The Süddeutsche Zeitung has an interview in German with Sonja Pelikan, who passed the first state examination for law students, which tests the academic part of law studies (roughly equivalent to British LL.B. or U.S. J.D.) with extraordinarily high marks.
My impression of German law exams is founded on nothing but hearsay. I have the feeling they seem like a lottery to the candidates. Whatever they learn at university, it is not how to pass these exams. Sonja seems to have done it by doing dozens of practice tests. She says that in the last year before the exam she did over a hundred 5-hour tests.
Sonja thinks the exam is so difficult because the candidates have to know everything they ever learnt in law school at the date of the exam, whereas in other subjects you can complete parts of the course earlier.
She did use a crammer (Repetitor – see earlier entry here) – a different one for each subject.
Sonja wants to do a doctorate and then the practical part of her training and get at least 9 points in the second state exam. After that she will be a Volljuristin or fully-qualified lawyer. She can apply even now to be called a Diplom-Juristin. This is a fairly new thing – giving someone who has come at least as far as an LL.B. student a qualification.