Lawyers struggling to practice

Law school graduates will find it increasingly difficult to find a job in Athens, as the city’s legal profession is so saturated that one in two lawyers did not make a single appearance in court last year, according to the results of a survey made public yesterday. There are more than 21,000 lawyers in Athens but some 11,000 of them did not set foot in a courtroom last year, according to research carried out by Orientum career advisers. In fact, just over 10,000 made at least one court appearance, while only 6,000 went to court between 20 and 30 times during the year. In total, there are more than 43,000 lawyers in Greece and this number is growing each year. Researchers found that 1,200 new lawyers enter the profession each year but only 400 quit or retire. This has created considerable competition for the low number of jobs available on the market. Indicative of this was that 1,300 candidates applied for 34 positions as lawyers for the country’s main social security fund, IKA. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that there is also a glut of notaries – a profession that lawyers often undertake. According to Orientum, there are more than 3,000 notaries in Greece, which means that there is one notary for every 3,446 residents. In comparison, in France there is one notary for every 7,287 citizens, in Italy it is one for every 12,023 and in Austria there is just one notary for every 17,926 residents. However, the difficulty in finding a job as a lawyer or a notary does not seem to have deterred young people from studying law at university. More than 1,300 students are accepted to the countries three law schools, in Athens, Thessaloniki and Komotini, each year, which suggests that the institutions and the government have yet to take any measures to adjust to the job market reality and channel some of these teenagers into other areas of study.

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