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Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?

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Maaari
Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Fri Aug 19, 2005 06:24 AM
I want your opinions on law schools in continental Europe. I'm thinking about doing a LL.M but I haven't decided which law school. Can you make any kind of ranking between schools in different countries? I'm talking about prestige in the jobmarket. I've heard that College of Europe, Utrecht and Leiden are top tier law schools in Europe, is this true? I've also considered law schools in the Scandinavia e.g. Stockholm and Helsinki. Anyone want to make their personal "law school ranking"? I'm very interested about this since it really matters where you do your LL.M. I know it's impossible to compare different universities because they all have different characteristics and different programs but I just want your opinions. Maybe you've heard of good law schools or great LL.M programs. Share that knowledge.

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califourchon
Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Fri Aug 19, 2005 08:58 AM
hi
such a ranking is impossible, it's even unhelpful. The law market in europe is very fragmented. Law is national because Europe is not yet a nation (take account of the fact that it is also a kind of "babel" land). A grad from leiden, will only be appreciated in Holland. So, the question you have to ask is :
1) am I fluent in a language other than english, and, if yes, which language
2) where do i want to practice and live
Ciao
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kmifbon
Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 5
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Mon Jul 17, 2006 03:24 PM
While I agree with califourchon, I guess a programme as prestigious as the College of Europe would be one of the few superbly recognised across the continent; plus it's a bilingual degree. Apart from that, I would think that only Oxbridge, or something equally grand would come close. The only problem is that the CE degree is in EU law, so its all useless if that's not your field.

In general, though, you should do well to follow califourchon's advice.
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poiu
Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 8
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Mon Jul 17, 2006 07:52 PM
Oxbridge are not on continental Europe.

Ranking by prestige:

1. Panthéon-Sorbonne
2. Leiden
3. College of Europe
4. Ludwig-Maximilians
5. Bologna

Ranking by citation of faculty scholarship:

1. College of Europe
2. Bologna
3. Panthéon-Sorbonne
4. Ludwig-Maximilians
5. Panthéon-Assas
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Henrik
Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 2
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Thu Jul 20, 2006 06:12 PM

[Edited by Henrik on 24 Jul 2006]

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lbo
Joined: 01 Apr 2006
Posts: 2
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Thu Jul 20, 2006 08:52 PM
On the perennial debate of who's better, Paris I or Paris II, I refer you to the thread "LLM in Paris" on the Panthéon-Sorbonne discussion board.

Doesn't the name say it all? Paris "1" and "2" ; )

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Leo
Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 22
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Thu Jul 20, 2006 09:16 PM
@ Henrik: The only flaw in your submission is that Humboldt University (in Berlin) isn't medieval at all - it was founded in 1810 and is thus considerably younger than the classic German universities such as Heidelberg (founded in 1386, if I remember correctly) and Freiburg. As far as I am aware, the latter two also have the significantly more prestigous law schools.
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kmifbon
Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 5
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Sat Jul 22, 2006 06:36 PM
poiu, I am mildly aware that Oxbridge are not on continental Europe lol ;)

My point was that it is perhaps only the College of Europe that is as well known as them across the continent. I assure you that Leiden, for example, is not well known at all in the south of Europe, though from your ranking I'm sure it is highly regarded elsewhere.

Because of the fragmentation due to divergent languages, legal systems and cultures, there are only few institutions that have that kind of cross-border appeal and reputation.
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stefanH
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 2
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:54 PM
First of all it is to mention that in Europe exist two different law systems: the Anglo-American (common) law system, that became popular because of GBs' many former colonies (e.g. USA, Australia, Canada, Southafrica) and the continental European Civil Law that is mainly based on codified law. So it is easier and more effective to study in Great Britain for English speaking students.

The Germans (I am a German) and many other contries, except France and Italy speak (unterstand) quite good English. To say it friendly: The French prefer French and the Italiens prefer Italien.

In Germany there are no elite universities (okay since a week or so we have three, but in fact only in natural siences). But there are some with very good repute.
Of course the Bavarian Law Faculties of Munich and Heidelberg are the best in Germany.
The LL.M programs are not so popular in Germany and I think nearly all lectures are in German. There must be a relative new and good private law school in Hamburg, the Bucerius Law School.

I cant tell you something about the rest of the (Continental = Old ;-)) Europian law schools.
The Sorbonne in Paris is one of the most famous universities at all.
Bologna (Italy) is very old and has a very long tradition in teaching law.
Especially Brussels (mainseat of European Parliament) and also Brugge are important for studies in European law.

On the continet everyone knows the very famous and traditionl good universities of England: Oxford and Cambridge.

