Legal training in Germany

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State examination in law in Tübingen around 1851/52

The legal training in Germany referred to the training necessary for access to legal professions. In Germany it has two stages, that is, it consists of a university course and legal clerkship .

The term law to denote the relevant subject was first used at the University of Bologna . It is derived from the Latin ius "law"; the plural iura "rights" represents both the secular and the church law (canon law), which at that time were of equal importance. Some universities doctorate therefore wish still to Doctor iuris utriusque (lat. "Doctor of both rights").

Almost every German humanities university offers a law degree . Legal training laws differ from state to state. The standard period of study is five years. The study regulations based on this are issued by the universities and therefore also vary. The Latinum does not have to be taken in Germany before graduation. Since 2003 the “First State Exam” has been replaced by the “First Exam” in North Rhine-Westphalia.


Middle Ages and early modern times

Up until the 14th century there was no actual legal education in Germany. In the monastery schools of the early Middle Ages (approx. 500 to 1050), legal knowledge was only imparted in the context of training in the artes liberales rhetoric , dialectics and grammar . A few Italian university towns require a degree in law to be able to exercise the office of judge. Proof of studies was not provided by an academic degree, “but only by having the most important legal books”. In general, no academic degree was necessary for “exercising the office of judge and notary or teaching at learned schools”. The starting point for the academic training of lawyers is at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries at the University of Bologna ; the doctrine of reception are Roman law by Irnerius was considered so exemplary that they soon extended to the whole of Europe.

The pioneer of academic legal training was initially training in canon law , which was possible from 1385 in Heidelberg and from 1388 in Cologne. Roman law soon followed this , so that from 1392 in Erfurt, from 1402 in Würzburg, from 1409 in Leipzig, from 1419 in Rostock, from 1456 in Greifswald and Freiburg, from 1459 in Basel, from 1472 in Ingolstadt, from 1473 in Trier and from 1477 a law degree was possible in Mainz and Tübingen. There were no entry requirements for visiting the university until the beginning of the 19th century.

Following the example of Bologna, the Pandects , the Codex, the novellas and the Institutiones Justinians from the 6th century formed the basis of legal training; soon also canon law . Systematically, the teaching does not take place in different subject areas, but in the individual sources. This only changed in the 16th century. The following breakdown has been transmitted in Erlangen from the year 1743: institutions, pandects, canon law, German law , constitutional law , criminal law , feudal law , court practice , imperial history . International law , commercial law , bill of exchange law , inheritance law , marriage law and legal history followed in the 18th century. Civil procedure , criminal process , German and Roman legal history emancipated at the beginning of the 19th century, and soon the special Obligations. While subjects such as the feudal law gradually disappeared, and the Pandektenvorlesung split since 1870 objectively on new subjects such as the International Private Law , the Insurance Law , the Securities Law , the Commercial Law and the Labor Law came near; Politics and administrative law grew out of constitutional law .

Three-stage training in Prussia from 1750

The final exams were originally purely university. After three or four years of study, the student approached a doctor with the request to do his baccalaureate , after another two to three years he could pursue the Licentia until he could finally be awarded the doctoral degree. This changed in the 18th century. In Prussia , from around 1750, admission to the higher collegiate courts was only possible if an undefined preparatory service and three exams had been passed. The first exam enabled senior office work , the second exam the legal clerkship , the third awarded the title of assessor .

From the 18th century onwards, scientific training was often followed by non-university practical training. The need for this practical exercise resulted from the fact that university studies often did not provide applicants for government positions with sufficient practical skills. Thus, from a Prussian rescript of February 17, 1710 for admission to the Chamber Court and from the General Regulations on the Improvement of the Judiciary of June 21, 1713, all members of the judicial colleges exercise and experience in law, in practice and in the State observance would have to be proven by drafting a relatio pro statu cum voto . These practical skills were practiced by working as a non-voting listener in the judicial colleges.

Since 1793 only assessors could apply for a higher court position, since 1849 this has generally included public prosecutors , judges or lawyers . The division of practical training into auscultature (one and a half years) and legal clerkship (two and a half years) also goes back to 1849 .

Two-stage training in Prussia since 1869

Wilhelmstrasse 65 in Berlin , between 1844 and 1935 building of the Prussian Ministry of Justice .

