Bar Exams in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania


auratus
I'm doing research comparing bar exams in the US to bar exams in central European Countries that recently joined the E.U. In particular I'm interested in answers to the following questions regarding the Bar Exams in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania:

How often and when is the bar exam administered? (For example - In February and July in most of the US)
How many days is the exam? (2-3 in the US)
Is it only written or is there an oral component? (Only written in the US)
How long do exam takers wait for results? (Several months in the US)
What is the bar passage rate? (Approximately 70% in CA and 50% in NY) (Very difficult information to find in English)
Can a candidate retake the bar exam if they fail? (Yes in the US)
How many times? (Unlimited in the US)
Must a candidate pass the bar exam within a certain number of years of completing law school? (May take and pass the bar at anytime in the US)
Also any good sources of information in English would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
I'm doing research comparing bar exams in the US to bar exams in central European Countries that recently joined the E.U. In particular I'm interested in answers to the following questions regarding the Bar Exams in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania:

How often and when is the bar exam administered? (For example - In February and July in most of the US)
How many days is the exam? (2-3 in the US)
Is it only written or is there an oral component? (Only written in the US)
How long do exam takers wait for results? (Several months in the US)
What is the bar passage rate? (Approximately 70% in CA and 50% in NY) (Very difficult information to find in English)
Can a candidate retake the bar exam if they fail? (Yes in the US)
How many times? (Unlimited in the US)
Must a candidate pass the bar exam within a certain number of years of completing law school? (May take and pass the bar at anytime in the US)
Also any good sources of information in English would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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k.m.
Hey,

I can give you some infos about the bar exam in Poland. However, you should know that 2 years ago there were major changes concerning the form of the exam and some further changements are still envisaged, however the infos I'll give you now concern the current situation.

Answering your questions: the exam takes place only once a year (last year it was 30 of June, this year should be also between 3rd saturday of June and 2nd saturday of July). The exam is adminsitered by Ministry of Justice. It lasts 4h and it's only a written exam, a multiple choice test of 250 questions. You wait approx. 3-4 days for the results. The bar passage rate varies between different cities but for example in Warsaw it was last year : 41 % for advocates and 56 % for legal counsels . A candidate can retake the Bar exam if she/he fails and it's not limited to any number, so basically you can try every year, I know a person who finally passed the exam after 5-6 times of taking it :) You can take the exam anytime after you finished law school and you possess a diploma of Master in law.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any source in english for what I've just wrote :) but if you need any further infos, just contact me.

Good luck,
Karolina
Hey,

I can give you some infos about the bar exam in Poland. However, you should know that 2 years ago there were major changes concerning the form of the exam and some further changements are still envisaged, however the infos I'll give you now concern the current situation.

Answering your questions: the exam takes place only once a year (last year it was 30 of June, this year should be also between 3rd saturday of June and 2nd saturday of July). The exam is adminsitered by Ministry of Justice. It lasts 4h and it's only a written exam, a multiple choice test of 250 questions. You wait approx. 3-4 days for the results. The bar passage rate varies between different cities but for example in Warsaw it was last year : 41 % for advocates and 56 % for legal counsels . A candidate can retake the Bar exam if she/he fails and it's not limited to any number, so basically you can try every year, I know a person who finally passed the exam after 5-6 times of taking it :) You can take the exam anytime after you finished law school and you possess a diploma of Master in law.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any source in english for what I've just wrote :) but if you need any further infos, just contact me.

Good luck,
Karolina
quote
jasq
This what Karolina wrote here is not a final bar exam but an entry exam for "Aplikacja" - professional legal training.

In Poland (and most civil law countries) you go to law school directly after the baccalaureate. You need to study 5 years to obtain your LLM degree (Magister; law studies in Poland are excluded from the Bachelor+Master system, only a unique 5 year Master's programs are available).

Polish LLM degree (or law degree from any EU Member State allowing to enter legal professions in that state - e.g. LLB for UK students) allows you to take the Aplikacja entrance exam. Aplikacja is a 3-year professional training conducted by respective Bars (we have several legal professions and each of them has its own organisation: Advocates; Legal Counels - something like advocates but specialised in business law, they can't defend natural persons in criminal matters; Notaries). During this training you attend lectures (once a week) and perform legal services at your Patron's office (once a week). After 6 months of Aplikacja you are allowed to substitute your Patron in certain court activities, after 18 months your substitution right is very wide. You may be employed by your patron and work in his office for the rest of the week. After three years (if you pass all the exams which are really hard) you get a certificate of completion of the Aplikacja. This allows you to take the respective Bar Exam.

