The history of law parallels human history because the latter is a social being. This is well illustrated by the saying "wherever there is society, there is law." What makes training in law indispensible both historically and today is this parallelism. Although its status among other disciplines, its content and its methods have contineouslychanged throughout history, Law became one of the basic branches of education in the classical periods of both the West and the East; and today, it is still one of the leading disciplines in modern education. Today Law Schools provide students with both a chance to have a prestigious job and a proficient higher education that can serve as a basis for further education in the social sciences. Furthermore, Law has a central place in the current political and social order; for this reason, training in Law offers vast opportunities for those who plan their career in this field, as well as those who envision an intellectual future for themselves.
Why Law School in Turkey?
The roots of the modern education in Law goes back to the mid-19th century in Turkey. The Law Schools in Turkey have therefore benefited from this tradition and accumulation of knowledge. Education in Law is suitable for those who seek a high-quality education at university. Initially established as a prestigious vocational training, it has maintained its prestige up until today. The fact that Law School graduates have many job opportunities in both public and private sectors, and that certain jobs are reserved for these graduates only, are just a few of the factors that make this School attractive for students.
Legal Education in Turkey
In Turkey, the vast majority of Law departments provide instruction in the Turkish language. There is also a basic distinction in the training provided between Public Law and the Private Law. This distinction is maintained departmentally at the undergraduate level, and with different programs at a graduate level. However, students graduate from the School (or Law Faculty), rather than the Department (Public Law or Private Law), at the undergraduate level, and from either the program in Public Law or the program in Private Law at the graduate level, upon their completion of their studies.
The sub-fields within the Department of Private Law include: Civil Law (consisting of Law of Persons, Family Law, Law of Obligations, Law of Property, and Inheritance Law), the Law of Civil Procedure, Execution and Bankruptcy Law, International Private Law, Labor and Social Security Law, the Roman Law, Trade Law, and Maritime Law.
The sub-fields within the Department of Public Law include: Penal and Penal Procedure Law, Constitutional Law, General Public Law (entailing State Theory and the Human Rights Law), Philosophy and Sociology of Law, Administrative Law, International Law, Financial Law, and History of Law.
The curricula in Law Schools usually consist of the basic courses referred to in the above mentioned sub-fields. Although laws and by-laws occupy an important position within curricula (especially in the fields of Civil Law, Trade Law, Penal Law, Administrative Law and Procedural Law), the Turkish tradition of legal education also reserves a central place for court decisions and doctrinal discussions.
As for graduate level education, the curricula usually contain courses on more specific topics. These include the newly emerging sub-fields within Law in general as well as the specific topics within the classical legal branches, ranging from Legal History, Philosophy of Law, Sociology of Law and the Methodology of Law, to Comparative Law, Human Rights Law and European Law.
The legal education in Turkey not only consists of the teaching of laws, but it also includes, within the framework of the Continental European Legal System (to which it belongs), the training in dogmatic legal theory in colloboration with perspectives from such other disciplines as philosophy, history, social sciences and comparative legal studies. The teaching of Law is essentially a vocational training, however, the fact that Law Schools place great importance to what is called the basic legal disciplines - including the Philosophy of Law, Sociology of Law, Legal History and State Theory- indicates that teaching of Law is not regarded merely as a vocational training in Turkey.
Essential and Desired Qualities, and Job Opportunities
Those who would like to apply to Law Schools in Turkey are expected to have a sound education in Turkish and Mathematics in their pre-college years. Those students who are interested in social sciences in general, history, philosophy and sociology as well as social and political issues, and most importantly in reading and researching, are more likely to be successful in this field.
Many different job opportunities await the successful graduates of the Law School. Primarily, these jobs include serving as judge, prosecutor, lawyer and notary. One may work as a lawyer in either the public or the private sector as well as being self-employed. In addition to these, Law School graduates can find executive and administrative jobs at different levels in both public and private sectors. Moreover, they have the right to apply for bureaucratic positions if they pass relevant examinations required for these positions. Finally, academic positions offere another job opportunity for Law School graduates.
Furthermore, many Turkish legal academics have been recognized as leading figures by the legal communities that follow different legal traditions; and they have served (and continue to do so) as judges in international courts.