Today's legal training in Germany is largely based on the Prussian legal training of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Other countries mostly followed the Prussian examination regulations, which are considered exemplary, in the absence of uniform regulations. The law on legal examinations and preparation for higher judicial service from 1869 reformed training in Prussia to the extent that from then on only an entrance examination for the clerkship (preparatory service) and a final examination for qualification as a judge had to be taken. Auscultature was abolished and the legal clerkship lasted four years. The prerequisite for the legal traineeship was at least three years of university studies with at least three semesters of law. The content of this exam was a six-week term paper and an oral exam. This is also when the appraisal style was adopted as a method for solving cases.

The most important regulation under Imperial law since 1877 was Section 2 of the Courts Constitution Act . This regulates the two-stage training through trainee lawyer and assessor exams. Since 1908, the examination material for the trainee examination has also been expanded to include three supervisory papers (exams). Since 1908, three practical exercises have also been a prerequisite for admission to the trainee examination. The assessor examination consisted of a six-week term paper , a six-week relationship and an oral presentation of files . In 1893, Prussia followed the example of Austria (1891) and Bavaria (1892) and added extra-official training courses to the legal clerkship, which had been compulsory since 1912. In 1920 the preparation time was reduced to three years.

Prussian training regulations from 1923

According to the Prussian training regulations for lawyers of August 11, 1923, study and legal clerkship each had to last at least three years. The state examination in law examinations board consisted of a home office and four supervisory work of one hour and a subsequent two-day examination: The first day was private and criminal law , including the related legal history , on the second day of the Heads of State and Administrative Law , including legal history and basics of economics examined.

It followed the preparatory service as a trainee lawyer at the Higher Regional Court . This assigned him according to the following schedule: three months in the public prosecutor's office, three months at the district court in criminal proceedings, two months at the same district court in civil proceedings, eight months at the regional court, eight months at a district court in voluntary jurisdiction, six months with a lawyer or notary as well six months at the Higher Regional Court. This practical training of the trainee lawyers was supplemented by compulsory permanent exercises. The qualification for the office of judge was obtained through the subsequent Grand State Examination. It also consisted of a written and an oral part. The written part consisted of the preparation of a scientific legal opinion within three weeks, a practical work (draft judgment) based on litigation files and supervisory work from three legal cases based on files. The legal opinion could be replaced by a scientific paper. The supervisory work took place on three consecutive days of the week in Berlin and came from private and criminal law. The oral examination began with a presentation of the files that took three days to prepare and was otherwise similar to that of the trainee exam. If the exam was passed, the trainee lawyer was appointed court assessor.

time of the nationalsocialism

In the time of National Socialism , legal training also had to be based on National Socialist ideology. The training of lawyers was no longer in the hands of the federal states, but was prescribed centrally by the Reich Ministry of Justice. The legal clerkship in Prussia was extended by a decree of June 6, 1933 to include a mandatory stay in the Hanns Kerrl community camp in Jüterbog prior to the written exam. Any legal activity was forbidden at this time, even bringing books with you. Between 1933 and 1935, the exams were not even taken at the Supreme Court in Berlin, but in the camp itself. From 1936, the camp stay was compulsory for all trainee lawyers in Germany. The camp was strictly anti-individualist and anti-intellectual; rather, it serves political indoctrination. Otto Palandt , President of the Reich Justice Examination Office, stated as a result that “today the trainee lawyers, weather-tanned, bright-eyed and in an upright posture, [entered the examination room, who previously] had seen some hollow-eyed, pale-cheeked examinees, whose careless posture and helpless look ”would at most have caused pity among the auditors.

University section

The study of law in Germany is known colloquially as law studies. Anyone who has completed a law degree and passed a “first examination” (or, until 2003, the “first state examination”) is now referred to as a lawyer .

Since 2003 has been replaced with the classical university training path for lawyers through the "first test" the "First State Examination", which in addition to a state exam part (compulsory testing, 70% of the final grade) a university part ( area of focus testing comprises 30% of the final grade) and therefore it is no longer a pure “state examination”. Strictly speaking, only the compulsory subject examination can be called the state examination, since, as described above, only this examination is set and assessed by the judicial examination offices of the federal states. The focus area examination is taken at the respective universities. It is up to the universities to organize them, which must comply with the applicable legal training and examination laws and the associated regulations of the federal states. For a number of years there has been discussion about reducing the scope and importance of this priority area or abolishing it entirely.

In the following two-year legal traineeship, the lawyer acquires the practical experience necessary to practice his profession. Anyone who has successfully passed the “Second State Examination” in Germany is qualified to hold the office of judge , is colloquially referred to as a “fully qualified lawyer” and can be admitted to the bar.

