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Recruitment Notice

LEGAL AID DEPARTMENT (Civil Service Vacancy)

Legal Aid Counsel

Salary : Master Pay Scale Point 32 ($72,225 per month) to Master Pay Scale Point 44 ($112,925 per month) [See Note (3)]

Entry Requirements : Candidates should be (a)(i) solicitors admitted in a recognised jurisdiction as stipulated under Section 2A and Schedule 2 of the Legal Officers Ordinance; or (ii) barristers with one year’s professional experience since attaining the right to full practice in a recognised jurisdiction as stipulated under Section 2A and Schedule 2 of the Legal Officers Ordinance; (b) have attained Level 2 result in the Use of English paper, Level 1 result in the Use of Chinese paper and a pass result in the Aptitude Test paper in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE); (c) have attained a pass result in the Basic Law and National Security Law Test (BLNST); and (d) fluent in Cantonese.

Note :

  1. Barristers with right to full practice but who do not possess one year’s professional experience since attaining the right to full practice may also apply. If selected, they will enter at an appropriate point below the minimum of the Legal Aid Counsel pay scale.
  2. Experience in civil and/or criminal litigation will be an advantage. Applicants should set out in detail the nature of litigation experience they possess on a separate sheet of paper to be attached to the application form.
  3. Subject to the prevailing situation, candidates may be considered for the granting of increments with post-qualification experience in the legal field. Please note that applications from serving civil service Legal Aid Counsel in the Legal Aid Department would not normally be considered.
  4. The results of the Use of Chinese (UC) and Use of English (UE) papers in the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) are classified as Level 2, Level 1 or Fail, with Level 2 being the highest.
    For civil service appointment purpose, Level 5 or above in Chinese Language of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSEE); or Grade C or above in Chinese Language and Culture or Chinese Language and Literature of the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE), are accepted as equivalent to Level 2 in the UC paper of the CRE. Level 4 in Chinese Language of the HKDSEE; or Grade D in Chinese Language and Culture or Chinese Language and Literature of the HKALE, are accepted as equivalent to Level 1 in the UC paper of the CRE.
    Level 5 or above in English Language of the HKDSEE; or Grade C or above in Use of English of the HKALE; or Grade C or above in English Language of the General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) (GCE A Level), are accepted as equivalent to Level 2 in the UE paper of the CRE. Level 4 in English Language of the HKDSEE; or Grade D in Use of English of the HKALE; or Grade D in English Language of the GCE A Level, are accepted as equivalent to Level 1 in the UE paper of the CRE.
    Applicants with an overall band of 6.5 or above with no subtest score below band 6 obtained in the same sitting in the Academic Module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the two-year validity period of the test result are accepted as equivalent to Level 2 in the UE paper of the CRE. The IELTS test result must be valid on any date during the application period (i.e. 26 August 2022 to 9 September 2022).
  5. All applicants for civil service jobs will be assessed on their knowledge of the Basic Law and the National Security Law. A pass result in the BLNST is an entry requirement for all civil service jobs. Only those candidates who have passed the BLNST will be considered for appointment. For candidates who have not taken the relevant BLNST or have not attained a pass result in the relevant BLNST at the time of application, they may still apply for the job and arrangements will be made for them to take the relevant BLNST during the recruitment process.

Duties : Assist in the provision of legal aid services in civil and criminal cases; perform litigation duties as performed by solicitors and act as advocates in certain civil cases in the District Court. A Legal Aid Counsel may be required to undertake duties outside Hong Kong.

Terms of Appointment : A new recruit will normally be appointed on civil service probationary terms for three years. Upon passage of probation bar, he/she may be considered for appointment on the prevailing permanent terms.

Address and Enquiry Tel. No. : Personnel Registry, Legal Aid Department, Room 2715, 27th Floor, Queensway Government Offices, High Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong (Tel : 2867 3033).

