Studying Law in Germany

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Hello, i'm currently 15 years old and studying for my gcse's which i will take next year. i'm considering my future and i am quite interested in becoming lawyer in germany. i know that this requires a very good knowledge of german which is why i intend to study it also for a-levels and to spend a year after finishing school in germany learning germany. I am already bilingual as i am Polish so i don't suppose learning another language would be that hard as i already understand the case and gender system (we also have 3 genders but 7 instead of 4 cases). I know that to be a lawyer in Germany one must pass bothe the first and second state examinations so this is somewhat different to the bachelor master system. i would love to study at the LMU.  how feasible do you think this would be?

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15 minutes ago, futjurastudent said:

i am quite interested in becoming lawyer in germany

 

Could you tell us more about why you are thinking about something so specific? Would you study law even if you were to study in another country? Or do you have a reason for considering Germany even if it meant studying something else? 

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the reason why i want to study law in germany is because my father is a specialised lawyer and his job has always interested, and ever since I've started learning german the culture and language have interested me a lot. provided with the fact that there is free tuition there compared to the uk and also its proximity to poland, from where my family is from, i think it would very interesting and good for me as learning languages is also something i am passionate about and i believe the only way to do that is to move to that country.

 

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23 hours ago, LenkaG said:

 

Could you tell us more about why you are thinking about something so specific? Would you study law even if you were to study in another country? Or do you have a reason for considering Germany even if it meant studying something else? 

My Parents are also very for me studying abroad and would support me in my learning the language and paying for my language courses and accommodation until i would get a Teilzeitjob

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@futjurastudent

 

Being a lawyer in Germany is no longer the prestigious, stable and money-generating profession that you may think it, for details please read these articles (if you open them in the Google Chrome browser, it will offer to translate them for you into English): 

 

Please also read this entire thread:

especially @portiabelmonte8's reply at the very end of it.

 

To the practical side of things: you will not have time to both work and study successfully, especially in an expensive city like Munich.

So, basically, your parents should be able to finance you with at least 800€ a month during the whole of university.

Don't forget that you also have to budget some money for the Repetitorium: https://www.repetitorium-hemmer.de/hs_kursuebersicht.php?hs=30

LMU likes to say that you don't need a Repetitorium, but the reality is that students do, especially foreign ones.

 

Regarding the experience of studying in a foreign language, it will be very difficult for you, since legal German is another beast entirely than normal German.

For example, let's have a look at the part of German law that's written in the simplest language (since it's very old, back then they didn't write overlong, complicated clauses, bless them), the German Civil Code (= Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch).

If you look at §1371 BGB, it's a simple section of the law dealing with how much of a married couple's property actually belongs to the surviving spouse if one of them dies (the rest falls under inheritance tax, and if the surviving spouse inherited more than the tax-free amount of 500,000€, he/she will have to pay inheritance tax on the amount exceeding the tax-free amount):

Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB)
§ 1371 Zugewinnausgleich im Todesfall

(1) Wird der Güterstand durch den Tod eines Ehegatten beendet, so wird der Ausgleich des Zugewinns dadurch verwirklicht, dass sich der gesetzliche Erbteil des überlebenden Ehegatten um ein Viertel der Erbschaft erhöht; hierbei ist unerheblich, ob die Ehegatten im einzelnen Falle einen Zugewinn erzielt haben.
(2) Wird der überlebende Ehegatte nicht Erbe und steht ihm auch kein Vermächtnis zu, so kann er Ausgleich des Zugewinns nach den Vorschriften der §§ 1373 bis 1383, 1390 verlangen; der Pflichtteil des überlebenden Ehegatten oder eines anderen Pflichtteilsberechtigten bestimmt sich in diesem Falle nach dem nicht erhöhten gesetzlichen Erbteil des Ehegatten.
(3) Schlägt der überlebende Ehegatte die Erbschaft aus, so kann er neben dem Ausgleich des Zugewinns den Pflichtteil auch dann verlangen, wenn dieser ihm nach den erbrechtlichen Bestimmungen nicht zustünde; dies gilt nicht, wenn er durch Vertrag mit seinem Ehegatten auf sein gesetzliches Erbrecht oder sein Pflichtteilsrecht verzichtet hat.
(4) Sind erbberechtigte Abkömmlinge des verstorbenen Ehegatten, welche nicht aus der durch den Tod dieses Ehegatten aufgelösten Ehe stammen, vorhanden, so ist der überlebende Ehegatte verpflichtet, diesen Abkömmlingen, wenn und soweit sie dessen bedürfen, die Mittel zu einer angemessenen Ausbildung aus dem nach Absatz 1 zusätzlich gewährten Viertel zu gewähren.

 

In its English translation (source):

Section 1371
Equalisation of accrued gains in the case of death

(1) If the property regime is ended by the death of a spouse, the equalisation of the accrued gains is effected by the share of the inheritance on intestacy of the surviving spouse being increased by one quarter of the inheritance; it is irrelevant here whether the spouses in the individual case have made accrued gains.

(2) If the surviving spouse does not become an heir and if he has no right to a legacy, he may demand equalisation of the accrued gains under the provisions of sections 1373 to 1383 and section 1390; the compulsory portion of the surviving spouse or of another person entitled to a compulsory portion is determined in this case with reference to the share of the inheritance on intestacy of the spouse before it is increased.

(3) Where the surviving spouse disclaims the inheritance, then in addition to the equalisation of the accrued gains he may demand the compulsory portion even if he would have no entitlement to this under the provisions of the law of succession; this does not apply if he has waived his right of intestate succession or his right to a compulsory portion by a contract with his spouse.

