About ELS

The “English Law Studies (ELS) Course” provides students of law and local lawyers in Malaga and Madrid with a comprehensive training in ‘Common Law’ for the advancement of their careers as ‘Global Lawyers’. The course will be streamed further afield to remote classrooms in 2022/2023.

ELS also provides an opportunity for Students from the UK or Ireland (or other ‘Common Law’ jurisdictions) to keep up with their English Law studies to certify as professional paralegals or to prepare for the SQE or FE1 examinations whilst adding Spanish and Spanish Law to their CV’s.

A ‘Global Lawyer’ is defined by the Association of Global Lawyers (AGL) as a lawyer who possesses suitably accredited academic, vocational and professional training and/or relevant work experience in the two major legal systems on the planet; ‘Common Law’ and ‘Continental Civil Law’, along with a high level of proficiency in English and at least one Continental European language, together with the personal and reputational standing to be able to give competent and ethically appropriate legal advice to the highest standards of skill, expertise and professionalism in the law and practice of both systems when assisting corporate and individual clients in general or specific cross-border legal issues“.

History of the ELS Course

The ELS Course was designed and pioneered at the University of Malaga (UMA) by John Brebner in 2009 (founder and current president of the “Asociacion de Juristas Globales – Association of Global Lawyers” [AGL]) and was taught there for 12 years. Since 2020, the course has been taught to UMA law students at the AGL Global Law School near UMA’s Faculty of Law.

ELS is the only course in Spain providing English Law training to undergraduates that leads directly to professional qualification in the UK. As of September 2022, the Association of Global Lawyers (AGL) will be opening its doors to first and second year law students attending approved public universities in Madrid. More information about AGL can be found at: https://associationgloballawyers.lawyer.

Duration and workload

ELS is part-time. The academic and vocational training stage of ELS has a duration of 4 years (Levels 1-4) to coincide with the Spanish Law degree course and includes all the traditional English Law foundation subjects together with other compulsory topics (see Menu: ‘Study Programmes’ at: https://studyenglishlawinspain.com)

The professional training stage takes place at Level 5. The programme which leads to the grant of ‘Approved English Law Adviser (A.ELA)’ status and Registration with the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) may be subject to variations where students prepare for the SQE in England, the Law Society Exams in Ireland (FE1) or US Bar admission exams (further information on request).

At each ELS Level, students face a workload of one 4-hour session/week of Class Contact Time (CCT) for 30 weeks each year and approximately 6 hours/week of guided Independent Study Time (IST).  Attendance at classes is compulsory. Failure to perform in IST will seriously handicap students’ progress and their possibility of achieving the cut 0f 70% (average of continuing assessments over the year) to be able to advance to the next Level.

Language admission proficiency level and progress

A minimum level of CEFR C1(-) in both English and Spanish is required for admission to Level 1. Support training towards this end includes optional ‘Speech and Drama’ workshops and ‘Debating’ workshops to improve both oral and non-verbal communication skills (See Menu: ‘Speech and Drama‘ at: https://studyenglishlawinspain.com).

‘Third Language’ training from A1/A2-C2 is provided and compulsory French, German, Italian or Russian up to a minimum of B 2. There is no minimum ‘Third Language’ requirement on admission (see Menu: ‘Third Language’ at: https://studyenglishlawinspain.com). Students who have the minimum C1(-) in English and Spanish on entry, and a minimum of B2 in one of the designated ‘Third Languages’, may choose to continue to a higher proficiency level in that language or take another out of those on offer.

To qualify at ELS Level 4, students must be certified by AGL as proficient in both English and Spanish at a minimum of C1 and at B2 in a Third Language’.

Course qualifications and accreditation

On successfully passing at each ELS Level (minimum pass mark = 70%), students receive an AGL Diploma and are automatically entitled to move to the next Level. A pass mark of between 50% and 69% provides the student with a ‘Certificate of Attendance’ and to admission to the next Level at AGL’s discretion.

On passing at Level 4, students are awarded AGL’s English Law Training Certificate (Academic and Vocational Standard) and the Diploma in English Law Studies (D.ELS)’ of the Institute of Paralegals (IoP), becoming eligible for registration and certification in the UK on the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) at Tier 2 or 3 depending on relevant work experience.

Students successfully completing Level 5 are awarded AGL’s English Law Training Certificate (Professional Standard) and the IoP’s  ‘Approved English Law Adviser (A.ELA)’ status leading to eligibility for registration and certification in the UK on the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) at Tier 3 or 4 depending on relevant work experience.  

PPR registration at Tiers 3 and 4 counts towards the ‘Common Law’ training part of the dual-training requirement for AGL accreditation as an ‘Associate Global Lawyer’ or ‘Global Lawyer’ respectively. The corresponding ‘Continental Civil Law’ part of the dual-training requirement can be satisfied with a Law Degree at an approved Spanish University or other higher education centre and a ‘Máster en Abogacía’ or equivalent vocational experience (See Menu: FAQ’s for more details at:https://studyenglishlawinspain.com.

Professional students

The ELS Course provides training for local professionals whose business finds them increasingly involved in global transactional work that demands a high standard of English and Common Law knowledge and practice skills. (See ‘English Law Studies (ELS) Course para Titulados’). 

Lawyers who are qualified in the laws and practice of a Continental Civil Law jurisdiction and who have been granted A.ELA  status and are PPR registered at Tier 3 or 4 or who have other Common Law qualifications and/or experience (e.g., qualified solicitors, barristers, attorneys, etc.), are eligible for full ‘Global Lawyer’ membership of the AGL (See https://associationgloballawyers.lawyer)

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