The Law Department is a cornerstone of Autónoma’s educational project. Over its existence of more than two decades, it has attained high scientific quality standards and employed academically qualified faculty with a broad professional experience. The Department of Law is deeply committed to its own cultural and scientific enrichment and to the enhancement of all those wishing to learn with us.
Having adapted quickly to the Bologna Process, the Law Department structured its degrees in accordance with it with a view to increasing participation in the labour market at home and in Europe. Like other national and foreign schools, it offers three study cycles.
The first cycle corresponds to the Bachelor Degree and comprises 240 ECTS studied over four years. The law degree from Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa aims to provide students with solid legal training in all areas of law related to the core values of life in society, guided by quality criteria and scientific rigour that prepare them for the professional practice of legal activities.
However, Law is increasingly expanding and becoming more varied and complex. Accordingly, the knowledge gained in the Bachelor Degree requires further deepening and specialization, especially when referring to more demanding professions, due to the responsibilities it involves, the risks incurred, and the power exerted. Hence, the 1st cycle should be complemented by a 2nd cycle of study – the Master Degree.
Fully aware of this need, the Law Department created a second cycle offering master courses specializing in four scientific areas (Legal Sciences; Legal and Political Sciences; Legal and Criminal Sciences). Each degree consists of 120 ECTS and is studied over 2 years.
The third cycle of studies, comprising 180 ECTS, corresponds to the PhD in law in three specialties (Legal Sciences; Legal and Political Sciences and Legal and Procedural Sciences). The PhD degree is expected to last six semesters, the first two with a taught component and the third for the preparation of the thesis project. In the remaining semesters students will write their theses.
Good theoretical training is essential in the education of any lawyer, but it is not enough. Therefore, the Law Degree from Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa seeks to provide undergraduate students with a solid theoretical preparation without neglecting the practical side, so that students master the core foundations of the application of Law.
This central objective combining theory and practice in the teaching of Law is achieved through two specific and complementary goals: scientific training through the teaching of reasoning schemes and dogmatic constructions pertaining to legal science and training focusing on the practice of legal science through the participatory learning of the core subjects of positive law. On the other hand, the degree seeks to encourage students to develop individual skills by fostering the application of theoretical knowledge to solve practical cases, integrating this area in the different subjects of the degree through practical classes and assessment exams.
Indeed, law only has a raison d\’être if used to solve the practical problems of legal regulation. In order to foster students\’ sensitivity to the legal practice, the Law Department has always sought to integrate in its faculty lecturers with experience of applying law to situations of social life, including judges. And, in general, our lecturers try to combine expository teaching with participated classes, supervised work and the resolution of practical cases to allow the ongoing assessment of the students’ academic performance. The aim is to go beyond a degree that is largely theoretical in nature and introduce students to the praxis of law.