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What is a Law Clinic?

How does the Law Clinic work?

How do I apply?


What is a Law Clinic?


Law Clinics are an innovative method of teaching and bring prospective lawyers into direct contact with the practice at an early stage of their studies. It is a place where students can explore and experience the professional activity of criminal defense intensively. It's characteristic for the clinic format that students work together in small groups and under the guidance of experienced criminal defense lawyers on real, current cases. To this purpose we engage committed criminal defense lawyers from Berlin, who have long-standing professional experience. The project is directed by Carsten Momsen, professor of criminal law, criminal procedural law, corporate criminal law and environmental criminal law. 

How does the Law Clinic work?


The program of FU Law Clinic lasts one year. In

  a project group

  an internship and

  a seminar with independent casework

the legal foundations of criminal defense as well as key qualifications are conveyed. In the first term, the project group provides an introduction into criminal procedural law and criminal defense. In addition to these thematic aspects the focus is on practical exercises and small presentations. In this manner, the participants become acquainted with the various activities of criminal defense. This is followed by an internship during the non-lecture period at one of the defense lawyer's offices. In the second term, the participants work on their cases in small groups as part of a seminar. They develop a conclusion which is intended to be applied in practice. Additionally, the students can participate in the training schemes of the "Vereinigung Berliner Strafverteidiger e.V.". 

The FU Law Clinic thus combines three elements of the regular curriculum into an innovative type of teaching. It offers the possibility to acquire the following credits, which are necessary for the completion of a law degree:

  • proof of key qualifications ("Schlüsselqualifikationsschein") 
  • internship certificate 
  • seminar certificate. 

Additionally, the successful completion of the course is documented in a certificate. 

How do I apply?


The number of participants is limited. The FU Law Clinic addresses students of law from their second or third year of studies.

We expect you to actively participate with a high degree of interest in the course. Prior knowledge of criminal procedural law is not necessary but helpful. If you want to take part in the next one-year cycle of the FU Law Clinic starting in the summer semester 2022 please send you application including

  • a CV in tabular form,
  • a summary of your scholastic achievements and
  • a letter of motivation (one page)


FU Law Clinic „Praxis der Strafverteidigung“
Prof. Dr. Carsten Momsen
Freie Universität Berlin
Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft
Van’t-Hoff-Str. 8
14195 Berlin

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