Closing Date for Application : 9 September 2022

Newspaper(s) advertised (with date) : South China Morning Post (26 August 2022 and 3 September 2022) and Ming Pao (26 August 2022)

General Notes :

  1. Candidates must be permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the time of appointment unless specified otherwise.
  2. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, the Government is committed to eliminating discrimination in employment. The vacancy advertised is open to all applicants meeting the basic entry requirement irrespective of their disability, sex, marital status, pregnancy, age, family status, sexual orientation and race.
  3. Civil service vacancies are posts on the civil service establishment. Candidates selected for these vacancies will be appointed on civil service terms of appointment and conditions of service and will become civil servants on appointment.
  4. The entry pay, terms of appointment and conditions of service to be offered are subject to the provisions prevailing at the time the offer of appointment is made.
  5. The information on the maximum pay point is for reference only and may be subject to changes.
  6. Fringe benefits include paid leave, medical and dental benefits, and where appropriate, assistance in housing.
  7. Where a large number of candidates meet the specified entry requirements, the recruiting department may devise shortlisting criteria to select the better qualified candidates for further processing. In these circumstances, only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend recruitment examination and/or interview.
  8. It is Government policy to place people with a disability in appropriate jobs wherever possible. If a disabled candidate meets the entry requirements, he/she will be invited to attend the selection interview/written examination without being subject to further shortlisting. Applicants who have declared disabilities found suitable for appointment may be given an appropriate degree of preference over other applicants whose suitability for appointment is considered comparable to that of the former. The Government policy and other related measures on employment of persons with disabilities are set out in the booklet “Employ People Based on Their Abilities – Application for Government Jobs by Persons with Disabilities” which is available for reference on the Civil Service Bureau's website at http://www.csb.gov.hk under “Administration of the Civil Service – Appointments”.
  9. Holders of academic qualifications other than those obtained from Hong Kong institutions/Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority may also apply but their qualifications will be subject to assessments on equivalence with the required entry qualifications. They should submit copies of their official transcripts and certificates by mail to the above enquiry address.
  10. Civil service vacancies information contained in this column is also available on the GovHK on the Internet at http://www.gov.hk.
  11. Towards the application deadline, our on-line system would likely be overloaded due to large volume of applications. To ensure timely completion of your on-line application, it is advisable to submit the application as early as possible.

How to Apply : Application Forms (G.F.340 (Rev. 3/2013)) are obtainable from any Home Affairs Enquiry Centre of District Offices, Home Affairs Department or any Job Centre of the Employment Services Division, Labour Department. The said form can also be downloaded from the Civil Service Bureau's website (http://www.csb.gov.hk).

Completed forms together with a full Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) should reach the Personnel Registry, Legal Aid Department, Room 2715, 27th Floor, Queensway Government Offices, High Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong not later than 9 September 2022. Please ensure that sufficient postage is paid. Any underpaid mail items will be returned or disposed of by the Hongkong Post. A full C.V. should be attached with the application. The C.V. should at least include the following information –

  1. gradings of the subjects taken in public examinations from secondary education onwards (with copies of certificates);
  2. results in LLB, CPE, PCLL, Law Society Final and Bar Final examinations and other relevant qualifications, listing the gradings of the subjects taken (with copies of transcripts and certificates);
  3. exact date and place of admission/call (with copies of supporting documents);
  4. results of CRE papers on UC, UE and the Aptitude Test and BLNST (if any)(with copies of supporting documents); and
  5. employment records with detailed description of duties.

On-line application can also be made through Civil Service Bureau’s website (http://www.csb.gov.hk). Candidates who apply on-line should submit their C.V. by post with sufficient postage to the Personnel Registry, Legal Aid Department, Room 2715, 27th Floor, Queensway Government Offices, High Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong within one week after close of application period, and the on-line application number should be quoted on the envelope and the C.V.. If candidates fail to provide the supporting documents as required, their applications will not be considered.

Applicants are encouraged to provide their email addresses on the application forms. If no acknowledgement / confirmation e-mail is received after five working days from the closing date for application, please immediately contact this Department by phone at 2867 3033. Candidates who are selected for interview will normally receive an invitation (by email or by post) in about six to eight weeks after the closing date for application. Those who are not invited for interview may assume that their applications are unsuccessful.