Legal Education Reform


The project “Improvement of the quality of legal education as a guarantee for successful judicial reform” was aiming at promoting the reform of the legal education by empowering the civil society as a stakeholder and by facilitating the link between the market and the product of the law schools through surveying and analyzing perceptions of the end-users and stakeholders as to the quality of legal education and by developing a law school’s ranking system.  The implementation of the project was coordinated with the Ministry of Justice and is designed to benefit its efforts to develop a law school reform policy. The main goals of the projects are:

1) To assess the current status of legal education through polling the perceptions of its end-users and other stakeholders regarding the capacity of law faculties to prepare legal professionals possessing the theoretical knowledge and practical skills adequate to the market needs, as well as to identify the main challenges and shortcomings and formulate possible solutions.
2) To ensure a strong public participation in the process of legal education reform by fostering wide public discussion and by providing an opportunity for the end-users of law schools’ product to voice their perspective;
3) To facilitate the development of an informed governmental strategy for legal education reform and a complementary action plan through the furnishing of an in-depth analysis and carefully weighed solutions as well as by summarizing the outcomes public debate (conferences and publications) and making available Project experts to assist MoJ working groups;
4) To introduce a ranking system for Bulgarian laws schools and establish a systematic tool for assessment of their work and the effects of governmental policies.

Funding/ Support/Partner:

Grant agreement between the German Marshall Fund “Bulgaria Fund” and BILI titled “Improvement of the quality of legal education as a guarantee for successful judicial reform”

Key events:

  • Nation - wide conference on the topic of "Legal education reform: Challenges and Outlooks" - Feb 10, 2010
  • Public discussion on the topic of "Road map of University Law Education Reform" - June 1, 2010. The discussion was carried out under the patronage of the Minister of Justice Margarita Popova. One of its focuses was the part of the “Strategy to Continue the Judicial Reform ” named “Bringing University Law Education in Line with the Needs of Modern Justice” devoted to the legal education.


In achieving the above mentioned goals the project was structured around two major tracks. Track one: “Promoting public interest in law school reform and facilitating an informed governmental action for the development of a national strategy for reform in the legal education system through the conduct of a Sociological Survey and a Status Quo Analysis” and Track two: “Promotion of competitiveness among law faculties through the development and introduction of a national law schools ranking system”.

For the first time the Institute used the services of a specialized sociological survey agency and was involved in the whole process of developing and fine-tuning of a methodology for the survey examining the quality of the law schools output by collecting feedback by the employers of the recent graduates.

Despite the many challenges and obstacles with which the team had to cope and the resistance of law professors, law schools management and the Ministry of education, the Institute completed the project with two valuable products: the first ever rating of the legal education in the country and a comprehensive analysis of the problematic issues and the perspectives of he Bulgarian legal education.

Through the whole period of the implementation of the project, BILI enjoyed the full support of the Minister of Justice. The timeliness and necessity of the project were furthermore justified by including of some of its main recommendations in the MoJ “Strategy to continue the judicial reform in the Conditions of a full European Union membership”.

Moreover, with BILI's assistance the Ministry of Justice established а working group comprised of distinguished representatives of the legal profession - university profesors, experts, judges etc. They all shared their conceptions and points of view regarding the development of the legal education reform.

It is the Institutes’ desire to perform and publish the legal education rating on an annual basis in order to provide the future students with enough, relevant, reliable and objective information about the different Law schools so that they can make an informed decision on where they would like to pursue their studies.

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