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Law (State Examination)

Taught in German (some courses taught in English)


Number of enrolled students

1943 students are enrolled in this degree course (as of winter semester 2017/18).

During the study of law, studens are dealing with legal regulations and other legal texts. This also includes legal historical, -philosophical and - sociological aspects as well as rules on legal proceedings. The course of study includes the great areas of German legislation:

private law:

"the branch of law concerning relations and dealings between private individuals." (OED 2017)

public law:

"The law governing relations between individuals and the State, or the conduct of the State [...]." (OED 2017)

criminal law:

"The branch of law concerned with defining crimes and with prosecuting and punishing offenders [...]." (OED 2017)
Features of studying law in Giessen

Features of studying law in Giessen

The study of law in Giessen is characterized by an advantageous relation between the number of staff and students as well as the "Giessen Method" in particular, i.e. work in small groups with students assuming responsibility (running working groups). Thus the study remains organized and comprehensible. Many practitioners (judges, lawyers, administrative jurists) are involved in teaching. They add an occupational perspective to the study of law. This focus on law in practise is also stressed by the regular practitioners' seminars in the fields of industrial law, environmental law, and criminal law.
There is also the possibility to continue studies by embarking on a doctoral course of studies or an additional 2-year period of additional study with the final qualification of Magister/Magistra Juris Internationalis.


Subject-specific prerequisites

The ability to think abstractly as well as independent, structured, and concentrated work over a long period of time are necessary for indulging in this extensive field dealing with complex legislative texts.
Clear and perfect written and spoken expression and skills in argumentation and rhetorics are required from law students. An interest in social, economic and socio-political questions is also a precondition for the study of law.

Composition of the Study Programme

Duration of studies

9 semesters
Composition of the Study Programme

1. Intermediate Examination:

The intermediate examination comprises eight exams:

  • from the field of private law the areas introduction to private law, law of obligations (general and special part) as well as property law
  • from the field of public law the areas basic rights, constitutional law, and the general part of administrative law
  • criminal law special part I and II

Of these eight exams six have to be successfully passed after six semesters. If this is not the case the course of study cannot be continued.

2. Practical courses for advanced students:

The focus of the following study phase - apart from classes covering several subareas -  lies on comprehensive tutorials for advanced students covering private law, public law, and criminal law. law.

3.Specialisation area:

  • During the following study phase students have to select a thematic major (focus area). The field of study chosen can vary from university to university. The major covers about 10% of the whole course of study. At JLU Giessen the following majors can be chosen:
    • German and international family and inheritance law
    • industrial law and social legislation;
    • commercial law;
    • International and foreign civil- and procedural law

    • Constitution and society (advanced public law)

    • European law and international law;

    • Criminology

At the same time classes covering further areas of law have to be attended. The programme is complemented by basic and introductory courses, classes on methodology and key qualifications as well as classes taught in a foreign language. Additionally, three placements with a duration of one month each have to be successfully completed at a court and two other institutions.

Legal Engish:

JLU offers a three-semester course in "Legal English" for students of this course of study.

4. Preparation for the First law examination:

The concluding preparation phase for the final exams (UniRep) is intended as an intensive repetition phase in preparation of the first law examination.

First law examination:

If all necessary proofs of academic achievement have been gained in the course of study, students can register for the first law examination. It consists of the state examination in the compulsory subjects, comprising 70% of the overall grade, and the university examination in the major subject area, which comprises 30% of the overall grade.

The state examination in the compulsory subjects comprises:

  • two exams in the area of private law
  • two exams in the areas of public law
  • one exam in the area of criminal law
  • one exam in the area of industrial, commercial or company law
  • one oral exam consisting of the three parts private law, public law, and criminal law

The examination in the major subject area comprises:

  • a thesis and
  • an oral exam


Composition of degree programme, examinations

The exact composition of the degree programme can be seen in the information sheet.



Application: Entrance requirements

Entrance requirements

  • Applicants must have Abitur (German school-leavers' examinations) or equivalent.
  • Special regulations apply to foreign applicants or those who gained their university-entrance qualifications abroad. Read more...
Application limited internally

Application for admission and registration

The intake capacity of this degree programme is limited by the university.

  • Applications must be received by the JLU Student Secretariat by July 31 for the winter semester and by January 15 for the summer semester. Read more...
  • Special regulations apply to foreign applicants or those who gained their university-entrance qualifications abroad. Read more...

Career Options

Career Options

Doctoral studies

In general, the prerequisite for embarking on doctoral studies is a successfully completed university degree.The doctoral course of study will be completed with the written dissertation and an oral exam (disputation). Having been conferred a doctorate, you are allowed to bear the title "Dr. jur.".

Career options

Through the university studies, ending with the first law examination, and the following 2-year practical legal training, which ends with the second state law examination, the status of "full lawyer" is acquired, i.e., the qualification to exercise the functions of a judge. Together with the classic areas of practicing law as a lawyer, in the judicial system and administration, numerous opportunities in business, in chambers and associations, in politics, in international organizations and similar institutions are open.

Further Information

Further Information: Documents

PDF documents for the courses of study


Examination- and study regulations

Courses offered in the course cataloge

International pages

Please have a look at our International Pages for more information in English.

Any Questions

Any Questions?

Information- and advisory services of JLU can be found under the category “contact” on this page!


Do you need assistance in choosing the right courses of study?

Offers: Courses of study

Which courses of study suits me best?

Ask Justus offers information for prospective students


Events for prospective students

There is a whole range of events offered by JLU, current events can be found under “news”: (in German)


Subject Advisors
Subject Advisors

The examination office provides student counselling.

Examinations office Law
Licher Str. 60, 35394 Gießen
Office hours: Mo - Fr 8 a.m. - 12 a.m.

Information about the intermediate examination

Karin Rinn
Phone: 0641 - 99 - 21101
Fax: 0641 99 - 21109
Office hours: Tuesday - Friday 8 a.m. - 12 a.m.

Information on the major subjects (focus area)

Dr. Volker Stiebig
Director of the examinations office
Phone: 0641 - 99 - 21103
Fax: 0641 - 99 - 21109
Office hours: Tues and Thurs 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. and by appointment


Heike Kienholz
Phone:  0641 – 99-21103
Fax 0641 – 99-21109
Office hours: Mo, Wed, Fr 8a.m. - 12 a.m. and Tues + Thurs 12.30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Information about the state compulsory subject examination

Dr. Volker Stiebig
Director of the examinations office
Phone: 0641 - 99 21104
Fax: 0641 - 99 21109
Office hours: Tues and Thurs 10 a.m. - 12 a.m. and by appointment

Central Study Advisor
Frank Uhlmann (Dipl.-Sozialw.)
Central Student Services

Directions and welcome desk