Legal Education in Europe

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Long title: 
Legal Education in Europe: Where Do We Go?
Author(s): 
Bugatti, Laura
Author(s)' contact information: 
University of Brescia, Italy
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
UK
Year: 
2014

The legal profession is significantly evolving in response to the EU’s approach, focusing on two main goals: to guarantee lawyers with the real opportunity of supplying their services within the European context; to introduce the competition rules even in the professional area. No one would doubt that intellectual professions have experienced a deep transformation whereas competition rules originally addressing the market have begun to penetrate in this different area. As regards the qualitative entry restrictions, they take the form of minimum periods of education (and related educational standards), periods of professional experience and professional examinations. It can be inferred that the EU's Member States have reached a high level of harmonization in the legal education (i.e. Advocacy Master in Spain - Law Schools in UK – CLE around Europe); this politicy make provides an important contribution to ensure that only practitioners with appropriate qualifications and competence can supply their legal service into the Internal Market. Despite that, it cannot be affirmed that the European integration process is almost completed: Member States in which the legal profession is traditionally widely regulated by national governments and professional bars (i.e. Italy) still try to strictly self-regulate the training path in order to obtain access to the Bar (i.e. Abogados vs. Italian Bar Association). In this context my intervention would focus: a) on the analysis of the relationship between the new European common trend and the different national legal approaches; and b) on the social role that can be envisaged for the 'new European' lawyer.

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