So, if you do not want to study especially European Law or one of the national European laws or speak any European language fluent, study in England! ;-)

My law school is at Augsburg. This is a little city in Bavaria near to Munich and has now also an own LL.M program, but I would not recommend it.
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EdP
Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 19
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:17 AM

On the Paris 1 v Paris 2 debate, rather than making emptly statements, here is a list of all rankings I have been able to find on the internet:

www.ulb.ac.be/polytech/smana/NOUV_OB/Observateur.htm
www.smbgrecrutement.com/2_classement/6.html
www.smbgrecrutement.com/2_classement/7.html
www.smbgrecrutement.com/2_classement/11.html
forums.figaro-etudiant.com/view.php?site=figaro&bn=figaro_fo…

Paris 2 as come well before Paris 1 in every single ranking I have found.

One should be aware that they both can make the same claim at being the "Sorbonne". Historically, the "Sorbonne" was split into 12 different universities in 1968. 3 include the name in their present denomination (Paris 1, 3, and 4), but should not be mistaken with the original institution.
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stefano
Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:26 AM
Maari -if I were you, I would not go to Italy.
I'm an Italian PhD student, and I spent one semester in the UK. I am sorry to say this but teaching was much better over there.
In Italy, we have excellent legal scholars, but generally teaching is -alas!- not our main concern!
You may be lucky enough to run into outstanding professors though. Besides, Bologna is one of the best Italian universities in the field of law.
If you are interested in research (thesis-based LLM or PhD) try the European University Institute in Florence
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Joanna
Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 5
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Mon Nov 13, 2006 06:06 PM
Hello,

I would not recommend Spain. The level of teaching is not very high. UK is a good option if you have scholarship. Currently, i'm doing my LLM in Netherlands in Tilburg and believe me, i couldn't find better.
Utrecht and Leiden are not so good anymore. The problem is that they're well known for the history and tradition, but they do not offer the up to date programmes, what in my opinion is crucial if you wanna be a state-of-the-art lawyer.

[Edited by Joanna on 13 Nov 2006]

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juristin

Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 1
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:58 AM
Hello everybody! I'm interested in an LLM at European Law somewhere in Germany. Is such a program offered in the Humboldt University? Or do you know which german law schools have special LLM programs for the European Law? thanks
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ernisuarez
Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 1
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:03 PM
I think Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona has a very good and variated Corporate L.L.M.M (MADE). UPF is a very recently institution but actually it is one of the best law schools (if not the best) in Spain and Europe.
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josemiguel
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 1
best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Tue Jan 09, 2007 09:48 AM
Hi! I am also doing an LLM in the Netherlands and I have to agree with Joanna. Tilburg is simply the best option for both Business Law and Public Law. In fact, the University's Law School is currently ranked as the No. 1 International Law School by the Social Science Research Network (just visit the rankings section of www.ssrn.com).

They are also introducing significant changes to their main programmes which will allow them to keep their position as a top European law school. In brief, I believe that Tilburg is the best option for those of you out there considering an LLM.



Hello,

I would not recommend Spain. The level of teaching is not very high. UK is a good option if you have scholarship. Currently, i'm doing my LLM in Netherlands in Tilburg and believe me, i couldn't find better.
Utrecht and Leiden are not so good anymore. The problem is that they're well known for the history and tradition, but they do not offer the up to date programmes, what in my opinion is crucial if you wanna be a state-of-the-art lawyer.
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SwedishBoy
Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 19
Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Tue Jan 23, 2007 04:31 PM
I want your opinions on law schools in continental Europe. I'm thinking about doing a LL.M but I haven't decided which law school. Can you make any kind of ranking between schools in different countries? I'm talking about prestige in the jobmarket. I've heard that College of Europe, Utrecht and Leiden are top tier law schools in Europe, is this true? I've also considered law schools in the Scandinavia e.g. Stockholm and Helsinki. Anyone want to make their personal "law school ranking"? I'm very interested about this since it really matters where you do your LL.M. I know it's impossible to compare different universities because they all have different characteristics and different programs but I just want your opinions. Maybe you've heard of good law schools or great LL.M programs. Share that knowledge.



In Scandinavia the best law school is probably Lund university followed very closely by Uppsala. Stockholm is quite a way behind. Otherwise Copenhagen is very good but there are few courses in English i think.
Finland is not in Scandinavia bt Helsinki is also a good university.
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SwedishBoy
Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 19
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Tue Jan 23, 2007 04:37 PM
Oxbridge are not on continental Europe.

