Diplom-Jurist

Rainer Langenhan in Handakte WebLAWg has an entry on the Diplom-Jurist. The link to JuraWiki gives a list of German universities offering this qualification.
(While there, try out QuickTrans – mark a word and QuickTrans will call up a number of possibilities from LEO. Well, it didn’t like anhängig (pending) or bayernweit (throughout the whole of Bavaria), but for Entscheidung (decision) it produced:

bq. german-english translation of Entscheidung: adjudication, arbitration, decision
frank-deu-eng translation of Entscheidung: decision, findings, run (C)
ding-ger-eng translation of Entscheidung: adjudication, arbitration, decision, decision-making

Law students study for four or five years (?) and do the first state exam (Erstes Staatsexamen). After this they used to have no title, but some universities now let them call themselves Diplom-Jurist or Magister iuris.

These titles aren’t translatable, but the German terms could be alternated with a looser reference to ‘Diploma in Law’ and ‘Master of Law’, I offer tentatively. (Or laws? I used to think that it was just common-law, but there is a Magister Legum in German law, so maybe that’s OK).

Here are some other words for lawyers in Germany, offered without any translation at all!

Anwalt Rechtsanwalt Syndikus Jurist Richter Rechtspfleger Rechtsbeistand Notar Prozeßbevollmächtigter Advokat Rechtsberater Verteidiger Strafverteidiger Staatsanwalt Amtsanwalt Referendar Volljurist Assessor Wirtschaftsjurist
Fürsprech Fürsprecher
Winkeladvokat Gerichtsschreiber

12 thoughts on “Diplom-Jurist

  1. Ja, das gibt es zwar, aber eigentlich dachte ich an das österreichische Winkelschreiberverordnung:
    Verordnung des Justizministeriums vom 8. Juni 1857, wirksam für den ganzen Umfang des Reiches, mit Ausnahme des Militärgränze, betreffend die Behandlung der Winkelschreiber. Das musste jemand mal ins Englische übersetzen.

  2. Ansatzweise, I like your tentatively!
    Winkeladvokat has got the derogatory meaning of a shyster, though the Aus. Winkelschreiber – albeit gewerbsmäßig/in the course of trade – certainly looks like our old McKenzie or litigation friend. Legally unqualified firms back in the UK call themselves ‘Legal Advisers’ i.e. on immigration law etc.
    Jörg Haider of the Aus. FPÖ and ex-colleague Susanne Rieß-Passer were allowed to qualify as DrJuris back in the single-test days.
    The list of titles, incidentally, leaves out Konsulent(in) – a low-paid title bestowed on Jewish lawyers stripped of their Rechtsanwalt/ anwältin title in 1938 by the Berufsverbot.

  3. “… though the Aus. Winkelschreiber – albeit gewerbsmäßig/in the course of trade – certainly looks like our old McKenzie or litigation friend.”

    Austrian civil (and penal, for that matter) procedure knows three different cases of Anwaltspflicht (=compulsory representation by a lawyer, sorry for the clumsy translation): absolute A., relative A. oder keine A. Only in the latter (comparativley rare) case (keine Anwaltspflicht) you may chose to be represented by a third party other than a fully trained lawyer; as a result, there are almost no cases of Winkelschreiberei and “Litigation friends” are unheard of in Austria.

    “Jörg Haider of the Aus. FPÖ and ex-colleague Susanne Rieß-Passer were allowed to qualify as DrJuris back in the single-test days.”

    What do you mean “qualify”? This degree does not automatically qualify you to act as barrister/solicitor in terms of the Winkelschreibereiverordnung. This would mean at least another three or four years of training, which — to the best of my knowledge — Dres. Haider and Ries-Passer do not have.

  4. One more thing: “Magister iuris” (Mag. iur.) is the “default” title obtained by graduates from one of the five Austrian law schools. A “Dr. iur” can be obtained, if so desired, by writing a thesis etc etc., but relatively few people not interested in an academic career do so, as it ceased to be a requirement for various legal professions (judges, lawyers, notary publics.)

