Becoming a lawyer in the Czech Republic: an overview of available faculties
Legal education in the Czech Republic is considered to be prestigious. Very high requirements are set for its quality in the Czech Republic; therefore, the Law degrees are available only in four state universities. These are Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký University Olomouc and West Bohemian University in Plzen.
There is always a big competition for law faculties in the Czech Republic. Only 27% of new applicants are admitted to the Law Faculty of Charles University, about 40% of students get into Masaryk University and Palacký University. The easiest way is to enrol in a course at the University of West Bohemia. Last year 70% of applicants were admitted there.
If you are interested in history and social sciences, if you like to work with information, participate in discussions and obtain a qualification with a wide potential in terms of employment, then you should enrol in a law degree program at a Czech university.
99% of graduates of the Czech law schools find a job within six months after graduation. Many graduates of the Czech law schools often find jobs in Europe, outside of the Czech Republic, for example, in EU organizations.
5 years to get a Master’s degree
The difference of studying Law in the Czech Republic is that training is not divided into Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. High school graduates enrol in a 5-year continuing education program and study until they graduate with a Master’s degree.
Comprehensive legal education in the Czech Republic
The Law degree in the Czech Republic provides a comprehensive legal education and prepares students for work in legal professions (judge, prosecutor, lawyer, notary, bankruptcy administrator, bailiff, arbitrator). The curriculum is theory based supplemented by practice training. As part of the training, students can choose to specialise in a certain legal area.
What is a comprehensive legal education?
As part of the compulsory subjects, students study all of the main disciplines related to law:
– Theory of law
– Roman law
– History of law
– Political Science
– Civil law
– Constitutional law
– European law
– Civil procedural law
– Private international law and international trade law
– International state law
– Criminal law
– Administrative law
– Employment law
– Financial law
– Environmental law
– Social security law
Faculty of Law dating back to 1348
The Prague Faculty of Law is one of four faculties that were established in 1348 when Charles University was founded.
For more than six centuries, the Faculty of Law at Charles University reflected political, cultural and social developments of the Czech and the European society and had a direct impact on its development. The history of the Faculty of Law at Charles University reflects the development of law and legal education in the Central Europe.
It is one of the largest faculties of law in Europe. Today more than 4,000 students come here to study. The faculty collaborates with dozens of overseas law faculties from around the world through student and teacher exchanges and joint academic research.
Naturally, the students of the Faculty of Law at Charles University have many exchange opportunities. Within the framework of Erasmus, 150 foreign students come to Prague every year to get acquainted with the basics of the Czech law in a European context at the Faculty of Law. The same number of Czech students leave for foreign universities, the majority (about 3/5) study in English in Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. One fifth of students travel to German-speaking countries. The rest go to France, Italy or Spain. Within the framework of inter-faculty agreements, 10 students annually travel to non-European countries – to universities in Japan, China, Canada, the USA or Australia.
The next advantage of studying law at Charles University is the large number of additional subjects in the field of law: law in health care, sports law, Chinese language and introduction to Chinese law, mooting skills, lawyering skills, Latin for lawyers. Students also have the opportunity to study legal subjects in foreign languages.
Law students can add any subjects from the remaining 16 faculties of Charles University to their curriculum. Also, students can choose teachers that suit them best.
How to enrol in a program at the Faculty of Law at Charles University
The Faculty of Law at Charles University does not carry out its own entrance examinations. Students are admitted based on the SCIO National Comparison Exams.
Applicants must pass two national exams – General Prerequisites for Teaching (abbreviation – OSP) and Fundamentals of Social Sciences (ZSV). In this case, the OSP result is more important, so it is multiplied by a factor of 1.25. ZSV result is multiplied by a factor of 0.75.
The test result shows a percentile (percentage of applicants who scored less or the same number of points).
OSP and ZSV can be taken 6 times throughout the year and the faculty will accept the best result.
Applicants can receive additional points by providing certificates of foreign language knowledge (English, German, French, Spanish) at the B2 level or higher. You can provide a maximum of two certificates and get 10 points. Czech applicants can receive additional points for excellent results in final exams or participation in academic competitions. Unfortunately, this opportunity does not apply to foreign students.
Every year there is a huge interest in studying at the Faculty of Law at Charles University. Last year, 2,579 applicants tried to get in and only 650 were accepted.
Faculty of Law at Masaryk University in Brno
At Charles University in Prague there is no compulsory practice placement at the Faculty of Law. Masaryk University in Brno has . In the course of study students undergo practical training for at least 40 days, for example, in court, law office, notary office, at a ministry or in a tax office. The faculty helps students to choose the place of practical placement.
Also, there are so-called legal clinics at the faculty to help students develop their practical skills. Students can take part in legal clinics, where they will learn to handle real cases with the help of expert practitioners.
“I remember my studies at the Faculty of Law at Masaryk University with joy. I gained excellent knowledge of private law, international law and other legal specialisations. In combination with my studies in the Netherlands and Canada, Masaryk University prepared me well for international advocacy. A third of my colleagues from the Prague office graduated from Masaryk University and many of them were able to prove themselves excellently on internships in the foreign offices of White & Case – both in London and in New York. “
How to enrol in a program at the Faculty of Law at Masaryk University
The applicants to the Faculty of Law, as well as to all other faculties of Masaryk University (with the exception of the medical faculty), must pass the Test for Prerequisites for Teaching (TSP).
This is the test of Masaryk University that is an analogue of OSP SCIO. TSP exam takes place at the end of April.
