In 2017, the European Lawyers Foundation (ELF) took the initiative to present and pilot an exchange of lawyers, similar to the one available for judges and prosecutors and run by the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN). This new exchange scheme was named the Multilateral Exchange of Lawyers and, through its implementation, the ELF led the effort for the establishment of a comprehensive and effective exchange scheme for lawyers in Europe. Five years after the launch of the first project, the exchange scheme for lawyers is well-established, fully-operational and highly-regarded by participating lawyers, law firms and Bars. Based on the successful mechanism in place, ELF in partnership with 10 lawyers’ organisations have now launched the third consecutive continuation of the project which will run from May 2022 until May 2025.

Needs that the project aims to address

The European Commission identified a lack of training exchange schemes at EU level for legal professionals other than judges and prosecutors. Responding to this need, lawyers, representing by number the largest group of legal professionals, decided to continue their own exchange scheme for the third consecutive time, mirroring the one implemented on a continuing basis by the European Judicial Training Network. This is precisely the main need that our project aims to address: to make possible such an exchange of lawyers at a permanent basis, so they can learn about other Member States’ legal systems, create or consolidate networking capacities and improve their legal language skills, as has been proved to be the case in the previous two editions of the project. All participants in the continuation project will be qualified lawyers with up to 7 years of professional experience, and they will be selected on the basis of criteria to be agreed by the partners at the beginning of the project.


  • To provide continuity to the first EU-wide training exchange scheme for lawyers, which was set up by the MULTILAW and continued by LAWYEREX (on the basis of the scheme used by EJTN for the exchange of judges and prosecutors), by providing exchange opportunities to 124 lawyers from the 10 partners in this project. 
  • To enhance European lawyers’ practical knowledge of other legal systems in Europe through direct contacts, increase in knowledge and sharing of experiences with their counterparts in 9 different EU Member States. 
  • To contribute to the development of a European judicial culture based on mutual trust between lawyers
  • To contribute to the EU’s objective of having continuous training on EU law reaching 15% of lawyers in the EU by 2024

Target group

Lawyers represent (by number) the highest collective number of legal practitioners. There are approximately 1 million lawyers in the European Union and many of them are engaged in cross border activities. Therefore, it is necessary that an effective exchange programme is addressed to this group. Lawyers participating in the training exchange (incoming lawyers and their supervisors in host institutions) will be the direct target group. They will learn and immerse themselves in other Member States’ legal systems by integrating into the working life of their counterparts abroad. Host institutions will also benefit by having incoming lawyers present. Finally, citizens are indirect beneficiaries as it is in their interest to have lawyers more mobile within the EU and better trained in different EU Member States’ legal systems.

Co-funded by the European Union