Study of law

The focus of legal training is legal dogmatics . At the beginning there is the basic course, which includes lectures on the exegesis of the Civil Code , the Commercial Code , the Civil Procedure Code , the Criminal Code , the Criminal Procedure Code , the Basic Law , the Administrative Procedure Act and the Administrative Court Code . There are also basic subjects that promote general understanding (e.g. digest exegesis , legal history and legal philosophy and legal sociology ). The clear focus is on the BGB exegesis, the StGB and the VwVfG with the VwGO. These lectures often have to end with individual final exams and extensive written legal opinions that are prepared at home (term papers); Of paramount importance - also for the further course of studies - is the comprehensive solution of conceived issues in the expert opinion .

The intermediate examination or “small certificates” is followed by a second phase, characterized by the so-called “large exercises”, which are also accompanied by exams and comprehensive homework reports at an advanced level. After this, each student usually spends about a year preparing for exams, usually accompanied by attending a revision course . In many study regulations, the choice of a focus area is now also provided, which is intended to convey in-depth knowledge in a special area of ​​law. The acquisition of subject-specific foreign language skills is also provided in some federal states.

First legal exam

The university study of law is concluded today with a "first examination" ( § 5 DRiG ), the first legal examination . However, the first examination since 2003 contains a state part (compulsory subject examination, 70% of the overall grade) as well as a university part (focus area examination, 30% of the overall grade) and is therefore no longer a pure "state examination". Strictly speaking, only the compulsory subject examination can be used as a state examination as this is the only test that is provided and assessed by the judicial examination offices of the federal states. The focus area examination is taken at the respective universities. The design is a matter for the federal states, which have created legal training and examination laws and associated ordinances.

Depending on the university, the compulsory subject examination consists of three to seven supervisory papers and an oral examination. The supervisory work is written consecutively within two weeks. If the written exams are passed successfully, the oral exam takes place approx. Five months later. However, there are considerable differences in the length of this waiting period depending on the examination office.

The examination material covers all three major areas of German law : civil law , public law and criminal law . The problems and questions in the context of the first legal examination mainly include problems of substantive law , but procedural questions of civil procedure law , criminal procedure law , administrative and constitutional procedural law are already surveyed.

There are two regular attempts for the compulsory subject examination in all federal states. An exception is the free attempt, which grants those candidates who take the exam immediately after the end of the standard period of study (currently still eight university semesters, with tendency towards nine semesters) an additional attempt in the event of failure and the possibility of Grade improvement granted by taking the compulsory subject examination again. In some federal states (e.g. Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg ) the examination candidates are granted a grade improvement even after the first regular attempt by taking the compulsory subject examination again.

State examination offices

The examination offices (judicial examination offices) for the first legal examination are installed in the individual federal states within the higher regional courts (e.g. North Rhine-Westphalia) or as the state justice examination office (e.g. Lower Saxony). State lawyers (judges, public prosecutors, administrative lawyers), lawyers and professors take part in the examinations. In the first legal exam, professors very often take part as examiners. The second legal examination is carried out by the state justice examination offices , which are established at the respective justice ministries. In the examinations in the second legal examination, the examiners are judges, public prosecutors, civil servants, notaries or lawyers.

Alternative training models

Bachelor and Master

In addition to this classic training path , courses of study for the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) have established themselves in the course of the Bologna Process . These degrees, which are usually supplemented by economic modules, enable graduates to provide legal advice only in strictly regulated areas. According to the current legal situation, it is possible, for example, in proceedings without the obligation to use a lawyer before the local courts ( Section 79 (2) sentence 2 and 3 ZPO ), administrative courts ( Section 67 (2) sentences 2 and 3 VwGO ), labor courts ( Section 11 (2) Sentence 2 and 3 ArbGG ), social courts ( Section 73 (2) sentences 2 and 3 SGG ) and before the finance courts ( Section 62 (2) and 3 FGO ). The aforementioned regulations give authorities and legal entities under public law as well as companies the right to be represented in court by their appropriately authorized employees. The same applies to trade unions and social associations who, as their members' legal representatives, instruct their full-time employees to represent them in the process.

Within this framework and within the framework of the Legal Services Act , graduates of legal courses without a first legal examination are therefore also entitled to a limited extent to perform classic extrajudicial and judicial legal work. This includes both legal advice and representation in court.

However, general freelance legal advice is reserved exclusively for lawyers qualified to hold judicial office . The Federal Association of Business Lawyers is currently bringing a constitutional complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court against this regulation, which in the opinion of the Association amounts to a professional ban for freelance law graduates with the title “Bachelor / Master of Laws”, colloquially known as “Business lawyers . The association's motion is currently pending review by the Federal Constitutional Court.

