The European Union supports the project "Modernising European Legal Education" (MELE) with 450.000€ over a period of 3 years
Together with eight other European partners, the Universities of Belgrade (Serbia), Zagreb (Croatia), Skopje (Northern Macedonia), Cadiz (Spain), Vilnius (Lithuania), Groningen (Netherlands), Regent's University London (United Kingdom) and the South Eastern European Law School Network, the project "Modernising European Legal Education" from Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, Director of the Europa-Institut will be awarded the grant by the European Union. "We are very pleased that the selection committee found our project application and the idea behind it to be innovative and eligible for funding. Together with our partners, we look forward to the exciting and important work in the next three years", says Prof. Dr. Thomas Giegerich, head of the project.
What it is about
The aim of the project is to prepare young law students for the European job market and to equip them with the necessary interdisciplinary and fundamental tools for a digital and diverse future.
Effective education and vocational training systems are the cornerstones of just, open and democratic societies and of sustainable growth and employment. In this context, the question increasingly arose whether training and teaching methods, especially in the field of law, are still up-to-date to meet the needs of the profession. "At present, students are trained in very traditional methods that focus exclusively on the teaching of legal knowledge. Although this is a priority task of the university, the Europeanization of the labor market and also of science should not be lost sight of," explains Mareike Fröhlich, the project coordinator. Therefore, the consortium believes that additional competences and skills are needed to ensure a high degree of employability of the lawyers. The changes in the traditional legal labor market, for example the digitalization of court proceedings and the globalization of cases, require a review of legal education approaches and teaching methods to ensure that graduates are prepared for such new developments.
The consortium partners of MELE therefore intend to improve the transversal competences and academic skills of students. In addition, they aim to raise awareness of cross-cutting issues such as gender issues, the European Green Deal and climate change, digitisation and multi-level governance in legal education. To this end, the partners will jointly develop an online course on academic work in a European context, a methodological case for innovative teaching and events on the above-mentioned topics.
On 17 and 18 December 2020 MELE had its kick-off-meeting. Due to the corona pandemia the meeting was held online and around 70 participants took part. Besides welcoming adresses by the vice-president of Saarland University Prof. Dr. Claudia Polzin-Haumann, the project was introduced to all participants who participated actively in the discussion afterwards. Moreover, Dr. Ulrich Stege from ENCLE (European Network for Clinical Legal Education) shared his view about modern teaching in legal education by using clinical legal education. All participants are looking forward to the upcoming events and activities in 2021.