Aalt Willem Heringa and Bram Akkermans, eds, Educating European Lawyers, Intersentia, 2011

Being a visiting scholar at the MEPLI and exposed to the rich and challenging intellectual life at the University of Maastricht, it seems difficult to deny that the Europeanization of legal education is indeed taking place and in full blossom. Yet, it must not be overlooked that the University of Maastricht has been pioneering a type of legal education that takes due account of the growing interdependence and interactions between formerly distinct spheres and subjects. The reasons why the Maastricht European Law School model still constitutes an exception are manifold and include a lack of competence of the European Union to adopt hard law in the field of education, the deeply rooted embeddedness of the legal discipline understood in a broad sense in national mindsets which also holds true for the labor market in law as well as language barriers, just to name a few of the obstacles that prevent a timely adaptation of legal education to the transnational legal reality.

Against this backdrop, “Educating European Lawyers”, edited by Aalt Willem Heringa and Bram Akkermans, two faculty members of the Faculty of Law of the University of Maastricht, provides invaluable insights into the experience of almost two decades of Europeanization and Internationalization of legal education. Given that many other universities feel the aspiration or pressure to Europeanize and internationalize their schools, their staff, their curricula and their academic output, the book offers a rich fund of information on the progress, the obstacles and the downsides that the faculty of law in Maastricht has been facing during the past 20 years. It may become mandatory reading for all those interested in advancing the discussion on European legal education and in particular for other law faculties that wish to follow this path in one way or another. 

read more