The training of legal councilors represents one of two pillars of the Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V. and entails three parts. The objective is to provide participants with a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into the complex issues of the European and German asylum and migration law. For several issues, the programme also includes an interdisciplinary approach. The training is open to everyone and prior legal knowledge is not required.


1. Part: Lectures (introduction)

The lectures Introduction to European and German Asylum and Migration Law take place during the winter semester (Oktober to February). As was the case in recent years, they will again be held by Dr. Johannes Eichenhofer and Pauline Endres de Oliveira.

Regular attendance is required for those who would like to become a legal councilor for the Refugee Law Clinic Berlin. There will be attendance lists present at every lecture. Participants are allowed to miss up to three lectures during one semester.


2. Part: Internship

Following the first set of lectures, future councilors are required to do an internship in the area of asylum and migration law. The internship is meant to provide future councilors with the opportunity to apply their theoretical insights to real cases. For the internship a minimum of three weeks is required and participants are supposed to work at least 12 hours a week. If possible, the internship should be done during spring (before the second semester of the programme). In exceptional cases it is also possible to do the internship during the summer (after the second semester). 

Participants need to organise the internships themselves. Due to its limited capacity and the great number of participants every year, it is not possible for the Law Clinic to provide future councilors with internships.


3. Part: Lectures (selected issues)

During the summer semester, participants interested in becoming councilors have to attend in a second set of lectures, focussing on a few selected issues in asylum and migration law, that are especially relevant in practice. These lectures will also entail the design of counseling strategies and practical legal issues (how to file a suit, how to hand in relevant submissions etc.).


Optional: sitting in on consultations

During the second set of lectures (summer semester), it is possible for future councilors to sit in on consultations, in order to develop a feeling for the situation. However, this option does not replace the internship!


Once participants have concluded this one-year-long training, they can become active councilors for the Refugee Law Clinic in Berlin and surroundings. 


The training currently goes into its fourth cycle and is the only of its kind in Berlin and Brandenburg. Overall more than 600 people have participated in the programme by now. Next to law students from all semesters, also students of other disciplines as well as employees of numerous NGOs, fully qualified lawyers and otherwise interested people have been part of the programme. Other than training new councilors, the Law Clinic is committed to providing as many people as possible with a comprehensive understanding of European and German asylum and migration law.