The University of Passau offers many exciting and often unique ways to engage with the common law around the globe. The United Kingdom and the United States of America, arguably the two most relevant common law jurisdictions and certainly two of Germany’s most important political allies and trading partners, stand at the center of this effort.
Students can study core aspects of U.S. law (torts, contracts and constitutional law) in Passau as part of SPBe 27 and 28. Students can also take SPB 29 in the U.S. as Freemovers at their own expense. Institutions hosting Freemovers must offer a dissertation module and an oral exam in order to qualify for SPB 29.
Students with an interest in a fully qualifying English law degree can enroll with the University of London upon joining Passau and take both the Certificate of Higher Education in Common Law and, subsequently, the LL.B. Passau is an Affiliate Centre of the University of London and the only law school in Germany to offer this course of study. Students registered with the University of Passau are admitted to the Certificate every October and follow a two-year program taught in parallel with the regular German law curriculum. Exams are administered in Passau and assessed by the University of London every May. The LL.B is the natural extension of the Certificate and offered in a distance learning format by the University of London. Studies for the LL.B can also be conducted at Passau. Tuition for Certificate and LL.B are paid directly to the University of London.
An LL.B awarded by the University of London meets the requirements of Schwerpunktbereich 29 at Passau and can be certified as the university portion of the German First State Exam (Juristische Universitätsprüfung). Students can also complete SPB 29 in the UK as Freemovers at their own expense. Institutions hosting Freemovers must offer a dissertation module and an oral exam in order to qualify for SPB 29.
Language and cultural literacy are indispensible keys to the understanding of foreign legal systems. The Fachspezifische Fremdsprachenausbildung (FFA) has for years now offered law students at Passau an important entry point to the common law. Courses covering critical linguistic skills, basic legal concepts and important cultural insights to the English legal system are taught by native English speakers and qualified lawyers from the Anglo-American world. The program is organized at different levels of language proficiency over a period of normally six semesters.
Passau offers a limited number of tuition-free slots at Tulane Law School in New Orleans. Courses completed with a B+ or better at Tulane are credited towards an LL.M if students continue their studies in New Orleans within two years of passing their exams during their semester abroad. Passau is currently seeking an extension of this rule to three years. Students can also seek alternative opportunities as Freemovers at their own expense.
Passau offers a limited number of tuition-free slots in Cardiff, Hull and Dundee via ERASMUS. Students can also seek alternative opportunities as Freemovers at their own expense. A year abroad is a natural link between the Certificate in Higher Legal Education and the LL.B but the selection process is not limited to students who have enrolled with the University of London. All students interested in studying in the UK are invited to apply.
Passau has negotiated attractive conditions for graduates who wish to take an LL.M after their First State Exam. Scholarships of at least 50% lead to a considerable reduction of tuition fees for qualified applicants at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and Tulane Law School in New Orleans. Substantial administrative support, both during the application process and the stay abroad, is provided by the Chair of Common Law.
Careful selection of courses during an LL.M at a law school approved by the American Bar Association can help secure admission to a U.S. bar exam after applicants pass the German Second State Exam and are registered as lawyers in Germany. The Chair of Common Law can provide additional information and advice.
The Chair of Common Law encourages graduate research in all areas of Anglo-American law while most regular chairs at Passau will entertain proposals in German law that include a comparative common law component. A doctoral thesis at Passau can be written and defended in English