The Legal Profession - NOTE: THE COURSE IS CANCELLED IN THE AUTUMN SEMESTER 2018

Course content

Using theories and case studies, the course examines the history, structure, functioning, market competition, career development, and other relevant topics concerning the legal profession in Denmark and other countries of the world (France, Germany, United States, and England in particular). The aim is to provide law students with an in-depth knowledge of the various challenges and opportunities that they will face once graduated from the Faculty of Law and thrown into the job market.

The starting-point of the class is that the legal profession does not exist in a vacuum but that, being reflective of the social, political, and legal structures in which it is embedded, changes in response to both internal and external dynamics. In this regard, it is important to point out that the course does not teach students to think like professional lawyers; the goal is instead to equip them to better navigate their future professional choices.

The course covers the most important themes related to the legal profession. In the first part, the course provides an introduction to the main theories of the legal profession that will guide the students in the more substantive parts of the course. In addition, the course covers the following themes:

1) an introduction to the most important professional systems (Denmark, as well as France, Germany, United States, and England) with a specific focus on the relationship between lawyers and the state;

2) the challenges and opportunities deriving from the rise of the professional society and of large law firms;

3) the Europeanization and globalization of legal professionals;

4) the disruptive impact of new technologies on the legal profession;

5) the role of networks; 6) the competition between lawyers and other professionals (accountants, economists, political scientists, etc.).

During the course, students will be invited to discuss some of the main issues with leading figures of the Danish and international legal profession. Moreover, the course will include a few guest lectures on particular subjects of their expertise.

Learning outcome

- Become familiar with a set of theories and empirical studies related to the evolution of the legal profession in Denmark and a number of other countries.
- Be aware of the latest developments of the legal job market in Denmark and in other countries
- Identify the central issues and challenges facing the legal profession, such as professionalization, Europeanization, globalization, and digitialization.
- Understand how legal profession are currently conceived in terms of expert knowledge, market control, and professional orders.
- Critically read and analyze both theoretical and empirical literature on the legal profession.
- Apply the knowledge built during the course to real life examples of the legal profession.
- Be able to work and communicate meaningfully and constructively with other professional figures (i.e., consultants, economists, political sicentists, and IT experts) and clients.
- Improve job seeking skills in the present and increasingly competive legal job market.

The students are expected to read the mandatory readings and participate actively in class. To improve the learning process, the course uses both traditional lecturing methods and other more interactive and research-based techniques aimed at activating the students in class. The goal is to educate students into thinking independently and across disciplines in order to fully understand the impact of society and other structural forces on the legal profession. The class room should be a learning environment in which the students can restructure the knowledge previously acquired through the readings into a richer and more critical knowledge. In particular, during the course, the following instructional strategy will be used:
- Theory-building learning with oral presentations and written reaction papers, where the students theorize and reflect on theories and cases that may explain the reality of legal profession.
In addition, to encourage the reflection on the ideas presented in the class and for the preparation of the final individual written assignment, students will present and and discuss with their peers questions related to a previous selected topic. Students will be asked to investigate the topic and provide answers grounded in research into the legal profession. The feedback collected by the student during the presentations will be used for developing new ideas connected to the final research assignment.

There are no particular academic skills that are recommended for attending the course. Ideally, all law students – regardless of their academic and/or professional preferences – should be able to attend this class, as the class is aimed at preparing them to their (diverse) future careers as legal professionals.

English proficiency

Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Individual written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 171,25
  • English
  • 206,25