Obtaining a German Law Degree
To earn a law degree in Germany, students must take two state exams and go through a 6 year long curriculum.
First, students must pass the First State Examination at the end of 4 years of undergraduate studies.
They must then take a two-year internship (called Referendarzeit) to gain experience in all facets of the legal system.
Finally, a second State Examination is given to students finishing the two years of legal internships in criminal and civil court. During the internship, students must also take classes taught by lawyers or judges. Wages paid to the student are provided by the German government.
Potential lawyers in Germany have two chances to pass State Examinations. After passing both examinations, the student is considered qualified to seek employment as a judge or a lawyer.
Higher education costs are heavily subsidized by the German government and are relatively low in comparison to U.S. tuition costs, unless a student elects to seek a law degree at a private university.
Germany's unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the European Union. International students opting to earn a law degree in Germany and pursue employment are likely to find a position soon after passing the Second Exam.