FernUniversität in Hagen

Since the 2003/2004 winter semester, the FernUniversität in Hagen has been the first university in Germany to offer a reform course in law based on the Bologna model. The aim is to achieve a bachelor's degree in law (LL.B.) in seven semesters in full-time study and the legal master's degree (LL.M.) in three consecutive semesters in full-time study, which usually offer non-classic final goals and usually do not lead to the classic legal ones Open up professional fields such as “qualification for judicial office”.

The "First Legal Examination (EJP)" course at the FernUniversität in Hagen has been available since the 2016/2017 winter semester. The Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) with a business law orientation can be achieved as the final goal and, in parallel, the classic first legal examination, which leads to the title of lawyer.

With the "Hagen model, the FernUniversität is the only university in Germany to offer students the opportunity to take the university part of the first legal examination by way of distance learning and to gain admission to the state compulsory subject." The law faculty of the FernUniversität in Hagen, with its express Bachelor's and master’s degree courses geared to commercial law are thus supplemented by a further degree option for the entire spectrum of legal professions in Germany and thus Europe-wide, including the "qualification for judicial office according to § 1 sentence 1 JAG NRW".

The First Legal Examination (EJP) at the FernUniversität in Hagen "is divided into a university (§ 28 JAG NRW) and a state (§ 3 ff. JAG NRW) part". The state compulsory subject examination is taken at the judicial examination offices of the higher regional courts in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Hamm. The university part of the first legal examination consists of the intermediate examination and the university focus area examination (30% of the final grade of the EJP, § 29 Paragraph 2 JAG NRW), which are taken during the course.

The "First Legal Examination (EJP)" course at the FernUniversität in Hagen has a modular structure. It consists of the Bachelor of Laws course and integrated supplementary courses, as well as at least four exams. After the intermediate examination, the students must submit or have written and passed the final seminar, at least one term paper and one written exam and a bachelor thesis as part of the focus area examination.

For Hagen Bachelor of Laws alumni, there is a supplementary course with three full-time semesters . For graduates from other universities who have successfully completed the Bachelor of Laws course, there is a recognition procedure for achievements.

Further legal subjects at the FernUniversität in Hagen include mediation , introduction to the legal profession, legal law, sports law , criminal tax law, law for patent attorneys , European commercial legal protection, advanced training in the Europaeum EEP / EQE (European Qualifying Examination / European Patent Attorney ), Japanese civil law.

The Institute for International Legal Relations at the Open University in Hagen offers students of the law faculty and academics opportunities for research in international law, including "Law of the Ibero-American States", "German, European and international labor and social law", "Japanese law" .

The oral proceedings of the Moot Court at the Hagen District Court , in cooperation with international judges and the world's largest law student association ELSA , offer a court competition as part of the legal training at the FernUniversität. The student teams are assigned a fictitious or real case in which they each have to represent one of the litigating parties before judges.

Mannheim model

Since the autumn winter semester of 2008, the University of Mannheim has also been offering a reform course in legal training based on the Bologna model. In Mannheim, the Bachelor of Laws can lead to the title of lawyer after passing the first legal examination. This is a combination course as defined by the JAPrO of the state of Baden-Württemberg. As part of the bachelor's degree, the students initially complete the entire civil law, as well as the university specialization examination and additional business administration knowledge worth a third of the bachelor's degree. At the end, the students take part in the civil law exams of the first legal examination. After that only the exams in public law and criminal law have to be written. The possibility of “layering” the exams is unique in Germany and is justified by the fact that the Mannheim lawyers have to learn both law and business administration in a short time. After completing your bachelor's degree, in addition to training as a lawyer, you also have the opportunity to do a Master of Science in business administration via the additional studies for the first legal examination . The bachelor's degree also allows for a doctorate in civil law, provided the student was in the top 5% of his year.

Stratification in the first legal exam

In North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony , in addition to the free attempt and the opportunity to improve grades, there is also the option of having to take the examination exams within two weeks, as is usual in the other federal states and within the two states mentioned in the regular examination run, as part of the free attempt, but after Divide legal areas over a longer period of one and a half years. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the examination exams in the three legal areas of civil law, public law and criminal law can be divided into three semesters (from the 6th to the 8th semester) in accordance with Section 12 of the North Rhine-Westphalia Legal Training Act, whereby several small, than one has to speak of a compulsory subject examination. In Lower Saxony, the exams in the three areas of law in accordance with Section 4, Paragraph 2, Clause 2 of the Lower Saxony Law on the Training of Jurists (NJAG) can be split into two examination dates, which can be written between the 6th and 8th semester. The exams are written and corrected together with the regular exams.

