A Brief Explanation of American and German Legal Education

Essay, 2003

10 Pages, Grade: A+




1. Legal Education in the USA
1.1 Law School & Licensing Requirements
1.2 Work of an American Lawyer
1.2.1 Drafting Documents
1.2.2 Negotiating
1.2.3 Counseling Clients
1.2.4 Litigation
1.2.5 Representing

2. Legal Education in Germany
2.1 Law School & Licensing Requirements
2.2 Work of a German Lawyer




The US-American and the German legal education systems stand almost at the opposite ends of a continuum: The US-legal education system is based on the Anglo-Saxon model; whereas the German legal education system is mainly based on traditions dating back to the middle ages.

The following pages intend to give the reader a first impression about the main differences in the legal education system of both countries, especially of the licensing requirements and a view in the work of an US-american and a german lawyer.

1. Legal Education in the USA

The US-legal education system is based on the Anglo-Saxon model. To become a lawyer it requires a four year undergraduate college degree, a completion of the law school curriculum and passing the bar examination afterwards.

1.1 Law School & Licensing Requirements

Before entering a law school in the USA, undergraduates are confrontated with a tough admission process.[1] The law schools are interested in the GPA[2] and the result on the LSAT[3]. The LSAT contents of mulitple-choice questions and a non-scored thirty-minute writing sample. It is designed to evaluate skills wich are essential in the study of law.

The study at a law school lasts three years. Students in the first year are obligated to take subjects like civil procedure, constitutional law, criminal law and contracts. After that students have some freedom in selecting their courses. They have also optional subjects such as making money and counting money.

As mentioned before, the US-legal education system rests upon the Anglo-Saxon model, law school education follows the case method of instruction. This method is constructed to teach students legal reasoning via the analysis of appellate decisions, and is a basic characteristic of the legal system.

After graduating from law school, students must pass a state bar examination before being licensed to practice law. One must have graduated from an ABA[4] approved law school in order to receive permission to take the bar exam at any state. A graduate from a non-approved law school is restricted to take the bar examination in the state in which the law school is located.

46 US-states use the MBE[5], which consists of 200 multiple choice questions, and covers basic legal material to most states and specific knowledge about the law of that state. The MBE is prepared by a non-profit corporation named the National Conference of Bar Examiners and lasts six hours.


[1] The more prestigious the law school, the more demanding the admission requirements.

[2] Undergraduate grade-point average.

[3] Law School Aptitude Test; Is a half–day standardized test.

[4] American Bar Association; The ABA in cooperation with the American Association of Law Schools set minimum standards for law schools.

[5] Multistate Bar Examination.

Excerpt out of 10 pages


A Brief Explanation of American and German Legal Education
Universidad Panamericana; Guadalajara  (Law School)
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Brief, Explanation, American, German, Legal, Education, Anglistics
Quote paper
Sebnem-Isil Keskin (Author), 2003, A Brief Explanation of American and German Legal Education, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/22469


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