Initial training of lawyers in the European Union


Content provided by:

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 period of stage trainees have a specific training on practice not covered by academic studies as well as Deontology. They are submitted to an exam and then, during the second period of stage, trainees can attend some court sessions.

Which entities are responsible for organising initial training?

Ordem dos Advogados through its Regional Councils, in each region (Lisboa, Oporto, Coimbra, Faro, Évora, Madeira and Azores).

What is the statutory basis for initial training?

Article 186º and following of our Statute approved by Law 145/2015. For regulations access here.

Trainee’s guide by Regional Council of Lisbon.

Access to the initial training

Are there conditions for accessing the training?

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

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

Only Regional Councils take applications documentation.

Are there alternative access routes to the training?


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, date for applications is published. As explained above there are two stages: one with training on Deontology and Procedural law specifics on Civil, Labour and Criminal, followed by a written exam. Then a second stage, with court diligences and cases, ends with final written exam and 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 Ordem dos Advogados.

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?

Same as 3.4.

What methodology is used for the training?

All mentioned: small lectures, moot courts, court diligences, mentoring with a Patron on joint cases.

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

Duties and responsibilities of a trainee are laid on article 196.

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

By the trainers, as defined in 3.1 and 3.4.

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 treated 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?

Same as 3.1 and 3.4.

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

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

Last update: 03/02/2022

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.