Rules of access for the professional opportunities possible with the Single-cycle Master's Degree in Law and the appropriate university pathway for the training required for these roles.
- State Prosecutor
- Parliamentary Advisor
- Diplomatic career
- Government Prefect
- Other roles in the State Administration
- Town Clerk
- Police Commissioner or Police Inspector
- Employment Consultant
- Corporate Lawyer
- Research Doctorate
University pathway: passing the exam for access to the role of magistrate requires high-level specialist knowledge in the three classic areas of civil, criminal and administrative law in order to be able to tackle with the necessary maturity the first task: the essay. The questions posed for this test are characterized by frequent reference to controversial issues which have been recently resolved by jurisprudence, or are still being discussed, to be developed by the candidate in the light of theoretical knowledge which must be both broad and deep.
The university pathway to this profession should therefore privilege the study of the areas tested, and also include study of the topics which best lend themselves to acquiring a detailed knowledge of both jurisprudence and the theoretical framework.
The breadth of the issues that may be the subject of questions in this exam means that in the university course it is difficult to achieve sufficiently broad knowledge in terms of sectors and problems analyzed, but a careful selection of courses oriented to the classical study of subjects and case studies of the issues can provide those analytical skills required for access to the profession of magistrate.
University pathway: passing the bar exam presupposes the acquisition of a variety of skills, given the mixed practical and theoretical nature of the tests to be passed. While the oral exam focuses on subjects of common university study, the written one is based on the drafting of two opinions and one act in the classic subjects of civil, criminal and administrative law. The questions in this state examination are characterized by frequent reference to controversial issues recently resolved by jurisprudence, or still being discussed, and should be faced with a defensive spirit and careful approach to the practical resolution of problems.
The university pathway to become a lawyer should therefore both enhance a solid knowledge of the fundamental subjects addressed in the writings, and seize the opportunities for deepening knowledge of the subjects with a problem solving approach, using seminar-type teaching methods aimed at transmitting not only content, but also practical skills.
From the point of view of the practice of the profession, although there may already be a clear inclination towards the civil / administrative sector on the one hand, or the criminal sector on the other, a certain level of specialization already in the phase of university studies can be useful to be competitive in a professional sector in which specialization has become increasingly essential (and in which professional life is characterized by very different dynamics between the criminal sector and the civil and administrative sectors).
University pathway: passing the competition for State Prosecutor, given the few places available for this highly sought-after career, requires high-level specialized knowledge in the three classic areas of civil, criminal and administrative law, in order to be able to approach the first task, the essay, with the necessary maturity.
The questions posed in this exam are characterized, as for the magistrate, by frequent reference to controversial issues recently resolved by jurisprudence, or still being discussed, and which must be developed by the candidate in the light of a theoretical knowledge of the law which must be both broad and deep. Similarly to the magistrate's exam, this exam also requires an adequate mastery of practical skills, given that part of the writing is based on the development of theoretical and practical themes.
A peculiarity of this exam is the focus in the writings of a particular attention to procedural profiles. The university pathway to prepare for a career as a State Prosecutor should therefore combine a solid theoretical knowledge which extends not only to the substantive subjects, but also to procedural ones, with the deepening of those same subjects using a problem-solving approach which is focused on problems of application.
University pathway: given that the function of guaranteeing the validity of legal transactions is at the center of the notary profession, attributing public faith and protecting all parties (including the State, for tax issues), the theoretical preparation required for the profession is strongly oriented to the sectors of civil and commercial law connected to the activity of negotiation and related tax roles.
Passing the written stage of this exam presupposes that in these subjects the candidate is able to demonstrate full mastery on both a theoretical and practical level, by preparing an act of last will and testament and two inter vivos acts, one of which under commercial law. In each topic, the completion of the deed and the implementation of the principles relating to the legal institutions relating to the deed itself are required.
During their university studies, those interested in this career should orient their interests to the subjects of civil, commercial and tax law, to achieve an adequately specialized knowledge of the legislation in these areas. This must be subsequently integrated with specific drafting skills required for the role of notary. An in-depth study of commercial and civil law conventions should therefore be accompanied by the development of the jurist's skills oriented to developing this drafting knowledge, while also paying special attention in the pathway followed by the student to the sometimes strongly "formalistic" profile of the legal phenomenon.
