Starting with this issue of the magazine, will unveil some insights into the educational programmes of the law schools from Central and Eastern Europe, starting with the biggest six law schools in Romania. The article in this number is dedicated to law freshmen and future upper secondary school graduates who might consider a career in law. 



The Romanian educational law system aims to prepare newly high school graduates who have a baccalaureate diploma for becoming law practitioners by offering them a set of courses that cover the main fields of law. Law students must complete a four year license program before getting to practice law as legal counsels or aiming to become lawyers, prosecutors or judges after passing further exams.

The largest law school in Romania, the Faculty of Law from the University of Bucharest, offered 1000 places for the license programme during 2014’s admission exam. The exam consisted of 60 questions of Romanian language and 40 questions of Economy and took about 4 hours. 

The second biggest law school, the Faculty of Law of Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca welcomed this year more than 600 high school graduates. The evaluation criterion was 50% the baccalaureate grade and 50 % the result of a logical reasoning test organised by the faculty. 

Similar to BBU’s Law School criterion is the admission procedure at the Faculty of Law from the West University of Timisoara, which assigned 560 places for next year’s license program. The difference is that the test organised by the faculty also has a language knowledge component. 

The Faculty of Law from The University of Iasi also takes into account the baccalaureate grade as 50% of the admission grade, but  50% of it is given based on the evaluation of the Romanian language made by the faculty‘s staff. The law school from Iasi has more than 360 places available for candidates during this year’s admission contest. 

The Law School from the University of Craiova had two separate criteria for the admission: for students who applied for funded places the admission criterion was the Romanian language exam organised by the faculty, while the students who applied for non-funded places were ranked solely by their baccalaureate grade. 

What to expect the first year at these law schools 

The first year of law school is of the utmost importance as it aims to create a useful basis for the next three years by shaping students’ legal thinking and vocabulary. Therefore, the majority of the subjects studied during the first year are focused on achieving common legal skills and basic knowledge. 

Studied in all these law schools during the first semester, the General Theory of Law aims to familiarise law freshmen with legal terms or concepts from different areas of law, while taking a look at the general structure of the legal system Students are taught the structure of norms, as well as the relations between the different types of norms in a legal system. 

Roman Law is studied during the first or second semester, or, in the case of the Law school from Bucharest, during both semesters of the first year. The subject focuses on presenting the legal system of ancient Rome as being the origin of most legal systems and the current legal terminology. 

As Romania is among the states which have a codified constitution, junior undergraduates study Constitutional Law. After one or sometimes two semesters of intense study of this subject, students are expected to know the content of the Romanian Constitution, the hierarchy of norms in the Romanian legal system, as well as specific information about the main institutions in the state. . 

Probably one of the most important subjects in the Romanian legal teaching system is Introduction in Civil Law. Law students learn aspects of private law throughout all the four years of college, but during the first year, Romanian law faculties focus their courses on offering information about the Civil Code and on different branches of private law. Students learn about the status of persons or entities in private law, the different types of juridical acts and the requirements for their validity, as well as the consequences of disregarding them. 

Most law students, except, those from Iasi, begin to study Administrative Law during the second semester of the first year. The subject is focused mainly on the structure of the Romanian administration and the study of different administrative acts.  

The History of Romanian Law is a compulsory subject both in Bucharest and Craiova. However, it is only optional for students in Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, and Iasi. 

Another interesting aspect is that the law school in Bucharest has a compulsory subject focused on the organisation and ethics of legal professions. A similar subject is taught in Sibiu, called organisation of liberal judicial professions, focused rather on administrative aspects of legal professions. Also, unlike other law schools from Romania, the Faculty of Law from Craiova includes Philosophy and Economy in the curricula as mandatory subjects. These two subjects can be found as optional on the lists of the other law schools. 

A particularity is that during the first year, the faculties from Cluj-Napoca and Iasi focus more on international law than the others. In the first semester, the law school from Iasi has General European Law as a compulsory subject, aiming to prepare students for the study of Institutional Law of the EU. This is studied at both law schools in the second semester. The law school from Cluj-Napoca also has lectures on Public International Law. At the end of the first year, students are expected to be able to work with concepts of international, be familiarised with European Union law and history, correctly identify European institutions and other international institutions, and understand the system of the European legislation. 

In conclusion, during the first year, the most important law schools in Romania opt for an intensive study programme of basic legal information, regarding both internal and international matters. It is essential for first year students to acquire certain abilities which are vital for the coming college years. By studying the analysed subjects, students are not only encouraged to work with specific terms, deal with elementary legal problems and learn to do a thorough research on different juridical matters, but also assisted in gaining a solid knowledge foundation. 

The data presented in this article is based on 2014’s Admission procedure and on the curricula for the academic year 2013-2014. The information regarding the admission procedures might be different for postgraduates of other faculties, who think of applying for any of these law schools. For further details, please check the websites of these law schools (links listed below). 

Faculty of Law – University of Bucharest

Faculty of Law – Babes-Bolyai University 

Faculty of Law – Alexandru Ioan Cuza University 

Faculty of Law and Administration – Western University 

Faculty of Law – University of Craiova 

Faculty of Law – Lucian Blaga University 






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