There was a major change in Polish Bars entrance system. Before it was very closed and the situation became ridiculous. The new act opened the bars very widely (allowing to take the bar exam without the obligation to complete Aplikacja after 5 years of "legal work", for LLD holders etc.) and giving the decisional power on final exams to the Ministry of Justice. The Aplikacja entrance exam was changed to written single choice test (which has to be objective). The changes were often badly formed and the Constitutional Tribunal decided that some changes violate the Bars' self-governing constitutional right (e.g. it was not sure what is "5 years of work in a legal sector", and according to the Tribunal the Bars must have more impact on final exam questions). Some articles were declared as unconstitutional and we have to wait for the new law. As for now, it's working on a basis of two systems.

The final exam for Advocates and Legal Counsels:
- written part - 2 cases (you are given a set of documents and you must write e.g. a suit; Advocates: civil law and criminal law, Legal Counsels: civil law and administrative law)
- oral part before a commission

There are separate Aplikacja programs for Judges and Public Prosecutors (also directly after the Law School).
You don't need to take any exam if you hold a doktor habilitowany (Doctor Habilitatus) or Professor's degree in legal sciences. You may change your legal profession with no additional exam.
This what Karolina wrote here is not a final bar exam but an entry exam for "Aplikacja" - professional legal training.

In Poland (and most civil law countries) you go to law school directly after the baccalaureate. You need to study 5 years to obtain your LLM degree (Magister; law studies in Poland are excluded from the Bachelor+Master system, only a unique 5 year Master's programs are available).

Polish LLM degree (or law degree from any EU Member State allowing to enter legal professions in that state - e.g. LLB for UK students) allows you to take the Aplikacja entrance exam. Aplikacja is a 3-year professional training conducted by respective Bars (we have several legal professions and each of them has its own organisation: Advocates; Legal Counels - something like advocates but specialised in business law, they can't defend natural persons in criminal matters; Notaries). During this training you attend lectures (once a week) and perform legal services at your Patron's office (once a week). After 6 months of Aplikacja you are allowed to substitute your Patron in certain court activities, after 18 months your substitution right is very wide. You may be employed by your patron and work in his office for the rest of the week. After three years (if you pass all the exams which are really hard) you get a certificate of completion of the Aplikacja. This allows you to take the respective Bar Exam.

There was a major change in Polish Bars entrance system. Before it was very closed and the situation became ridiculous. The new act opened the bars very widely (allowing to take the bar exam without the obligation to complete Aplikacja after 5 years of "legal work", for LLD holders etc.) and giving the decisional power on final exams to the Ministry of Justice. The Aplikacja entrance exam was changed to written single choice test (which has to be objective). The changes were often badly formed and the Constitutional Tribunal decided that some changes violate the Bars' self-governing constitutional right (e.g. it was not sure what is "5 years of work in a legal sector", and according to the Tribunal the Bars must have more impact on final exam questions). Some articles were declared as unconstitutional and we have to wait for the new law. As for now, it's working on a basis of two systems.

The final exam for Advocates and Legal Counsels:
- written part - 2 cases (you are given a set of documents and you must write e.g. a suit; Advocates: civil law and criminal law, Legal Counsels: civil law and administrative law)
- oral part before a commission

There are separate Aplikacja programs for Judges and Public Prosecutors (also directly after the Law School).
You don't need to take any exam if you hold a doktor habilitowany (Doctor Habilitatus) or Professor's degree in legal sciences. You may change your legal profession with no additional exam.
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wemagics
Just want to highlight that LLM is not equivalent degree in comparison to polish Magister. LLM has other goals than the ordinary degree such as Magister Prawa, the only possible degree after graduation at any Polish University or College, which enables the way towards professional training practice.
Just want to highlight that LLM is not equivalent degree in comparison to polish Magister. LLM has other goals than the ordinary degree such as Magister Prawa, the only possible degree after graduation at any Polish University or College, which enables the way towards professional training practice.
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jasq
True. Magister Prawa => literally Magister Iuris / Master of Laws. Because of variety of national systems of education, the Bologna system requires that national degrees should not be translated.
Magister Prawa is a degree granted after five years of law studies at Polish university or college. There's no official specialisation (like LLM) - even if some university introduces such a specialisation, it's not mentioned on the diploma.
True. Magister Prawa => literally Magister Iuris / Master of Laws. Because of variety of national systems of education, the Bologna system requires that national degrees should not be translated.
Magister Prawa is a degree granted after five years of law studies at Polish university or college. There's no official specialisation (like LLM) - even if some university introduces such a specialisation, it's not mentioned on the diploma.
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wemagics
Absolutely correct! Additionally all LLM's are rather designed towards professional practice, than scientific career. However are highly useful for personal development and usually act as a definite proof of high, job-oriented qualifications. Pozdrawiam wszystkich polskich prawników!
Absolutely correct! Additionally all LLM's are rather designed towards professional practice, than scientific career. However are highly useful for personal development and usually act as a definite proof of high, job-oriented qualifications. Pozdrawiam wszystkich polskich prawników!
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