University pathway: the plurality of functions related to the role of Parliamentary Advisor (ranging from organisational and administrative management, auditing of accounting procedures and certification of parliamentary acts, to giving legal advice, doing legal research and assistance in procedures institutions), as well as the very competitive nature of the procedure for such a coveted institutional role, presupposes a very broad but, at the same time, thorough preparation for this career.
Given the plurality of functions undertaken, the areas covered by the written exams range from typical subjects of legal training (constitutional, administrative and civil law; parliamentary law and procedure; European Union law), to economic policy and history of Italy from 1848 to the present day with transversal knowledge of constitutional, parliamentary, administrative and civil law.
A university pathway which is consciously oriented towards this career must therefore presuppose a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, in the context of which, on the level of legal subjects, preference should be given to public law of a constitutional or general nature, while this knowledge base should be enriched with economic and historical skills that can also be applied in the course of study.
University pathway: the small number of positions available, the plurality of skills (not just legal) required, and the high responsibility associated with the functions make the competition for a diplomatic career particularly difficult and selective.
Preparation therefore requires a long phase of maturation of the required skills and of refinement, which may be undertaken starting with the university pathway, in particular by taking advantage of the numerous opportunities for deepening knowledge of Public International Law and Law of the European Union in the course of study which the Faculty offers, as well as enhancing language skills through legal or complementary language courses in a foreign language.
The student must be aware that alongside these linguistic and legal skills, which are central to this career and must be developed during the university course (in which it is also possible to acquire the institutional base of state accounting, civil law and private international law, also required in the exam) it will also be necessary to cultivate a solid knowledge base relating to the history of international relations, economic policy, current affairs and political and economic geography. In addition, from the perspective of this career, the construction of a coherent post-graduate curriculum is also essential, which may also involve working at the level of official in international organisations for at least two years.
University pathway: the career as a Government Prefect, with the initial qualification of councilor, involves working in state administration, employed by the Ministry of the Interior, which operates with the territorial offices of the Government (Prefecture) in each Italian Province. As a representative of the Government, the Prefect (and the relative support structure) carries out very various functions of mediation between the community and the local administrations, on the one hand, and the central institutions, on the other, informing the Government of the problems present in the territory . The coordination functions of a plurality of different subjects and very dissimilar administrative actions make the office of prefect an institutional role that is certainly very dynamic and in need of legal skills which extend to many sectors (as well as a good grasp of multidisciplinary issues).
Subjects which should be studied in the university programme are therefore mainly those of a public / administrative and public accounting type, but preparation in civil, criminal and community law should not be neglected. The university programme should also develop a problem solving approach, in particular by following courses aimed at the advanced and case study of administrative law, given that one of the most selective exam tasks concerns the resolution of a case in the legal-administrative area.
Alongside this base of legal knowledge, the student should also independently cultivate interests in contemporary history and Italian public administration, sociology, organisational science and finance.
Other competitions in state administrations (Ministries, Bank of Italy, Work and Pensions agencies, Revenue Agency, Independent Authorities, etc.)
Access rules: see the institutional sites of the individual state administrations.
University pathway: in principle, the same preparation advice which is appropriate for a career as Government Prefect applies here too, integrated with specific preparation in the subjects which are central to the activities of the various administrations.
University pathway: the town clerk is a technical role with individual authority who, in a fiduciary relationship with the mayor, provides legal assistance to the bodies of the local authority or municipality, guarantees compliance of municipal acts with the law, monitors compliance with state regulations and administrative procedures, actively participates in the management of the municipal offices and in the management of the municipality's affairs.
Access to the profession presupposes the successful completion of an exam and registration in the appropriate Register. The plurality of administrative and guarantee functions entrusted to this office require multi and interdisciplinary preparation, strongly characterized by legal skills, which can be cultivated through an appropriate university pathway. In particular, the subjects of the exam are above all, but not only, the matters of constitutional, administrative, private and regional law and of local authorities, as well as the subjects of public accounting and some economic and financial competences which are offered, at least in their rudiments form, in the course of study of the Faculty of Law.
This preparation should then be integrated with some in-depth studies of administration sciences, aimed at passing the tests relating to management, organisation and coordination techniques of municipal services and human resources.
