For instance, it is no secret that in most cases, a law degree does not guarantee employment, since according to the OSCE research findings
, there are way more law faculties, institutes, and universities in Ukraine than the labor market requires. That's not to mention the law graduates of vocational schools. In Ukraine, it is not only higher educational establishments that train lawyers but also vocational institutions. This profoundly devalues the prestige of legal education, even though it remains among the most expensive majors. The mass scale of legal education inevitably impacts the quality of training
. Most legal education institutions cannot and will never be able to ensure the proper quality of education. Therefore, if we want judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors in Ukraine to be qualified, we must recognize that most legal faculties need to terminate their activity. Instead, strong law schools must finally receive sufficient resources to train high-level professionals.
At the same time, professional legal education involves much more than acquiring specific knowledge and skills. It involves professional and personal growth with a deep awareness of the professional mission to protect human rights and uphold the rule of law. Knowing the law is not enough to be a lawyer
. A lawyer must be aware of the limits of good and evil in their professional activity. Only then will society be able to trust its judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors.
If a law student receives his\her education in the atmosphere of corruption, or in strict subordination, like in law schools within the Ministry of Interior, will he or she become an independent judge, defense attorney or prosecutor? Will he or she resist when the president of the court suggests they "discuss" a future decision? Will he or she refuse to bribe a judge on the client's behalf? Of course, each decision of such kind is a personal choice and personal responsibility. However, the research shows
that the atmosphere in which a person develops has a profound effect on their further professional life.
The legal profession is primarily perceived as an opportunity to make great money, not as a field where you can work to protect human rights and uphold the rule of law. As a result, motivated and successful law school graduates join the ranks of law firms that serve private clients. Conversely, the work of a prosecutor or a judge is seen as less attractive and less prestigious.
Naturally, law schools that primarily exist to help the government ensure the justice function and the ones that receive state funding should instill the right values and motivation in their students. But currently, it is what it is.
Therefore, without a legal education reform, there can hardly be hope for effective judicial reform and the development of institutions deemed by society as trustworthy. Like any major institutional change, this path is hard and will take quite a while. But if we do not accomplish this, we will be doomed to replicate the shortcomings of the current system, running around in circles and gradually regressing, which is obviously not something we want.