Going straight from Bachelor to State Law Examination

2021-12-17 In the coming winter semester, for the first time in Germany, there will be a law degree programme that links the Bologna system with the state law examination.

Going straight from a bachelor's degree in law to the state law examination? In Germany up to now, there was no direct access. The new master's programme in law at Leuphana University Lüneburg is unique in this respect nationwide. "Our model degree programme is intended to provide bachelor's graduates with an opportunity, too, to prepare for the state law examination in a regulated way," explains Axel Halfmeier, co-founder of the new Faculty of Political Science and Professor of Civil Law, Comparative Law and International Private and Procedural Law.

While bachelor's and master's degrees were introduced nationwide in 2002 as part of the higher education reform in the wake of the Bologna Process, in jurisprudence the state law examination continues to be the entry requirement for the regulated legal professions. Simultaneously, bachelor's and master's programmes in law have also developed over the years. With a bachelor's degree in law, graduates can either start directly in an unregulated profession or pursue an academic master's programme. However, there has been no regulated transition for bachelor's graduates in Germany to the third option, the state law examination. "That is the gap we are now bridging with this master's programme," says Halfmeier, "the programme combines the two-year master's programme with preparation for the state law examination."

The first semester's basic legal education is followed by the specialisation area and, finally, the university exam preparation. After four semesters of standard study period, students will have the opportunity to take the first state examination and earn the LL.M.-Master of Laws degree.

In terms of content, according to Prof. Dr. Halfmeier, the degree programme is oriented in the Leuphana tradition. "We consider law in context, i.e. with a view to its social impact and responsibility," explains the Leuphana Law School spokesperson. For the winter semester 2022/23, a total of 35 students can enrol in the new programme.


  • Prof. Dr. Axel Halfmeier, LL.M. (Michigan)