University pathway: entry to the career of inspector or, at a higher level, of State Police Commissioner (but also access to the corresponding positions in other law enforcement agencies) is a first step on the career ladder which is consistent with the curriculum vitae of a law graduate; a position from which (in particular for the role of Commissioner) internal promotions may lead to managerial roles . The functions performed in this type of career are those typical of police, both judicial and public security, and therefore pertain to a wide range of specializations and sectors of intervention in which legal and operational skills are always central.
University preparation can therefore certainly be profitably oriented towards these careers (in particular for the more selective examination in the role of commissioner) by selecting in one's study plan those subjects in which the police function is typically expressed, and therefore in particular criminal law and criminal procedure, but also administrative, and public / constitutional law (with special regard to the legislation and the public security system).
The basic notions of civil, employment, navigation and international law must not be neglected. Finally, basic knowledge of forensic medicine and an obvious psycho-physical and attitudinal suitability are required.
University career: the employment consultant, as a specific regulated profession for experts in labour law and personnel administration, is one of the professional opportunities open to law graduates. Specific tasks of these professionals include the management of relations between companies and institutional bodies responsible for employment policies (such as trade unions, job centers and social security institutions), the processing of payslips and contributions, the fulfillment of social security and insurance obligations.
As an employment consultant, the individual can work both as a freelancer and as an employee.
The training course following graduation requires, however, a period of apprenticeship with accredited professionals, the subsequent state examination for qualification to practice the profession and registration in the appropriate Register. To ensure the success of this path, starting from the choice of university programme, it is advisable to choose specific courses in the basic and advanced employment subjects (including in the sectors of Social Security Law and Industrial Relations), without neglecting the development of general skills which extend to Public and Private Law, Tax Law and - if possible - Business Economics. It is also advisable to develop adequate computer skills, and a general aptitude for problem solving.
University pathway: that of the corporate lawyer is an non-regulated profession, therefore much depends on the conditions of the market and on the personal aptitudes of the individual. In the increasingly dynamic and globalized economy of our times, specialization - for those who want to work as a legal expert in economic and commercial matters - is in fact fundamental, and therefore one must invest in a path of professional growth and development with clear objectives in the university pathway (which will inevitably include more advanced study with masters and other post-university specializations).
A base of general legal skills must, in any case, be consolidated starting with the university programme which can be enriched with a specialization in a single sector (which may be more or less specific: from Tax Law, to Private International or Privacy Law, from Energy Law to Food or Procurement Law). Specialization is, in fact, essential to be able to qualify as an expert for the legal management of companies, which are also increasingly specialized and where it is necessary to integrate legal skills with the economic and corporate strategies of the individual company.
In this regard, therefore, alongside a generalist university degree that is especially attentive to commercial and tax matters, it would be advisable to immediately develop certain sectoral interests and some multidisciplinary economic, financial /corporate and managerial skills. Particular attention, in each matter, must then be dedicated to the contractual and management profiles of the "physiology" of legal relationships, without also neglecting the basic knowledge of the litigation aspect (even if this is reserved for the regulated profession of the lawyer).
The university pathway: the research doctorate, usually lasting three, or sometimes four, years, is the highest level of education provided for by the postgraduate award system in Italian universities. This qualification can be accessed through calls published by individual schools or PhD programmes active in the various Italian universities (or, obviously regulated according to their respective regulations, abroad), with at least half of the places covered by scholarships. The completion of the doctoral course aims to equip the doctoral student with the content knowledge and method to carry out research in their chosen field of interest, and is therefore essential to undertake an academic career (or for a research career in private institutions, a sector in which, however, the demand at national level - especially in the legal sciences - is fairly limited).
The qualification awarded by these post-graduate programmes is "dottore di ricerca", which corresponds to a PhD in the Anglo-Saxon system.
The doctoral student will undertake an in-depth academic investigation of a specific topic, carry out research with a methodologically correct approach and achieve original results which must then be related in the final thesis. The university programmes which prepare students for a doctoral course should therefore aim to provide excellent training in all subjects, not only in the one subsequently chosen, in order to develop a certain sensitivity to rigour in the different meanings of the common legal method (which in a certain sense combines all studies of a course in Law). Obviously, in the subject chosen for a PhD project, a very specialized and extensive knowledge of the topics must be achieved by resuming the study of the same subject from a more advanced perspective with the Master's thesis supervisor.