Winners of the first ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Contest

September 26th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink


On 6-7 September 2018, the first ERA-CCBE Young Lawyers Contest took place in Trier, Germany.

20 contestants from 10 nationalities nominated by their local or national Bars took part in the contest. The Bars participating in the project were: the Dutch Brussels Bar (Belgium), Ordine degli Avvocati di Lucca (Italy), the Bucharest Bar (Romania), Hanseatische Rechtsanwaltskammer Hamburg (Germany), Rechtsanwaltskammer Hamm (Germany), Ecole des Avocats Centre Sud Grand Est (France) and the Warsaw Bar Association (Poland). To enhance the transnational character of the contest, contestants were divided into 6 teams from different Member States with different legal traditions:

Team 1 – Marco Polo
Ester Vets (BE)
Sini Tossavainen (FI)
Kyriaki Georgiou (CY)

Team 2 – Christopher Columbus
Stéphane de Schutter (BE)
Dino Gliha (CR)
Lena Haffner (DE)
Guðrún Olsen (IS)

Team 3- Ferdinand Magellan
Rimma Abadjan (BE)
Michel Dayanithi (FR)
Andria Newton (CY)
Ivana Kikerec (CR)

Team 4 – Jacques Cartier
Justine Van den Bon (BE)
Radosław Maruszkin (PO)
Vilma Markkola (FI)

Team 5 – Amerigo Vespucci
Christian Straker (DE)
Nicoleta-Angela Cherciu (RO)
Diana Romanini (I)

Team 6 – Vasco da Gama
Vincent Berthier (FR)
Ella Hiltunen (FI)
Livia Dianu-Buja (RO)

In each round of the contest, a different task was mastered: a written report on a legal question of the EU business law; an oral debate; a negotiating exercise on company law; and a moot court exercise based on a case. Members of the CCBE Presidency, Margarete von Galen and Ranko Pelicarić, were part of the jury.

Throughout the contest, participants showed a lot of enthusiasm, commitment and motivation.

The winners of the contest:
Vincent Berthier (France)
Ella Hiltunen (Finland)
Livia Dianu-Buja (Romania)


A free registration to the upcoming CCBE conference  “Artificial Intelligence – Humane Justice” (30 November 2018 in Lille, France) will be provided for winners.

For more information, please check Young Lawyers’ Contest website.


The training of lawyers in the 21st century

January 30th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCNE Training conference on 14th December 2017

Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCBE Training conference on 14th December 2017

This is a short blog by Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja, OTT outlining key points from his intervention at the CCBE conference on Training of Lawyers, challenges and opportunities, Brussels, 14 December 2017.

I have been teaching advocacy to students, bar exam candidates, and experienced attorneys for almost 15 years. What I have learned, through a series of trials and errors, is that students learn what they want to learn. And only what they want to learn.

Based on this experience I argue that continuing legal education in the 21st century should, above all, be a positive experience to those we wish to educate.

The following are, what I consider, the four cornerstones of the positive learning experience.

Go online, go live
Lawyers are chronically time constrained. So take legal education online whenever you can. If a lawyer can save an hour or two of travel time, he or she just might spend a good part of the time saved learning something new.

If you want to lecture, broadcast it live. Livestream lecture with a real time chat is a great way on engaging students from the comfort of their own office or home.

Show, don’t tell
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. If you do not agree with this, show your students how it’s done. It’s easy enough to say that you should write clearly and concisely. Following that instruction is the hard part.

Lawyers must apply law to concrete problems. Continuing legal education should help them do that, which is why continuing legal education should be all about application.

Doing is learning
Sitting still and listening someone talk about the law is, even for most lawyers, dreadfully boring. Don’t put your students’ brain into hibernation.

Instead, activate your students. Ask questions. Create problems. Make them do the work, because that’s what learning requires. Hard work. Doing stuff with your brain. Not having it done for you by someone else (the teacher).

Be a coach
People avoid things which cause them embarrasment. Never make people feel bad about themselves, because most of them will not study harder to avoid further embarrasment. Instead, they will take the easy way out, which is to avoid your lectures.

So, accept everyone come in “as is”. You have succeeded as a teacher, if they leave equipped with more knowledge than they came in. And more importantly, with a hunger to learn more.

Jarkko Männistö
Attorney, LL.D.

This posting is an adaptation of the speech Jarkko gave on 14 December in Brussels in the CCBE Seminar titled “Training of lawyers, challenges and opportunities”.



Parliamentary question on Erasmus for lawyers & Commission reply

September 28th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Question, Nikos Androulakis (S&D), 8 June 2017

The Athens Association of Trainees and Young Lawyers recently unveiled a proposal for cooperation between the Greek bar associations and those of the other Member States. Under the proposal, trainee lawyers could practise in law firms and offices of another Member State from that where they obtained their degree, which would have multiple benefits for beneficiaries.

It would enable them to enrich their knowledge and acquire experience from different legal systems and, at the same time, it would create the right conditions for the exchange of best practices in the areas of application of European Union law and approximation of national legislations.

— Can such a scheme be funded through Erasmus+ or other financial tools?

— Is the Commission aware of other similar schemes for lawyers that are applied in other Member States?

— How could the Commission contribute to setting up the initiative?

Answer given by Mr Navracsics on behalf of the Commission, 17 August 2017

In higher education, the Erasmus+ Programme offers students and staff transnational mobility to study, teach or carry out traineeships (work placements) abroad. The scheme is open to all higher education students. Traineeships abroad at a workplace are also open to graduates within 12 months after graduation. All this also applies to law students and graduates.

According to the EU definition of Small and Medium-size Enterprises, self-employed professionals, like lawyers are considered entrepreneurs, thus young lawyer exchange schemes might be also covered by Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. This cross-border exchange programme offers exchange of knowledge and experience and networking opportunities across Europe. The exchange of experience takes place during a stay, partially funded by the EU.

Under the 2016 call for proposals for action grants to support European judicial training of the Justice Programme, the Commission awarded a grant to the European Lawyers Foundation (in cooperation with the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe and national bars).

The MULTILAW project aims at setting up a multilateral exchange of 75 young lawyers with up to 5 years professional experience from Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and France over a period of two weeks, as an experiment for future exchanges. This project will help to increase the knowledge of EC law and share experience and best practices between lawyers practicing in different Member States.

The Commission is not aware of other similar schemes for lawyers applied in other Member States.

Given the scope of the opportunities offered by existing EU initiatives, the Commission does not intend to set up an additional scheme.

CCBE supports Georgian Bar Association’s reforms re internship

September 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

In a letter to the Chair of the Parliament of Georgia, the CCBE expressed its support for the proposed Georgian Bar Association’s reform to provide for a comprehensive framework for the internship programme.

According to the proposals of the Georgian Bar Association, future lawyers would have to follow three months of training at the High School of Advocates which includes courses on legal skills, management skills, as well as other professional skills which are important to the practice of the profession. The trainee lawyers would then need to carry out nine months of practical training in a law firm, supervised by a lawyer. Trainee lawyers will need to observe the standards of professional conduct of the Georgian Bar during their internship.

The CCBE believes that the proposed reform will greatly contribute to further a high standard of legal training and professional competence. They take account of the CCBE Training Outcomes for European Lawyers of 2007.

The CCBE letter can be downloaded here.

England and Wales: SRA to launch super-exam in 2020

April 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will introduce its planned super-exam, the Solicitors Qualification Examination, despite opposition from the profession…

For more information, please read the ‘The Lawyer‘ (25 April 2017).