TSP exam consists of 60 questions, divided into 6 tests. They test your verbal skills, critical, analytical, logical and spatial thinking, general knowledge. The test that checks critical thinking includes 6 questions in a foreign language (you can choose English, German, Spanish or French).
The outcome of the test, as in the cases with the SCIO tests, is the calculated percentile (the percentage of applicants who scored less or the same number of points).
How to prepare for the test? There is no literature for preparation. You just have to work your way through the past tests. Tests, answer keys and basic statistics are all available online at http://www.muni.cz/tsp/.
Faculty of Law in Olomouc
Olomouc is a small town and there are fewer international law firms there than in Prague or Brno. However, the graduates of the Faculty of Law from Palacký University Olomouc are also in demand. There are 170 lawyers in Olomouc and there are branches of large law firms in Olomouc.
The faculty in Olomouc attracts students mostly because it offers the most practical education of all Czech faculties of law. Practice training starts from the 1st year.
How to enrol in a program at the Faculty of Law at Palacký University Olomouc
Applicants must pass two national comparative exams – General Prerequisites for Teaching (abbreviation – OSP) and Fundamentals of Social Sciences (ZSV). In OSP the results of the oral part are more important (factor 0.7), than the analytical one (factor 0.3). In ZSV this is what you get: state and law outcome (factor 0.5), economy and world (factor 0.3), and person and society (factor 0.2).
The faculty accepts 280 students annually. Last year, the faculty accepted applications from 1,320 applicants, 511 were accepted, 284 students enrolled. (Many accepted applicants chose another faculty). The last applicant accepted into the faculty last year achieved a percentile of 119 out of a maximum 200.
Faculty of Law of the University of West Bohemia
The Faculty of Law of the University of West Bohemia was founded in 1993 on the initiative of Plzen lawyers and with the support of the Plzen City Administration. In 2017 the faculty started publishing its own scientific journal Právnické listy.
How to enrol in a program at the Faculty of the University of West Bohemia
The faculty also accepts OSP and ZSV SCIO results. Different parts of the tests here also have various importance. For OSP, the verbal part (factor 0.6) is more important than the analytical part (factor 0.4). For ZSV – state and law (0.5), person and society (0.3), economy and world (0.2).
Additional 80 points can be obtained for successful completion of the Fundamentals of Law course at the faculty.
Last year it was necessary to score at least 1030 out of the maximum 2000 points.
604 out of 893 applicants were admitted last year (only 314 of them became students).
How to prepare for admission?
Whichever faculty of law in the Czech Republic you choose to apply to, you need to practice tests for general prerequisites for learning. In addition, in all universities, except for Masaryk University, you will need to study social sciences. You need to understand that the Czech school curriculum in social sciences is very broad. You need to pay a lot of attention to social studies and cover some topics on your own. You will also need to know modern European history.
To prepare for tests for general learning ability – OSP or TSP, you need to train using past years tests. Answering speed is very important. The tasks themselves are simple and if there were no time limits, many applicants would have answered all of the questions correctly. But there are a lot of tasks, and you will have only 1 minute to complete each one.
To prepare, you need to solve as many tasks as possible from the previous years. Over time, you will learn to deal with them quickly and find your own ways of how to solve certain types of tasks.
Unlike TSP, OSP does not have options from previous years available for public access. There is only one sample test on the SCIO website. However, since the difference between OSP and TSP is minimal, we recommend using TSP tests to prepare for OSP. You can also purchase a dedicated OSP test set for preparation from SCIO.
You can learn how to solve all parts of the test, but the main thing is training. There are preparatory courses that specifically teach you to solve problems quickly. Test questions are standard, the principles are constantly repeated, you just need to train a lot. It is also important to use all 6 SCIO test attempts whenever possible.
“When I applied to the Faculty of Law, I was very worried that no one would accept me. But it turned out that I just have the best classmates, who helped me a lot with the language, with the placement of semantic stress and with the minimization of my accent. Everyone understands that it is difficult, especially to move from another country, to study in another language. Everyone supported me – not only my classmates, but also teachers. The Faculty of Law accepts everyone. There are students from all over the world here, even people from Japan or Korea, and they all speak Czech. Everybody supports each other. It’s a very friendly faculty. “
Fall-back option – “zero year”
The national comparative exams OSP and ZSV are not designed for foreigners. OSP has a lot of large texts and there are questions on lexical nuances. Many questions of ZSV need a good knowledge of Czech realities.
It is possible to prepare and pass OSP and ZSV and reach the required standard for admission. But since “Law” at the Faculty of Law at Charles University is a very popular specialisation, applicants with very high scores (from 90 for each test) come here.
For foreign applicants, a paid “zero year” may become an opportunity to enter the Faculty of Law. Participants of the “zero year” go through the program of the 1st year – attend lectures and seminars, take tests and exams. After successful completion of the “zero year”, they become full-time students.
- The tuition fee for the “zero year” of the Faculty of Law is 49,000 CZK.
- “Zero year” studies take place mostly on Thursdays (after lunch), on Friday and Saturday (all day).
- A “zero year” graduate of the Faculty of Law, who satisfies all academic requirements, receives 60 credits and an academic record of 2.25. After submitting an application to the admissions office, the student is then accepted for 1st year without entrance exams.
Most Czech law graduates start their careers as Judicial Assistants. Three years after receiving the practical training required by law, they take the bar examinations. Enrolment in the Bar Association allows you to climb the career ladder: to get a job in a law office or to open your own.
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