Before Hitler, Germany took justifiable pride in the quality of its judiciary, its bar and its legally trained officials. Germany was a country where special training for civil, military, business, and professional functions was highly developed and where special qualifications were highly esteemed. The solid quality of all legal personnel was merely a consequence and manifestation in one sphere of a general stress on expertness which characterized all aspects of German life. The high standards of bench, bar and other legal personnel have, however, been largely broken down by the Hitler regime. This result has not ensued from an open change of standards; the formal requirements of training and fitness have been left practically as they always were. The primary agency of demoralization has been the extra-legal activity of the Nazi party organization. This organization has constantly interfered with state activities and personnel as one phase of its dominating influence on all walks of life. It has proceeded by intimidation or any other necessary means; it has introduced arbitrary and deliberately unfair ends into the enforcement of law. The effects could hardly be other than the destruction of the integrity of law administration and the honesty and morale of legal personnel. Despite these far-reaching evils, however, it can be believed that the Nazis have not destroyed all sense of decency in Germany. Rather it is to be hoped that, with the ouster and discrediting of the Nazis, sound legal policies and sound standards of fitness, efficiency and honesty will be revived. For this reason, as well as the fact that American lawyers expect to follow and to participate in the work of reconstruction in Germany, it seems worth while to describe the training and functions of German legal personnel. We shall refer to both training and functions in present terms as we do regard the picture here developed as the established German system.
Burke Shartel & Hans J. Wolff,
GERMAN LAWYERS-TRAINING AND FUNCTIONS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol42/iss3/13