German Specialist Accreditation

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Long title: 
Lawyers: A Profession Tuning into Accredited Legal Specialists? An Evaluation of the German Specialist Accreditation Scheme
Author(s): 
Kilian, Matthias
Author(s)' contact information: 
University of Cologne, Germany
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
Germany
Year: 
2014

When asked, two thirds of all German lawyers say that they are specialist lawyers. Specialization of service providers has been one of the most notable changes on the legal services market in the past decades. To react to this change, the German lawmaker introduced a system of specialist accreditation for lawyers on a limited scale in 1986 and rolled out a comprehensive scheme between 1997 and 2006. Today, lawyers can be awarded a specialist accreditation in 21 different areas of law and almost 50.000 accreditations have been awarded by the 27 regional bars. Two thirds of all young lawyers admitted to the Bar since 2004 have already earned a specialist accreditation or plan to do so in the near future. The paper reports on the findings of two quantitative studies with more than 5.000 German lawyers carried out by the author, half of them accredited specialists and half of them non-accredited specialists or general practitioners.

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