Main Research Topics
2 … Student Participation in Legal Education in Germany and Europe, 10 German Law Journal 10951112 (2009), jointly with Lisa RiederIn Germany, the possibilities of students to participate in and contribute to legal education are generally quite limited. Compared to the legal education systems in the USA and Canada, the course of studies is rather theoretical and quite anonymous. Communication between students, faculty staff and deans is rare, and classes are fairly big. As to the abstractness of the curriculum, several changes have been made to improve the situation. For example, a reform in 2003 was supposed to increase foreign language competence and provide for more specialization and practical relevance. However, the system can still (or again) be considered to be “under construction”. Many important skills are not being taught, and the awareness of the international, social and cultural contexts is largely neglected or lacking reference to the subject matter. There is an ongoing debate about further changes to the legal educational systems especially about the adoption of the Bologna Process. While some consider it inapplicable to the German system, others have already started transferring it at their university. Several federal states have meanwhile started endorsing a basic reform. However the next rulings will not be until 2011. Presently scholars, policy-makers in the field of education and economists face the challenge of devising strategies for legal education that meet the needs and interests of all ”stakeholders” while being compatible with the traditional German system. Students are curious and concerned about the future of their curriculum. Their means of participation include a) passively evaluating teachings, b) actively engaging in a student parliament or self-governed student councils of a special field (so-called Fachschaften) and c) actively involving in student organizations.