Initial training of lawyers in the European Union

Portugalija

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Portugalija

General description

Is initial training offered, if yes is it compulsory?

Yes, initial training takes a maximum of 18 months, under article 186º and following of our Statute approved by Law 145/2015. For regulations access here.

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

No difference except during the first phase of internship, whereby trainees have specific training on practices not covered by academic studies and deontology. They are submitted to an exam and then, during the second phase of internship, trainees can attend some court sessions.

Which entities are responsible for organising initial training?

The Portuguese Bar Association (Ordem dos Advogados) through its Regional Councils, in each region (Lisboa, Oporto, Coimbra, Faro, Évora, Madeira and Azores) is responsible for organising the initial training.

What is the statutory basis for initial training?

Article 186º and following of our Statute approved by Law 145/2015. The regulations can be found here.

There is a Trainee’s guide by the Regional Council of Lisbon available.

Access to the initial training

Are there conditions for accessing the training?

A Law Degree (complete graduation, no Master in Law attendance or completion) is required.

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

Only the Regional Councils take applications.

Are there alternative access routes to the training?

None.

Format and content of the initial training

What is the duration and time frames of the training?

Exact duration may vary slightly but has maximum length of 18 months.

Every year, a date for applications is published. As explained above there are two phases: one with training on deontology and procedural law specifics on Civil, Labour and Criminal law, followed by a written exam. Then a second phase, with court diligences and cases, which ends with a final written exam and an oral exam.

How is the training organised?

It is run by each Regional Council, either live or on line. Sometimes there are joint conferences with Universities but always under the supervision of the Bar Association.

Who are the trainers?

Trainers are recruited among full time professionals.

What is the content and objectives of the initial training?

Defined by the National Evaluation Committee and the National Training Committee (CNA and CNEF).

Who designs the initial training programmes?

The training is designed by the National Evaluation Committee and the National Training Committee (CNA and CNEF).

What methodology is used for the training?

Small lectures, moot courts, court diligences, mentoring with a Patron on joint cases are used during training.

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

Duties and responsibilities of a trainee are laid out in article 196 of the Statute of the Bar Association

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

By the trainers, as defined in questions, "What is the duration and time frames of the training?" and "What is the content and objectives of the initial training?" above.

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

No, not during the initial training.

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

EU Law will be a part of the items covered during the course but not as a separate subject per se.

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

No limit - numbers have been decreasing each year.

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?

By the trainers, as defined in questions, "What is the duration and time frames of the training?" and "What is the content and objectives of the initial training?" above.

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

No - after succeeding in the oral exam, trainees become full members.

Last update: 03/07/2023

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