Ranking by prestige:

1. Panthéon-Sorbonne
2. Leiden
3. College of Europe
4. Ludwig-Maximilians
5. Bologna

Ranking by citation of faculty scholarship:

1. College of Europe
2. Bologna
3. Panthéon-Sorbonne
4. Ludwig-Maximilians
5. Panthéon-Assas


I would say :
1. Sorbonne (though its always rather low in all rankings and has no specific entrance requirements at undergraduate level anyway)
2.Heidelberg
3.Leiden
4.Bologna
5.Salamanca,Leuven,Lund
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Sprotch
Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 9
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:27 PM

Where do these rankings come from? I suspect a dark place somewhere below your back.

Oxbridge are not on continental Europe.

Ranking by prestige:

1. Panthéon-Sorbonne
2. Leiden
3. College of Europe
4. Ludwig-Maximilians
5. Bologna

Ranking by citation of faculty scholarship:

1. College of Europe
2. Bologna
3. Panthéon-Sorbonne
4. Ludwig-Maximilians
5. Panthéon-Assas


I would say :
1. Sorbonne (though its always rather low in all rankings and has no specific entrance requirements at undergraduate level anyway)
2.Heidelberg
3.Leiden
4.Bologna
5.Salamanca,Leuven,Lund
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dav81
Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 3
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Thu Apr 26, 2007 03:32 PM
Hello everybody,

first of all I agree with the idea that it doesn't matter how old is the law school, but how up-to-date is. I took my LLM in Tilburg, nobody knows this town but the program is simply great. For what concerns, for instance, the Netherlands, Leiden is no more the best school, at least for foreigners that are not (of course) part of the Dutch social elite.
About Italy (my country), Bologna is very old, but I'm sorry to say that now the law school is more famous to be extremely easy in comparison with other faculties than to be an excellent cultural centre.
Ciao,
Davide
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Mila
Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 88
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Sat May 05, 2007 02:49 AM
I am glad to see Tilburg mentioned. I took my first law degree at Tilburg and am currently pursuing my LL.M. at Harvard. I can only say that Tilburg is a great school. The faculty devotes substantial resources to its LL.M. programs. The classes are small, generally not more than 30 people and students have plenty of opportunities to work closely with professors. Unlike Leiden for instance the LL.M. is not just a more expensive degree for foreigners. And if you are interested in legal research, it is definitely worth looking into the MPhil program. This program is offered in tutorial-style, with classes ranging from 5-10 people. You will be assigned a faculty supervisor with whom you work closely together for the rest of the year. And there are many opportunities to stay for a (fully funded) PhD afterwards.

The faculty is young but is definitely on the rise- and I noticed that it is increasingly recognized abroad. After all, it ranks number 1 in Europe in the SSRN ranking for legal research- which is arguably the only credible law school ranking for European law schools. Hope that this doesn't sound too much of a promo-talk. But I noticed on this board that people tend to overlook Tilburg sometimes.
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Aurelius

Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 128
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Wed May 09, 2007 06:25 PM
Ranking European universities... You guys make me laugh! This is absolute nonsense. You guys make rankings based on personal experience? Or you just did scientific research during the last summer holidays? LOL

If you want to do tax law: go to Leiden or to that Austrian university
Otherwise, each country has good universities. Of course, Leuven is not Oxbridge or Sorbonne.
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anonymous
Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Sat Jul 07, 2007 02:12 PM

European Law schools cannot be compared since each will teach their national law, most often in their national language. A german degree won't be of any help if you want to know/practice French or Spanish law.

If you just want it as a line of your resume to practise in the US or UK just go for prestige. Sorbonne, Heidelberg, Bologna, etc... would be good choices.

Now to practise in Europe with a real competence in local law, do not discard younger Universities with less international prestige but an excellent local reputation such as, for France, highly regarded Assas, Paris V, or Sceaux.

If you are looking for a very specific field, other Universities could even be a better choice. For example, in international arbitration, E. Gaillard, one of the world references, teaches in Paris XII Saint Maur. For European law, that's of course Strasbourg's specialty. For Business law, I cannot think of better professors than Viandier and Canivet (former chief justice) in Paris V.
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EdP
Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 19
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Wed Jul 18, 2007 09:43 PM

I would go for "real" prestige, i.e. what recruiters and admissions officer know.

While 99% of people in the street think Harvard is a better law school than Yale, the recruiters know the difference. Ok, both are top universities. The Sorbonne might be a better experience: famous for its history, but a crap university today.

So it's definitely worthwhile to do some research.
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anonymous
Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:02 PM

The Sorbonne might be a better experience: famous for its history, but a crap university today.


La Sorbonne a crap law school !!!

Do you have any idea of who teaches there ?
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EdP
Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 19
Re: Best Law Schools in Continental Europe?
Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:13 PM
Yes. Although I am obviously generalising and putting Paris I, III and IV in the same bag. Paris I for law and Paris IV for the Celsa and LEA stand out.

Again, the recruiters will know.
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