Diploma, Bachelor and Master

Many universities have set up a diploma procedure upon application after passing the first legal examination. At these universities, after the first legal examination, the academic degree “ Diplom-Jurist ” (Dipl.-Jur.) Or “Magister juris” (Mag. Jur.) Is awarded.

For several years, many colleges offer media law and business law courses at which the academic degree Diploma Information lawyers shortly also Dipl. Jur. or graduate business lawyers. The Information Law course can be taken at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Here it was first established in Germany in 2001. In addition, law can be chosen at numerous universities as a minor subject in a Bachelor , Master and Magister degree as a “sub-area of ​​law”. As a rule, the minor course ends with a written exam and / or a half-hour oral examination.

It is also possible, after three years of study, to obtain the Baccalaureus Juris (bac. Jur.) And after a further year the Magister Juris (Mag. Jur.), But mostly LL.M. called to acquire. However, this does not open the way to the classic legal professions such as lawyer or judge. Many lawyers therefore only use these courses as an additional qualification. Degrees from renowned foreign universities are particularly highly regarded. In addition, universities have now also established legal bachelor's and master's degrees that train lawyers in certain areas. Such courses of study sometimes lead to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Master of Arts (MA) degree (e.g. public and civil law under the designation Political Science-Law ) at the University of Erfurt or environmental law at the University of Kassel ).

The master’s degree at a university of applied sciences qualifies as a career qualification for the higher service if this has been previously determined in the accreditation certificate for the respective master’s degree course by the responsible highest cultural authority in consultation with the respective highest internal authority and any necessary service authority.

One-stage training

For one-stage training in the 1970s and 1980s, see the main article One-stage legal training .

Post-university education

Legal clerkship

The preparatory service (also called legal clerkship) takes place in 15  federal states in a public law training relationship and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as a civil servant relationship on revocation . After studying law, it should introduce students to practical legal work. The trainee lawyer receives a so-called maintenance allowance. The basic amount is z. B. in North Rhine-Westphalia 1275.17 euros. The exact amount varies depending on the state. A family allowance may also be added .

The legal clerkship , the two-year preparatory service , precedes the second state examination (also known as the second legal examination, large state examination or assessor examination).

The legal clerkship is accompanied by a theoretical preparation phase for the second state examination. Courses run by judges, prosecutors, administrators and lawyers must be attended. At the same time, compulsory and elective stations are completed in which the trainee lawyer is assigned to a judge, public prosecutor, lawyer, administrative officer or the like for practical training and thus gains an insight into his everyday professional life.

Second state examination

In contrast to the first examination, the second state examination ( § 5 DRiG ) is a pure state examination . Accordingly, this is provided and assessed exclusively by the state judicial examination offices of the individual federal states.

This second legal examination ( assessor examination) is carried out nationwide - but under the responsibility of the individual federal states. Towards the end of their training, trainee lawyers have to write between seven (Saarland) and eleven (Bavaria) exams. About four months after the exam phase, the traineeship concludes with an oral exam. In addition to the material content of the first exam, the second exam also includes procedural law, whereby academic disputes are less important than the first legal exam and current case law comes more to the fore.

By passing the Second State Examination, the qualification for judicial office and the career qualification for the higher non-technical administrative service is acquired at the same time (entrance office: Government Council ). The activity of a prosecutor uses this "qualified judge" forward (one exception is the elevated service belonging to public prosecutor at the district court is). It is characteristic of the German authorization system that qualifications for judicial office must also be acquired for certain professions outside the public service . This applies to the profession of lawyer (including in-house lawyer ) and notary . However , no special authorization is required for the activity of a legal advisor .

The training to become a legal assessor (Assessor iuris , colloquially full lawyer) takes at least seven years with studies and legal clerkship without intermediate phases (waiting times for examination results, waiting times for the start of the legal traineeship); However, it can also be shorter (normally six years at the FernUniversität in Hagen).

