Initial training of lawyers in the European Union



General description

Is initial training offered, if yes is it compulsory?

Yes, a 3-year practical training period where the trainee works under a qualified lawyer (a Danish “Advokat”). During this practical training period, the trainee must attend courses, a written exam and a (practical) exam in litigation. The practical training period, courses and exams are compulsory.

Does initial training differentiate between categories of trainees, e.g. for in-house lawyers and advocates?

No differentiation. It is the same initial training for all future lawyers (however, see also subquestions 2.3 and 3.1).

Which entities are responsible for organising initial training?

The Danish Bar and Law Society (administration of courses and exams).

Private practices and law firms (practical training period).

What is the statutory basis for initial training?

The Administration of Justice Act – Chapter 12

Ministerial Order no. 1473 on mandatory training as a requirement to be admitted to practice law

Access to the initial training

Are there conditions for accessing the training?

A Danish bachelor’s degree in law and a Danish master’s degree in law.

What is the main recruitment procedure? If it is competitive - who runs it?

The Danish Bar and Law Society (courses and exams). Everyone who meets the requirements can be accepted if there are enough seats available.

Private practices and law firms (practical training period). According to supply and demand in the labour market.

Are there alternative access routes to the training?

Practical training period:

There are alternative access routes from judiciary, prosecution services, etc.

Courses and exams:

No alternative access routes. A Danish bachelor’s degree in law and a Danish master’s degree in law are required.

Format and content of the initial training

What is the duration and time frames of the training?

3-year practical training period with a qualified lawyer. Duration is fixed, but can be limited to 1 year with a qualified lawyer if the candidate has other relevant legal experience from the judiciary, prosecution service, etc. During the practical training period, the candidate has to attend a number of courses and pass two exams.

How is the training organised?

Administration of the courses, exams etc. is mainly in-house (the Danish Bar and Law Society) whereas courses and exams are conducted externally.

Who are the trainers?

Most of the trainers are full-time professionals.

What is the content and objectives of the initial training?

Procedural law

Legal skills

Non-legal professional skills (e.g. communication and negotiation)

Who designs the initial training programmes?

The Danish Bar and Law Society in cooperation with the training committee of the Ministry of Justice (this committee is responsible for the initial training).

What methodology is used for the training?

Lectures, exercises, including moot court, role plays etc.

What practical elements of the training are applicable to the trainees?


  • A Danish bachelor’s and a Danish master’s degree in law (see above)
  • The trainee must have registered for all courses, and all courses must have been paid for.
  • A passed written exam.
  • A passed exam in litigation.
  • 3-year practical training period (including experience with litigation).

How are trainees evaluated/assessed? How often and by whom?

One written exam (three attempts possible). Currently, written exams are conducted four times per year.

One exam in litigation - a real court case or a fictitious court case (three attempts possible). Exams in real court cases are conducted regularly

throughout the year. Exams in fictitious court cases are currently conducted four times per year.

Are there any training activities carried out in conjunction with other legal professionals? If yes: How does it work?

The practical training period (the trainee works under the supervision of an attorney (a Danish “Advokat”)).

Exam in litigation (in cooperation with judges, colleagues etc.).

What are the specificities regarding EU law training, linguistic training and European components of initial training, for example participation in CCBE or ELF activities?

Courses and exams: No specific EU law training (only indirectly through training in anti-money laundering etc.) and no linguistic training.

How many trainees are accepted for training? Are the numbers of trainees adjusted annually and by who?

Approx. 600 per year at the moment.

The number of trainees accepted depends on demand and the number of seats available. If demand continuously and significantly exceeds the number of seats available, the Danish Bar and Law Society in cooperation with the training committee of the Ministry of Justice will consider to set up more courses.

Termination of the initial training and qualification process

Does the initial training conclude with a final exam? How is it organised? Who is responsible for the exam?

Yes, a written exam and a practical exam in litigation.

The Danish Bar and Law Society organizes the written exam and the practical exam in litigation in a fictitious case and administrates the practical exam in litigation in a real case. The training committee of the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the training/courses and the exams.

Is there a further recruitment procedure to become a lawyer upon completion of the initial training?

After completion of the practical training period and the mandatory courses and exams, the candidate needs to apply for admission with the Ministry of Justice. On the basis of the submitted documentation, the Ministry of Justice will assess whether or not the candidate can be admitted and granted the title of “Advokat”.

Last update: 02/02/2022

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