How was the path in terms of education for a small kid to follow in years so that he can become a LAWYER in 17th Century in Europe? (Mainly in The Holy Roman Empire).


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    The most important step would be to have parents rich enough to be able to send you to school.
    – Steve Bird
    Feb 23, 2017 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


Learning has not really changed over the centuries. What has changed are the words we use to describe what learning we are doing. Typically, as Steve Bird pointed out, a person would have to have some wealth to be taught formally. If your family was wealthy enough you had a private tutor that came and taught you who was usually highly educated in philosophy, faith or math (depending on the era). As the child grew into "college age" they would have attended what we call university today. In The Holy Roman Empire this was probably the University of Bologna. Founded in 1088, this school would have taught the students higher education in science, math, philosophy and law. What you should keep in mind though is that our idea of justice and the rule of law is not the same as what it was in the 1600s. Typically the church defined and ruled on matters of "law" which were based in faith, so in learning the faith which was taught by the schools you were learning the law you were bound by too.


Local Histories

History of the University of Bologna

European Education

  • Thanks @EvanM. I was also thinking the Charles University in Prague which was dominated by Jesuits those times -to my knowledge
    – pencilCake
    Feb 24, 2017 at 18:58
  • You're welcome, hope that answers your question.
    – EvanM
    Feb 24, 2017 at 19:03
  • @EvanM This answer is totally shallow. There were public schools in the 17th century and many more universities than Bolonga. Also the study of law was splitted in cannon (eccelsiastical) and civil (Roman) law. In the 17th century the modern state begins to evolve in Germany and also the legal education gets regelemented.
    – K-HB
    Apr 24, 2020 at 15:36
  • @K-HB Sorry you feel it's shallow. Please feel free to click "Add Another Answer" with sources. This is usually more helpful to the community than belittling another's answer and opens up for a larger debate. Thank you.
    – EvanM
    Apr 30, 2020 at 14:08
  • @EvanM I will do this when I have time. I just didn't want it to look uncontested.
    – K-HB
    Apr 30, 2020 at 14:27

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