommended for part-time ADR students as these seminars will also help you to improve your legal research, thinking and writing skills.

This course is not assessed.

About the Lecturer: Richard Holt

After qualifying as a Barrister at Law with the Inner Temple and completing pupillage Richard Holt later worked with Clyde & Co, Solicitors, in their London office as a shipping lawyer.

In 1992, Richard took up a position as Senior Lecturer and later Principal Lecturer at the Inns of Court School of Law and taught there for 6 years on the Bar Vocational Course. 

In 1998. Richard returned to private practice as a shipping lawyer.

In 2000, Richard became the Director of the Bar Vocational Course at BPP College. Richard was a Director of BPP College from 2003 onwards and in 2006 the Deputy Chief Executive. Richard led and taught on the Bar Vocational Course at BPP College for over 7 years.

Richard joined The University of Hong Kong, Law Faculty in September 2010 as the Director of Legal Research and Writing in the Department of Law. He taught Contract Law, Civil Procedure and Drafting Contractual Clauses and, also was Module Leader and taught and designed the following courses: Legal Research and Writing I, Legal Research and Writing II, Arbitration Law, Private International Law (Conflicts) and Law of International Trade.

Since 2014, Richard, as an Associate Adjunct Professor at The University of Hong Kong, has taught the following courses: Understanding the Common Law on the MCL programme, Introduction to Law and Legal Thinking on the LLM(CR) programme and International Trade Law on the LLM programme.

Since 2014, Richard has also taught in the Law School at the University of Surrey. He has taught Contract Law, Company Law and Commercial Law: International Sales, there.

This year Richard will also teach “Legal Essentials Seminars” for the LLM programmes, which is specifically designed for non-law students.

Schedule and Outline

The seminars will be run entirely online. Mr Holt will offer two groups with the same content.

Group ONE: For LLM(Arb&DR) non-law students. (Remaining places may be allocated to non-law students in other LLM programmes randomly.)
Group TWO: For non-law students in LLM programmes other than LLM(Arb&DR).

ONE[6 classes on Saturdays] Sept 11, 18, 25, Oct 2, 9, 16 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
TWO[6 classes on Sundays] Sept 12, 19, 26, Oct 3, 10, 172:00 pm – 5:00 pm
ClassSubject Matter
(1)Introduction to the Common Law, including Contract, Tort and Equity
– An outline of the law in Hong Kong, including Court structures, common law, legislation and Equity.
– An introduction to contract, to tort, and to remedies in Equity.
(2)Analysing Ordinances and Cases
– An outline of how an Ordinance is formed, statutory interpretation and analysing and Ordinance.
– An introduction to a case.
(3)Sources of Law and Legal Research
– An outline of the sources of law including primary and secondary sources.
– An introduction to how to conduct legal research, including finding cases, Ordinances and articles.
(4)Legal Reasoning and Analysing a Problem Question
– An introduction to the approach to legal reasoning used in the Common law.
– An introduction as to how to analyse a problem question.
(5)Answering a Problem Question and Effective Legal Writing
– An introduction as to how to answer a problem question.
An introduction to effective legal writing including structure and reasoning.
(6)Practical Examples
– Practical examples of legal reasoning, the application of the law to legal problems and the inter-relationship of the Common Law and Equity.


Click here for registration (HKU Portal required.)
Registration deadline: 27 August 2021 (Friday).


Ms Tammy Cheung (for LLM(Arb&DR) students) / Ms May Fung (for other LLMs students)

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