Initial training of lawyers in the European Union



General description

Is initial training offered, if yes is it compulsory?

Following the National Code of Lawyers initial professional training for all trainees, who request to become a fully fledged lawyer. The initial training is organised by each of 63 existing local Bars of the Greek State for their registered trainees.

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

As per the domestic law there there is no discrimination or difference tbetween the trainings between trainees for salaried lawyers or advocates. Salaried lawyers and advocates are all lawyers and they have the same rights and obligations before the law.

Which entities are responsible for organising initial training?

Each of the 63 Bars are responsible for the initial training of their trainee members.

What is the statutory basis for initial training?

The 63 Greek Bars, having the exclusive role to organise the initial training in their jurisdiction territory [article 14.Code of Lawyers], and the Plenary Session of Presidents of Greek Bars decide jointly about the nationwide examinations [ article 19/Code of Lawyers].

Access to the initial training

Are there conditions for accessing the training?

A trainee lawyer who proves that they have fulfilled the conditions laid down in Section –B- of the national Code of Lawyers [article 10,11] is entitled to sit for the bar. The prerequisites for a trainee lawyer are:

  1. No record of convictions by penal courts,
  2. Has obtained a law degree ,
  3. Is fully legally competent [article 7/Code of Lawyers].

After the completion of an 18 months (set length) professional training in a private law firm or law department of a company the trainee has the right to participate in the final exams.

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

Under the professional law the trainee does not have to attend professional training courses, because training is not mandatory neither in initial training neither in continuous training.

Are there alternative access routes to the training?

Former Lawyers can be reappointed within 5 years of their resignations. If more years have passed the former lawyer should prove before the competent Counsel of the Bar that he was carrying out duties relevant to the legal profession.

Format and content of the initial training

What is the duration and time frames of the training?

Professional initial training lasts eighteen (18) months and begins from the registration of the trainee in the Bar of his choice. The induction period is not divided into stages.

How is the training organised?

Training is organised in a decentralised manner, each local Bar has the control and monitors the initial training of their trainee members.

Who are the trainers?

Usually the initial training is provided by full time professional lawyers (law firms, legal departments of companies), who are experts in a special area of law.

What is the content and objectives of the initial training?

  • Constitutional and administrative law,
  • Civil law and civil proceeding law,
  • Criminal law and criminal proceeding law
  • Commercial law
  • Deontology, professional regulations governing the provision of legal services
  • Practical training – appearance before a court/participations.

Who designs the initial training programmes?

Bars, Law Associations, non profit professional organisations and private training companies provide initial training to the trainees. It is a decision of the trainee as to which courses they will attend in order prepare for the final exams.

What methodology is used for the training?

A trainee has the right to appear before for the Court with the representation of a fully fledged lawyer, to sign documents and submit to the judicial secretary and attend the training activities of their choice (lectures, conference participation, e-learning etc).

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

A trainee, after the completion of the induction period of 18 months, must take only one examination on the following fields:

  • Constitutional and administrative law,
  • Civil law and civil proceeding law,
  • Criminal law and criminal proceeding law
  • Commercial law
  • National Code of Lawyers-Deontology.

The exam is created and organised by the Plenary Session of the Presidents of the Greek bars (63 in total) twice per year.

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

At the end of period of 18 months, at the final written exams.

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


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

There are no provisions regarding EU Law.

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

The Greek Bars do not follow the principle of NUMERUS CLAUSUS regarding the number of the trainees that can be registered as fully qualified lawyers (no bans, no limitations).

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?

The examination procedure of trainees is regulated by Section C of national Code of Lawyers (articles 18,19,20,21,22). The exams are written and organised twice per year by the Plenary Session of the Presidents of the Greek bars (63 in total) . The written test is common for all the trainees of Greek Bars and lasts two days.

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

After passing the Bar Exam, the trainee is appointed by the Ministry of Justice as fully qualified Lawyer. After the official appointment the former trainee takes the oath before a penal court and can be registered in the Register of Lawyers maintained by the Bar Association of his choice.

Last update: 11/07/2023

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