Specialist attorney

Grading system

Grade Levels

The legal grade scale according to the Prussian examination regulations of June 17, 1913 only knew the grades “sufficient”, “good” and “with distinction”. The Prussian examination regulations of August 1, 1923 introduced the additional grade “fully satisfactory” in Prussia, so that since then, according to Section 18 (1), the scale “failed”, “sufficient”, “fully satisfactory” and “with distinction” has been used; Up to this point in time, the predicate “fully satisfactory” only played a role as an internal file note for the internal business dealings of the authority, i.e. without any external impact. Through a nationwide regulation on a scale of grades and points for the first and second legal examinations from December 3, 1981 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1243 ) mWv January 1, 1983, the scale from 0 (unsatisfactory) to 18 (very good). Since then, the grade levels for the individual assessment with a breakdown into a point system and the associated definition have been:

  • unsatisfactory (0 points) (a completely unusable performance) ,
  • poor (1–3) (a service that suffers from significant deficiencies and is no longer usable as a whole) ,
  • sufficient (4–6) (a performance which, despite its shortcomings, still meets average requirements) ,
  • satisfactory (7–9) (a performance that corresponds to average requirements in all respects) ,
  • fully satisfactory (10–12) (a performance above the average requirements) ,
  • good (13–15) (a performance significantly above the average requirements) ,
  • very good (16-18) (a particularly outstanding achievement) .

Overall grade

For the overall assessment , the average is used, whereby the allocation of the number of points achieved to the grade levels differs: up to an average of 3.99 points, the examination is not passed, then follow:

  • sufficient (4–6.49),
  • satisfactory (6.5-8.99),
  • fully satisfactory (9-11.49),
  • good (11.5-13.99) and
  • very good (14-18).

In the first examination and the second state examination, the examination committee, which conducts the oral examination, has the option, if the overall impression of the candidate deviates from the mathematical result, to improve or worsen the grade by up to one grade point (Section 5d IV DRiG ). However, the improvement or worsening of the grade must not affect the passing or failure of the examination.


The average grades and the failure rate in law are significantly worse than in other courses. The grades “sufficient” or “satisfactory” are predominantly awarded for the examinations passed. Only around 15% of the graduates achieve the grade “fully satisfactory” or better. The failure rate in the first examination is around 30% nationwide, in the second state examination around ten percent of the candidates fail at the first attempt. The number of failed examinations in the first state examination was even almost a third (31.4%) on a national average in 2007. There are also differences in the assessment between the various federal states: For example, in the first exam in 2008, only just under 9% of the participants in Saxony achieved a distinction, compared to 22% in Hamburg.

Honors examination

In German legal training, a state examination with a grade of "fully satisfactory" or higher, in Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Saxony with "satisfactory" is considered a grade examination . A grade examination with at least “fully satisfactory” is often required by the public service as a prerequisite for employment.

Law in other courses

Some universities and technical colleges integrate legal content into other courses of study, for example in the subject of history , by dealing with questions of historical comparative law and Roman law . At the Free University of Berlin are within the moderns philology in the area of cultural studies and the legal systems and cultures of individual target language countries, such as or theme of Spain in Latin America. Corresponding courses in Spanish and Portuguese take place at the Latin America Institute (Berlin) belonging to the FU . The material is mainly conveyed encyclopedically and not casuistically (“case-oriented”), as in normal law studies.

Legal issues also play a role in subjects such as medicine (e.g. doctor's liability ), pharmacy (e.g. narcotics law ), architecture (e.g. building law ), social pedagogy (e.g. family law , school law and immigration law ) or (business ) Computer science (e.g. data protection law ) plays a role.

Some federal states, such as Thuringia and Bavaria , offer special law courses at universities , with the aim of generally including the subject of law or jurisprudence at grammar school and technical or vocational grammar school in combination with another subject and pedagogical-didactic study components to teach economics . Within the university course in politics and social studies for the teaching post at grammar school, around 25% of the content in all federal states is predominantly legal. Depending on the federal state, the degree is awarded with the Master of Education (M.Ed.) for teaching at grammar school or upper secondary level , the so-called "first examination" for higher teaching or the "first state examination" for higher teaching completed at vocational schools. It is possible to switch from a regular law degree to a teacher training course; previously completed course work is generally recognized. A qualified degree with distinction enables you to do a doctorate with the aim of attaining a doctoral degree , a successful degree basically allows you to take up the preparatory service as a student trainee at a state study seminar .