(4) Where descendants of the deceased spouse who are entitled to inherit, and who are not descended from the marriage ended by the death of this spouse, are in existence, the surviving spouse has a duty to grant these descendants, if and to the extent that they need these, the means for a reasonable education from the quarter additionally granted under subsection (1).

 

And before you ask, very few German laws have been translated into English, see here for the few that have been: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/Teilliste_translations.html

 

Remember: that's one of the simpler clauses, the BGB is really the most basic law, it gets much worse than that...

If you want one of the "newer" clauses, here's one in VAT tax law (= Umsatzsteuergesetz), simply defining Lieferung (= a physical product) and sonstige Leistung (= a service), §3 UStG. Enjoy  :ph34r:

 

 

And you won't even have the possibility of learning the subjects from textbooks in your own language like, for example, engineering students do (please read the last part of this post):

and:

Engineering is the same the world over, German law - well, it only exists in German and in Germany.

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@PandaMunich

 

Thank  you for your reply, whilst i do understand the difficulties both financially and in the general study in a foreign language, would you think it would be feasible to advance from B2 (around A-level) to C-1 within a year whilst also taking specialised legal german courses which i have seen advertised by language schools in berlin and also on LMU's website in there language school website.

 

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12 minutes ago, futjurastudent said:

Thank  you for your reply, whilst i do understand the difficulties both financially and in the general study in a foreign language, would you think it would be feasible to advance from B2 (around A-level) to C-1 within a year whilst also taking specialised legal german courses which i have seen advertised by language schools in berlin and also on LMU's website in there language school website.

 

It depends on your linguistic ability, and I'm not quite sure about yours.

Capitalisation is a big thing in German, all nouns are written with capitals, and you seem to have difficulty with that even in English. I would also expect a 15 year old who wants to later study successfully at LMU to have the ability to differentiate between "there" and "their" ;)

 

Please excuse me, but the law is the most nitpicking of professions, especially in Germany, so you had better get used to criticism.

Wouldn't you like to study something sensible like engineering instead? :D

In engineering, you just have to understand things, not have to learn entire volumes of things off by heart like in Jura - much less work.

And with engineering, you can find a job in any country, good textbooks are available in English and it's altogether a more rewarding profession.

 

Please also refresh this page, I added some things to my previous reply.

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I'm awfully sorry about my grammar however it is 23:39 where i am and i'm busy doing homework after a day a tough day at school with sport after it so my mind isn't at its strongest right now. I am fine with criticism and it is one of the reasons Germany appeals to me as it is much like Poland where you don't really have small talk or talking for the sake of talking. I know general German grammar as i'm predicted an 8/9 in my German GCSE (A* under the old system).

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@PandaMunich

 

learning by rote is actually something i'm very good at and whilst engineering may seem appealing to some, law is far more appealing to me as the son of a patent- attorney and generally coming from a very academic family, with their being quite a few fellow lawyers and also prosecutors in my parent's circle of friends.

I unlike my sister did not inherit a creative gene and therefore prefer much more theoretical work.

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It's an hour later in Germany ;)

I suggest you go to bed, and tomorrow re-read the replies and follow the links in them.

 

A patent attorney in Germany is a full engineer (at least a Masters degree in engineering/hard sciences, preferably also a PhD) with just a few law courses on top - remember, Munich is the site of the European Patent Office, so there are quite a few patent attorneys running around. Some of my engineering colleagues from university went that way.

So if you want to become a patent attorney (= Patentanwalt), you will definitely have to study engineering :D

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@futjurastudent, I do realize that you are only 15, but it would not hurt now to get some experience or work shadowing or do something similar. The thing is, you are hoping to do something that would limit you greatly in terms of what you will be able to do afterwards and you should be sure that it is what you will enjoy. At the end of the day, it is only a few years studying to prepare you for working till you're 67.

 

Would you like to be a patent attorney? Well, they often have bachelor's and master's degrees in their subject of choice (sciences, engineering...), followed by a doctorate, perhaps a few years research experience and then several years to qualify as an attorney. Research some attorneys -- as an example, here (I set it to mechanical engineering) you can have a look at the experience of those of one company advertising assistant jobs on this forum.  

 

ETA: Panda has also mentioned this above

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@LenkaG

I have thought about becoming a patent and i do sort of see it as a plan B as it would give me the legal professional environment i've been looking for mixed with a scientific background, i guess it will come down to how my a-levels go, what subjects i decide to study and how i generally feel as i still do have a lot of time in which to decide

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Have you ever spent more than a short holiday here? What if you hate it? Some people do. Maybe you could spend the summer here. 

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@LenkaG

Sadly i've never spent more than a short holiday there, along with my family's annual ski holiday to Austria, however i will be visiting Berlin later this year.

I want to move to Germany because I personally don't enjoy living in the UK and i find that the German culture is much more similar to Polish. I also love the cuisine: sauerkraut, meat and potatoes, sausages whilst some people hate it and find it bland .

I am planning on doing a language camp for teenagers during a holiday in Berlin next year.

 

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Of course, see my post above:

Quote

 (at least a Masters degree in engineering/hard sciences, preferably also a PhD)

 

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@PandaMunich

Thanks. Whilst a patent attorney does sound like an interesting job, and it has the perk of allowing one to work throughout the EU as an EU patent attorney, the job itself doesn't strike me as interesting as that of a lawyer.

Science has also never been a particular strong point of mine, i'm good but not amazing.

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Just finding this thread...blimey, futjurastudent..you´re 15? You write really well---you are definitely not a loser re your English language skills or any other skills. Good on you!! You maybe have a brighter family background than I had at your age..all the best for you!

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@john g.

Thanks! I've generally been quite lucky with my family with both my parents having Masters in the sciences and thus pushing me quite far academically. I'm currently in a grammar school, much like a gymnasium but much less mainstream

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