Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 17606624
Project Title(English) : The Work Conditions of Early-Career Lawyers in China 
Project Title(Chinese) :  
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Liu, Sida 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) :  
Department : Department of Law
Institution : The University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2024 / 25
Fund Approved : 840,000
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date :
Abstract as per original application
This research project aims to investigate the work conditions and experiences of early-career lawyers in China, a topic of critical importance given the unprecedented growth of the Chinese legal profession in recent years. Despite the significant increase in the number of early-career lawyers, many face serious issues in their everyday work, including labour contract disputes, inadequate case sources, long work hours, and exploitation from law firm partners. Female lawyers are particularly vulnerable to gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. I will be the first to carry out a large-scale empirical study on this topic in China and seek to provide insights into the challenges, coping strategies, and well-being of early-career lawyers in different types of law firms and practice areas. Over a period of three years, the researchers will conduct 100 in-depth interviews with early-career lawyers in Beijing and four provinces (Guangdong, Jilin, Yunnan, and Zhejiang), as well as engage in participant observation in law firms and online ethnography. The study will explore the impact of China’s legal and social changes on early-career lawyers’ work, seeking to understand how these changes affect their career paths and professional development. This research project addresses a critical gap in the socio-legal scholarship on the legal profession. It has the potential to influence policy and practice in the legal field. The findings will contribute to the development of a more supportive and sustainable legal profession in China.
Research Outcome
Layman's Summary of
Completion Report:
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