Career prospects

Exam grades play a key role in career prospects. While the best 10–15 percent usually have very good job prospects, the legal job market is more difficult for graduates with sufficient to satisfactory exams (around 70–85%). For employment in the judiciary, a distinction is generally required in the second legal exam; for a doctorate, it is common in one of the two exams. Around 75% of a graduate class aspire to the legal profession, but partly because other professions remain closed due to insufficient grades. Since 1996, the number of lawyers nationwide has more than doubled to 161,000 (as of 2013). However, this development stagnated, and for the first time in 2017 there were fewer licensed lawyers than in the previous year. On average, there is one lawyer for every 499 residents or potential clients in Germany (as of 2013). For comparison: in 1950 there were around 5,000 potential clients for every lawyer in the Federal Republic of Germany. In larger law firms, starting salaries of over EUR 100,000 gross per year are not uncommon. At the same time, the number of specialist lawyers who specialize in a certain subject area (e.g. insurance law) is increasing in Germany.

When looking for career alternatives, law graduates often compete with academics from other fields of study , for example in journalism , publishing , public relations , human resources or project management .

Discussion of legal policy

For some time now, there has been criticism of university law training in Germany. In particular, the university would not adequately prepare students for the state examination. This is particularly evident from the existence of private-sector revision courses, where most students book courses to prepare for the state examination. What the reasons for this are to be looked for is controversial. Accusations that the relevant university courses for exam preparation lacked adequate educational quality are countered by the law faculties with the argument that the revision courses exploit the students' fear of exams and “cram” individual knowledge where basic knowledge represents better preparation for the exam. The university itself offers the events necessary for exam preparation. However, around 70% of German law students still attend revision courses alongside their studies.

Furthermore, critics complain that knowledge of economics and especially economics is hardly imparted to lawyers during their studies. However, legislative decisions are by no means reserved for lawyers, but are made by parliaments in a democracy . However, it is up to the classically trained lawyers to ensure that they are properly applied and interpreted. At some technical colleges and universities, as a reaction to this deficiency, the first step was to develop a business law degree , which, however, only qualifies people to work in a company. Therefore, the question arises whether the classic legal training is still timely.

It is also criticized that legal dogmatics occupy too much space in the course. The exegesis of other sources, such as the digest exegesis , would take too far a back seat. This also applies to the basic subjects such as legal philosophy, legal history or legal sociology, which are only marginally dealt with in law studies, which makes a critical study that reflects the laws difficult, as they raise questions without which a scientifically correct interpretation and classification of legal norms is difficult is possible. In contrast to judicial application of law, jurisprudence has to reflect on the legal text; this is the only way to record and explain the development process, the social function (such as social control in criminal law norms) and historical references. It can be countered, however, that the main focus of jurisprudence is the science of applicable law. As such, however, it only has legitimacy and persuasive power if it is committed to the law - and the democratically formed will expressed therein - and if possible does not add its own evaluation, not even results of reflection that is outside the law. However, the central importance of the dogmatics of law addressed by this in no way excludes taking into account the historical development of legal norms, as the example of v. Savignys shows.

There is also a lot of criticism with regard to the practical part of the job, which should be conveyed within the framework of the legal clerkship . In view of the fact that most trained lawyers later become lawyers, it is difficult to understand why every trainee lawyer has to go through a court station and an official station and why a consolidation of legal activities cannot be trained over a longer period of time. In this respect, a broad education is given, which ultimately can only give a small insight into the work that follows the exam and cannot do justice to actual professional preparation, as would be the case with early specialization, for example.

In order to give greater consideration to later legal practice during legal training, so-called Kautelar exams have been introduced in all legal examination regulations .


Legal history

  • Wilhelm Bleek : From camera training to legal privilege. Study, examination and training of senior civil servants in the general administrative service in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries . Colloquium, Berlin 1972.
  • Gerhard Köbler : On the history of legal training in Germany . In: JZ . 26th year, no. 23/24 , 1971, pp. 768-773 .
  • Adolf Stölzel : Origin of the legal exams and legal preparatory service in Prussia . In: JMBl. 1882, p. 48 .
  • Artur Weinmann : The Prussian training regulation for lawyers of August 11, 1923 . Hermann Sack, Berlin 1924.
  • Prussian Ministry of Justice (Hrsg.): Legal training in Prussia: compilation of legal and administrative regulations on legal studies, legal examinations and preparatory service along with the law on qualification for higher administrative service . Hermann Sack, Berlin 1928.
  • Folker Schmerbach: The "Hanns Kerrl Community Camp" for trainee lawyers in Jüterbog 1933–1939 , Tübingen 2008 (= contributions to the legal history of the 20th century , 56).


