Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law (German) has been an integral part of Heidelberg University from its foundation in 1386. Throughout the subsequent centuries renowned scholars have taught here. Today, it is one of the outstanding law faculties in Germany with a reputation for excellence all over the world.
international moot court competitions
The Faculty is notable for a focus on legal principles and dogma coupled with a keen appreciation of the requirements of legal practice, making it a pioneer of attorney-oriented legal training in Germany. Students participate regularly and with great success in German, European and international moot court competitions (German), where mock courts try hypothetical law and arbitration cases.

A great tradition

As an academic discipline, the study of law involves reflection upon and the development of norms and conflict settlement programmes accepted by society for the conduct and regulation of life in the community. As such it mirrors and engages with the challenges posed by the increasingly complex nature of life in the modern world. Its specific role in the academic canon is clearly defined. Among the outstanding Heidelberg law scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries were such luminaries as Anton Friedrich Justus Thibaut, Bernhard Windscheid, Karl Joseph Anton Mittermaier, Johann Caspar Bluntschli, Georg Jellinek, Otto von Gierke, Gerhard Anschütz and Gustav Radbruch. The Faculty is fully alive to this glorious tradition and the obligations it imposes both for the present and the future. The status it enjoys makes it a prominent operative factor in developing and disseminating continental European legal thinking in the global context.

a profil in teaching
The Teachers

The Institutes

The Faculty in the Internet:

The main research interests of the Faculty centre around the following topics: harmonisation of private and public law at a European and international level; the ongoing refinement and adaptation of commercial, fiscal and labour legislation; the design of a legal framework for dealing with issues posed by statehood and European and global transnationality; criminology; the history of law. These interests are pursued by the relevant institutes dedicated to German and European corporate and commercial law, foreign and international private and business law, German and European administrative law, financial and fiscal legislation, European and international medical law, health legislation and bioethics, criminology, and the history of law. The Faculty is also closely associated with the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law.

There is no more trenchant statement on the perennial issues involved in the education of academically trained lawyers of sound judgement than the memorandum addressed by professors of the Faculty to their ruler, Elector Friedrich IV, back in 1604: "The Heidelberg School envisaged is not a trivial [= elementary] or particular [= specialist] school; its aim is to provide a universal course of study."

The universal perspective

In Heidelberg, this universal grounding leading up to the First State Examination is based on a broad range of classes on core subjects, fundamentals and more specialised aspects of law. They include study-integrated "attorney oriented" training, moot courts, lecture programmes (Federal judges, symposia, visiting professors from abroad), foreign language instruction courses for lawyers and a special exam preparation programme. A new feature is the specific Heidelberg profile of special subjects for the part of the examination organised by the Faculty. For several years now, the University of Heidelberg has had the highest application rate in Germany for places in its law school.

ideal conditions for study
Heidelberg has a number of excellent law collections providing ideal conditions for study and research.

The Faculty's international contacts are wide-ranging. It provides an extensive exchange programme for its students and offers graduates from foreign universities all over the world a much sought-after LLM programme. In collaboration with the law faculties of the Universities of Cracow and Mainz it established a School of German Law for Polish students at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow in 1998 and with the same partners it runs a European postgraduate research group on "System Transformation and Law Harmonisation in the Uniting Europe". It is also actively involved in the development of the German-speaking¬† Andrássy University of Budapest, conducts an LLM programme on International Law in Santiago de Chile and maintains close partnerships with law faculties in Montpellier, Cambridge, Ferrara, Budapest, Cracow, Georgetown and Porto Alegre.

advancement of students and young scholars
One of the cherished concerns of the Faculty of Law is the advancement of students and young scholars. The high quality of law education in Heidelberg is reflected in the number of doctorates awarded here every year, which is well above the national average. The ceremonial presentation of the certificates takes place at the end of the summer semester in the Great Hall of the Old University. It is an annual highpoint in the Law Faculty calendar.
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Latest Revision: 2018-05-23
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