Studying law... in Italy
Today’s post in the ‘Studying law.. in’ will take us to Bella Italia!
Enjoy the text from the lovely Linda who is a final year law student at the Cattolica University in Milan. I was lucky (and honoured!) to meet Linda during SELS on Banking and Finance in Germany last year (networking, have I already used that word in here?) I’m leaving you now with Linda…
I’m Linda and I’m studying law at the Cattolica University in Milan. I had an amazing opportunity to compare my studies with people from all over Europe via participation in the ELSA Summer Law School in Frankfurt last summer. Not to mention that I met Alex there :D This kind of comparison convinced me that Italy has a completely different system of higher education.
To start our faculty you don’t have to pass any exam. It’s one of the few courses that has free access in Italy. Lack of such exam has twofold consequences: if you really want to study law, you can do it without any difficulty. One the other hand such system leads to overcrowded classrooms, and excessive straight after you obtain your degree. Just to illustrate the problem: only in Milan the number of lawyers is equal to those practising in whole France!
Legal studies last 5 years and include more or less all Italian legislation and some international courses. At Cattolica University courses don’t have compulsory attendance and in your forth year you can decide which courses you want to do, while first three years are planned by the university. Nevertheless you can choose few exams, so last two years are less imposed.
One of the major problems of my university when I started - that now seems to be solved – was the deficiency of English courses what has widened the gap between our preparation and that of other European students. My own experience from the law school hasmade me realize how many differences there are between Italians and the rest of Europe, especially when we try to speak English: our level of proficiency is insufficient, and the whole problem starts as early as on an elementary school level. I just hope that English preparation will be more advanced and extended in all nationalschools in the future.
But coming back to merits. Our studies are really demanding: there is really only a little time for social life and leisure. It’s not that easy as well to gain practical experience during your studies: you just don’t have enough time to combine studies with work. Once you decide to start a traineeship there’s a risk of delayed graduation, as the whole process of being a trainee and a student at the same is quite challenging and demanding. Furthermore, your time at law firm might be fruitless, because you will be stuck with pointless tasks that have nothing to do with your future in legal profession. In order to find recruitment opportunities, you must follow student associations like ELSA, which always create interesting after-class activities for students. You can also contact directly university’s authorities regarding offers of extracurricular activities.
After five long years you finally graduate and obtain your degree. But what’s next? Luckily law degree allows you to choose among many paths and you are not obliged to become a lawyer. If you really like to study, you can obtain a Master’s degree after additional 2 years. However, if you decide to qualify, straight after studies you can start your 18-month traineeship, and then sit extremely difficult final exam. Whereas to become a prosecutor the traineeship is 2-year long and the qualification exam is even harder. There are also available other options, such as banking, internal audit, international organizations, and many others.
And that’s all! Hope you will try to get some international experience in Italy! There are lots of international programs that allow you to have a really great time and also enjoy our beautiful country that really deserves to be visited. For example at my University there are a lot of international opportunities, such as Erasmus exchanges, some undergraduate and graduate programmes, full-time and part-time internship programmes, summer and winter schools. If you are interested, you can check it in more detail here.
And last but not least, Alex did ask me what memory from the law school is in my opinion the greatest. I think the best one is the first day of the University. I will never forget the emotions accompanied and the people I met back then. Plus, I will always have fond memories of the time that I have spent in cafeteria, sipping my “Caramel macchiato” during group studies sessions with my friends. And of course happy hours at the Magenta Bar at the end of classes!
Tanti saluti dell'Italia!”
I just hope you did enjoy Linda’s post like the others from the series, and please don’t be scared or intimidated to contact the authors in case of any further questions. We are all here for you and we all should support each other, especially in current difficult and uncertain times. And let’s be honest: who doesn’t want to study in Italy??
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Have a great day (Thursday/ Friday??)