Legal policy

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Standard period of study for law increases to 10 semesters. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  2. Law on Legal Examinations and the Legal Preparation Service NRW, status October 6, 2017 - accessed on October 21, 2017
  3. ^ Walter Rüegg, Hilde De Ridder-Symoens (ed.): History of the University in Europe. Vol. 1: Middle Ages. Beck, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-406-36952-9 .
  4. a b c d e f g h Gerhard Köbler : On the history of legal training in Germany . In: JZ . 26th year, no. 23/24 , 1971, pp. 768-773 .
  5. Carl-Friedrich Stuckenberg: The legal expert opinion style as a Cartesian method . In: Georg Freund , Uwe Murmann , René Bloy , Walter Perron (eds.): Fundamentals and dogmatics of the entire criminal justice system. FS for Wolfgang Frisch . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2013, p. 168-177 .
  6. a b c Cf. Artur Weinmann: The Prussian training regulations for lawyers from August 11, 1923 . Sack's preparatory library, Berlin 1924.
  7. Martin Würfel: The Reich Justice Examination Office . In: Thomas Duve, Hans-Peter Haferkamp, ​​Joachim Rückert (eds.): Contributions to the legal history of the 20th century . tape 104 , no. 1 . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-16-156299-0 .
  8. a b c d Janwillem van de Loo / Marinus Stehmaier, why why why why - does Jura remain stupid? Perspectives of a model, in Kritische Justiz (KJ) 04/2013, pp. 383–395; Short version in Forum Recht (FoR) 03/2013, pp. 85–88
  9. ^ Andreas Musil , Need for Reform in Legal Training, in Kritische Vierteljahresschrift 2/2017, p. 130 ff .; Ute Sacksofsky , For the freedom of specialization studies, critical quarterly journal 2/2017, p. 134 ff.
  10. Double examination: State examination in law and university examination in law .
  11. Faculty of Law: Study and Examination Regulations 2014. Accessed on February 20, 2020 .
  12. Information on the constitutional complaint of the association
  13. RDG constitutional complaint arrived in Karlsruhe
  14. The range of courses at a glance - Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) . FernUniversität in Hagen. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  15. a b Bachelor of Laws . FernUniversität in Hagen. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  16. Master of Laws . FernUniversität in Hagen. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  17. a b c d e f g New courses of study First legal examination from winter semester 2016/2017 . FernUniversität in Hagen. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  18. Further education courses . FernUniversität in Hagen. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  19. Further education course Examinatorium Europaeum - EEP / EQE Repetitorium - European aptitude test - European Patent Attorney . FernUniversität in Hagen. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  20. § 12 Legal Training Act of North Rhine-Westphalia, "Stratification" : "Anyone who registers for the state compulsory subject examination after the fifth semester by the end of the seventh semester of an uninterrupted course at the latest can, upon request, complete the supervisory work in two or three time-separated segments (stratification) . “- Leaflet of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court on stripping ( Memento from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF).
  21. Lower Saxony Law on the Training of Lawyers (NJAG) in the version of January 15, 2004 ( Memento of March 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 49 kB)
  22. Agreement on accreditation
  23. ↑ Legal clerkship in MV. Retrieved October 14, 2019 .
  24. .
  25. See Artur Weinmann: The Prussian training regulations for lawyers from August 11, 1923 . Sack's preparatory library, Berlin 1924, p. 32 and 71 .
  26. JurPrNotSkV of December 3, 1981
  27. Menetekel exam lawyers on the verge of a nervous breakdown , Spiegel Online , September 11, 2007.
  28. Statistics of the legal examinations of the Federal Ministry of Justice ( Memento from November 16, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  29. yourist: Statistics: 1st State Examination ( Memento from March 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  30. Marcus Jung: For the first time in decades, fewer lawyers. In: . May 29, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2018 .
  31. ^ Eva Buchhorn: Lawyers looking for a job: lawyers as temporary workers. In: Spiegel Online . July 22, 2013, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  32. JUVE career portal for young lawyers
  33. Thomas Claer, specialization is progressing, specialist lawyer for insurance law in distance learning from 2013
  34. VGH Mannheim, judgment of November 20, 1990 - 9 S 170/90, Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW), pp. 3109-3112 (3110)
  35. ^ Bernhard Großfeld: The misery of law studies , JuristenZeitung (JZ), pp. 357-360 (358)
  36. Is the classic German legal training still appropriate?
  37. Bernd J. Hartmann, Jurassic Park: No time to think. Legal training from the perspective of a student , Legal training (Jura), pp. 54–56 (54), online at the Center for University Development
  38. Reinhard Mußgnug, Würzburger Theses of the Law Faculty Conference on Legal Education, Legal Training (JuS), pp. 749–753 (751)
  39. Legal Tribune: “The legal formative legal exam” , October 28, 2014.