Education has always been held in high regard in Egypt, millennials back, it was required to attain some positions such as Elite, Royal officials, Scribes, Priest, teachers, Doctors, astrologist, sculpture artist and so on.
Legal education in Egypt held elite status with the emergence of the first Law School in Egypt founded by Ismail in 1868. It was first known as the School of Management and Languages, then the school of Management was separated from the school of Languages in 1882, until July 1886 when it became known as the school of Law. Now, Cairo University’ School of Law.
To qualify as a professional Lawyer in Egypt, you must undergo an undergraduate pre-law Education in any Egyptian Universities for four (4) years. After completion, an aspiring lawyer must sit and pass the Law School Admission Test in other to get admitted into one of the 12 Law Schools in Egypt. It takes a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years to complete the law school programme. Such student must pass the final Bar Exams in other to qualify as a practicing lawyer of the Egyptian Bar Association of which itsmembership is compulsory for all practicing lawyers.
Recently, it is noticed that though Egypt is blessed with some of the most promising legal minds in the world, such tremendous improvement is as a result of self-evaluation. Egyptian Law students participate in a variety of events such as Internship, Elite Postgraduate education in best law schools in the world, Moot Courts with its diverse subject, such as:
Our interview with an Egyptian erudite, Saleh Mohammed, saw him respectfully analyse the challenges of Egyptian Law students and legal education in Egypt.
The PALM: Saleh, thank you for being with The PALM today. Could you please introduce yourself to the readers?
SM: My name is Saleh Mohamed, I graduated from the faculty of Shari’a and Law (English department), Al-Azhar University in 2018, with excellent grades. After my graduation in the same year, I went for an LL.M scholarship at the University of Paris in France, which gave me the chance and opportunity to have legal experience in a different legal system.
The PALM: Regarding the legal education in Egypt, in your opinion, as a former Law student, what are the advantages and disadvantages of studying law in Egypt?
SM: I think that the system of legal education for law students here in Egypt differs from other Law schools’ systems because it is majorly based on repetitive curriculum and memorization, not understanding . It is further complicated by the grading system which begets a false understanding; and I think that it is not a good way of evaluating Law students.
The second point is that sometimes there is no interaction between the student and the professors. Additionally, I believe that there is no coordination between the law departments in law schools which might cause a burden for the students because they might study the same subject twice; this is what happened to me when I was a freshman.
The PALM: Do you believe that the practical side of legal studying is not as supported as it should be in Egypt?
SM: Yes, the interaction of the students is so important for the evaluation process, which should be based on the students’ abilities and potentials. Also, the professors should keep abreast with the latest developments of international Legal system because there are a variety of new updates on these systems as I witnessed when I went to France; I found a gap between Egypt and France in the development of legal studies.
For example, I am studying the International Economic System and International Economic Law, which are important though yet they are not tutored here in Egypt, and I do not know why?
Another problem with public Law schools, which has the highest number of attendees. There are immense numbers of law students in the same classroom, which makes it impossible for the professor to communicate properly with all the students, hence, if there are many questions, the professor would not be able to answer all of them.
The PALM: If you could give a piece of advice to other law students, what would it be?
SM: My advice to the students in their first year would be to empower your legal skills and knowledge. You could obtain that by taking courses and not necessarily expensive ones, you could find now hundreds of online legal courses with free access. And the certificates are not as important as your legal knowledge, because when you apply for a job in a law firm, for example, they are not going to ask you about the certificates. After all, they are occupied by your legal knowledge and legal skills.
Also, you should not listen to any negative thoughts of others because your experience is different. And as a freshman, you should not focus on making great achievements, just try to acquire as much legal knowledge as possible, and the required knowledge is not only limited to law school, try to seek more knowledge by updating your information by taking legal courses and studying new subjects.
Moreover, try to make communication with law students from various legal backgrounds and legal systems by participating in international competitions such as Moot courts to compete with law students and empower yourself.
The PALM: Thank you so much, Saleh, for your time and pleasant words, and best of luck in your career.
SM: You are welcome, and thank you for having me today.
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