  5. Ingmar: don’t allow yourself to be confused by Adrian about ‘litigation friend’. Under the old Rules of the Supreme Court, a plaintiff who was a minor etc. was represented, usually by a parent, as ‘next friend’, and a defendant who was a minor was represented by a ‘guardian ad litem’. Under the new Civil Procedure Rules, these are both called ‘litigation friend’.

    So mag. iuris is like the German Erstes Staatsexamen? In Germany you do your basic law studies, pass the 1. Staatsexamen, then Referendariat, then 2. Staatsexamen, and then you are qualified to be a judge and can be called a Volljurist.

    I think you are right about compulsory or more often mandatory representation being the term for Anwaltspflicht.

  6. “So mag. iuris is like the German Erstes Staatsexamen?”

    Well, the German and the Austrian system of legal education are bit different. Most notably, there is no 2. Staatsexamen as such. After 4 years (or so, depending on your progress) you graduate as Mag. iur., another 2 years + doctorate thesis if you go for the Dr. As far as the university is concerned, that’s that, unless you opt for the academic career path.

    “In Germany you do your basic law studies, pass the 1. Staatsexamen, then Referendariat, then 2. Staatsexamen, and then you are qualified to be a judge and can be called a Volljurist.”

    There is a “Referendariat” in Austria, if you so will, lasting 9 months at two or three courts. This “Gerichtsjahr” (it used to be one year) is only mandatory if you want to work as a lawyer, judge, notary public etc, yet many people do it, even though they go on to work in private companies etc.

    If you want to become a judge you stay on as “Richteramtsanwärter” (provided they ask you to, which has become rare theses days), or you clerk with a lawyer (“Rechtsanwaltsanwärter”) or a notary public (“Notariatsanwärter”) for a couple of years (at least three or four, if memory serves) and after a final examination (Richteramtsprüfung, Rechtsanwaltsprüfung) you’re entitled to work as judge or lawyer.

    Unlike under the German system, there is no Volljurist entitled to do all these things, you have to specialise at some point after your university education.

  7. Thank you Ingmar for taking me to task and Margaret for helping me out! I’m warming to the idea of that rare species, Winkelschreiber, as an ‘unlicensed (personal or private) litigator’ as in the UK licensed/ unlicensed conveyancer dichotomy.

    I am afraid my ‘qualify’ was unintentionally ambiguous. I meant ‘obtain a DrJur’ – although ‘qualifying degree’ in the UK is certainly also an ‘academic-stage’ qualification allowing the candidate to go on to ‘vocational-stage’ training as a practising solicitor or barrister. I was more interested in provoking a reaction as to how acceptable these two political celebrities are, even as academic lawyers, to practising Austrian lawyers and judges who may prefer to disown them.

  8. Footnote to Ingmar’s rundown of training written the same time as my entry.

    I don’t understand how the Au. Konzipient(in)(zeit) fits into the picture, except as Rechtsanwaltsanwärter(in)(zeit). Austrians have told me to avoid the German Rechtsreferendar(in)(zeit).

  9. “I don’t understand how the Au. Konzipient(in)(zeit) fits into the picture, except as Rechtsanwaltsanwärter(in)(zeit).”

    Precisely as that. “Rechtsanwaltsanwärter” is the offical term, “Konzipient” (derived from Konzept, ie conception or draft) more informal and perhaps
    somewhat dated but still in widespread use.

    “Austrians have told me to avoid the German Rechtsreferendar(in)(zeit).”

    And rightly so :-) “Rechtsreferendar” has a distinct “German” (as in German German, as opposed to Austrian German) flavour. It would not be sufficiently clear what exactly you mean. Also note that “Konzipient” only means lawyer-in-training, if you will, while the German Rechtsreferendar is a broader term.

  10. I actually read a book by a woman – Katharina Zara (sp??) – about her trainee period in Vienna, but a long time ago and I can’t remember the system. Will have to see if I can find it again.

  11. I thought you were on holiday, Margaret.
    An Austrian woman judge suggested I stopped trans. work and do 9 months’ Gerichtspraxis – called at the Eng. & Wales Bar ‘marshalling scheme’ or shadowing the judge. Sounded interesting for a young student with no family ties and prepared to ‘marshal the judge’s case papers’.

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