Miquel Roca calls upon new lawyers to recover citizens’ confidence in the legal system

This Tuesday Miquel Roca Junyent called upon new lawyers to recover citizens’ confidence in the legal system, at a difficult and complex time in which the social climate brings into question even the value of the rules. The prestigious Catalan lawyer and one of the fathers of the Constitution inaugurated the LL. M. in Professional Legal Practice of the Pompeu Fabra University’s Continuing Education Institute (IDEC-UPF), with a speech in which he analysed the challenges of a constantly changing and evolving profession.

Miquel Roca

“I am not going to mislead you; legally speaking it is a complex time – he pointed out –, in which legal confidence in States has fallen drastically. Spain is in penultimate position in the OECD and this can be felt on the street. This should not, however, discourage us. It is also a passionate moment and it is up to you to rebuild the foundations of the recovery of legal confidence”.

Roca warned the new Law graduates that they are going to face very tough competition, among themselves and even with phenomena like Google, which already offers model contracts which used to be the responsibility of lawyers. Even so, he encouraged them to exercise “the best profession in the world”, increasingly necessary because society is demanding security and guarantees of well-being, which lawyers can offer. “People are immersed in constantly exercising freedoms and rights, and we interpret these rights and freedoms; justice is not as close to reality as legal practice”, he stated.

More students than ever

Together with Miquel Roca, the master’s degree programme was inaugurated by the Rector of the Pompeu Fabra University, Jaume Casals, the Vice-Dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, Rosa Maria Barberà Ramos and the Academic Director of the Master’s programme, Ramon Ragués. The legal obligation to take a one-year master’s programme and to pass an official exam in order to be able to practise the profession of lawyer, which has just come into force, has multiplied the number of students on this type of course, representing a fivefold increase from just 30 people registered last year to almost 150 this year. ‘I know that you now need to invest more years, more effort, more money, but this will allow you to be better prepared and to have better training. We created this master’s programme precisely so that your education would be of higher quality, and we did not do it alone, but rather working together with the Bar Association and professional law firms where you can undertake internships to be prepared in the best possible way to exercise the profession and to enter the labour market’, stated Ragués.

IDEC-UPF’s LL. M. in Professional Legal Practice has been operating for three years as a pilot experiment and has a pioneering structure and contents. It is designed with the support of Barcelona’s main law firms, five of which are included on the academic council which helps to prepare the programme. This makes it easier for those registered to enter the labour market.