Bucerius Law School
|Bucerius Law School|
|Type||Private law school|
|Endowment||annual budget of € 14.7 million (2009)|
|CEO and Provost||Hariolf Wenzler|
|Academic staff||16 full-time; 30 part-time; 1 adjunct; 10 visiting|
|Doctoral students||247 (2010)|
|Colors||bordeaux and white|
|Affiliations||Joint MLB program with WHU|
Bucerius Law School (pronounced [buˈtseʁius]) is a small, private law school located in Hamburg, Germany. The school is the first private law school in Germany and is generally ranked as one of the best law schools in the country. It admits 100 undergraduate students per year, who achieve very high results in the German Judicial Examination (Staatsexamen).
Origins and Structure
Bucerius Law School was founded in 2000 by one of Germany's largest foundations, ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius following the model of law schools in the United States, and bearing the name of Gerd Bucerius, a noted German judge, attorney, journalist, politician and founding publisher of Germany's leading weekly newspaper, Die Zeit. Organized as a non-profit GmbH, its mission statement is "Freedom of Thought - Academic Renewal - Social Responsibility".
The faculty consists of 16 full-time professors, three affiliate, one honorary and one emeritus professor. There are specific institutes for the law of foundations and non-profit organizations and for corporate and capital market law. The school attracts a large number of visiting scholars and speakers from all over the world and hosts conferences to various topics.
Programs of Study
The school offers two different degree programs of study: The general law program, leading to a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and to the German First Judicial Examination (Staatsexamen), and the Master of Law and Business (M.L.B.) program. Moreover, it grants doctoral (Dr. iur.) and habilitation titles and offers two summer certificate programs.
LL.B. and Staatsexamen Program
The three-and-a-half-year LL.B. program is divided into ten trimesters. After its completion, students focus on preparation for the German First Judicial Examination (the regular law degree) in order to be admitted to legal traineeship. The entire program lasts 4.5 to 5 years and includes a trimester or semester abroad at one of Bucerius' partner institutions.
Besides the extensive legal education, the school places special importance on the mandatory Studium generale as well as an emphasis on foreign languages and economics. Students are required to complete internships at law firms, businesses or organizations, many of which support the school as donators. Students are required to spend their seventh semester abroad and study law in a language other than German.
The school admits the best 100 applicants every year for the LL.B./Staatsexamen program. They are selected through a demanding written and oral admissions procedure, which stretches over two rounds in the months of May and July each year. Most of the admitted students graduated at the top of their high school class. Over 10% of the students are national merit scholars, the highest rate among German institution of higher education. Approximately 70% of the Bucerius graduates achieve a distinction (Prädikat) in the German Judicial State Examination, a rate which is about three times the statewide average.
The tuition fee is 3,700 Euros per trimester, for a total of 12 trimesters. Financial aid includes scholarships, student loans and a "study first, pay later" system. Moreover, many students are recipients of external scholarships.
The Bucerius/WHU Master of Law and Business is a consecutive Master's degree offered jointly by Bucerius Law School and the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management. Courses are mainly taught at the Bucerius campus.
Applicants must have a degree in either law, economics or business. The program aims at training international executives at the intersection of law and economics and strives to enable its students to analyse corporate issues from a legal and an economic perspective in an international context.
The program is taught in English and runs from the beginning of September to the end of July and is divided into three trimesters. In the Fall trimester (September to December), two course periods are held. The second trimester (January to April) comprises one course block and an eight-week internship. In the third trimester (May to July), students write their thesis following another course block.
The M.L.B. program admits 50 students a year in a separate admissions test. Tuition is 22,000 Euros.
Bucerius also offers doctoral and post-doctoral studies. During the Summer, there is a Summer School for International Law and an introductory law program.
Bucerius Law School has a Bucerius Summer Program in International Business Law, which was inaugurated in 2008, and in 2012 will additionally offer a Bucerius Summer Program in Mediation. Both intensive English-taught programs bring together students and professors from around the world to explore the theory and praxis of the given topic.
The school has formed extensive international programs with currently 94 law schools in 31 countries, including leading institutions such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University of Sheffield, the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), University Paris I, University of St. Gallen, Stanford University, New York University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, Cornell University, Duke University Georgetown University, Washington and Lee University, Indiana University Maurer School of Law and the University of Cape Town.
Each Fall, about one hundred students from the partner universities visit the school during the International Exchange Program, 30 per cent of which are from the United States. At the same time of the year, about one hundred students from Bucerius Law School visit the school's partner universities in exchange.
There are two student-run publications: A political magazine called “Politik und Gesellschaft“ and the Bucerius Law Journal. There is a choir, orchestra, big band, theater group, Model United Nations Society, political student groups, Phi Delta Phi Inn and many sport clubs, whose teams compete against other universities in the annual "Champions Trophy." Moot Courts are offered in English law, international trade law and labor law.
Location and Facilities
Bucerius Law School is located in the center of the city, near Hamburg's trade exhibition center and the park Planten un Blomen. Housed in a historic building that used to serve as the horticulture and botany buildings for the University of Hamburg, Bucerius features a full service Mensa, or cafeteria, offering a variety of hot meals daily. A new library building with a capacity of 450 places was added to the Eastern side of the main building in 2007. The library comprises 76,000 books and 2,355 periodicals in printed and electronic form; it is not open to the public. There are several computer labs, a napping room, a theater and an on-campus, bilingual (German/English) kindergarten. Important events such as major soccer-matches can be watched on a full screen in the lecture hall. There is a gym on campus which students are free to use once an initial registration fee of 50 Euro has been paid. Showers are available both inside the gym and in the main building. On its top floor, Bucerius Law School has 15 separate rooms for students who wish to study with their friends in small groups. In cases of exam pressure and stress symptoms a coach from the university can be consulted. The school offers individual exam training sessions in its "exam clinic".
- Christoph Luschin, A German Ivy? The Bucerius Law School, 19 Southwestern Journal of International Law 1 (2012).