Professional Legal Education in Scotland

Paul Maharg

Australian National University

Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2004

In comparative terms, Scotland is a small jurisdiction. With a legal profession of around 8,800 solicitors and over 400 practising advocates serving a population of around five million, we are in size smaller than the legal bar of many states in the US. Our solutions to the problems of professional education are therefore those that are appropriate to our jurisdictional size, character and history. However it is one of the themes of this paper that whatever the size and legal structures of a jurisdiction, there are many educational issues common to even those jurisdictions significantly different in size, structure and culture. The second theme deals with what has been for us in Scotland a particular concern, and that is the problem of educating for practice; and especially those forms of programme and curriculum design that are most effective for training and education at the professional stage. The first part of this paper will summarise the current Scottish professional legal educational programme, and set it in the context of legal education and the legal profession generally in Scotland. The second part will illustrate some aspects of the professional education programme with reference to a case study, namely the Diploma in Legal Practice at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law. Finally, some of the issues or themes from the Scottish experience that might be said to be applicable to alternatives to the Bar Exam in the USA are described in outline.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: legal education, professionalism, professional education, Scottish legal education

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Date posted: January 30, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Maharg, Paul, Professional Legal Education in Scotland. Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1087762

Contact Information

Paul Maharg (Contact Author)
Australian National University ( email )
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
HOME PAGE: http://law.anu.edu.au

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