Candidate of Law

Diploma from the University of Oslo

Candidate of Law (Latin: candidatus/candidata juris, Danish: cand.jur., Norwegian: cand.jur., Swedish: jur.kand, Finnish: oik. maist.) is the degree awarded to jurists who have passed the law exam in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland after studying law for about 5–6 years. In Iceland, graduates are now awarded a master's degree in the field of law.


The Swedish jur.kand is obtained after four and a half years at the normal pace. Danish and Icelandic degrees take five years, whereas the Finnish degree takes four years. In Norway, the degree is obtained after five and a half years, in addition to a compulsory single term entrance examination in philosophy and ethics, the Examen Philosophicum – a total of 6 years. In Norway it was replaced by the degree Master of Laws in 2003; the final student to graduate as a cand.jur did so in the spring term of 2007. Swedish universities switched to a curriculum leading up to a Master of Law rather than a jur. kand. in the fall of 2010.


Previously in Finland the academic degree (Finnish: oikeustieteen kandidaatti, Swedish: juris kandidat) was awarded to a person after completing generally 5 years of study in the field of law. Both before and after the Bologna process in 2005 the academic degree is split into two different grades. Previously, the lower degree was varanotaari (Fi.) / vicenotarie (Sw.), and currently the lower degree awarded is oikeusnotaari (Fi.) / rättsnotarie (Sw.) after completing circa 3 years of study (180 ECTS credits) equal to LL.B. The upper degree is oikeustieteen maisteri (Fi.) / juris magister (Sw.) after additional 2 years of study (120 ECTS) equal to an LL.M. or JD.

The right to practice specific law-related occupations (e.g. judge, prosecutor, lawyer) in Finland is awarded by completing either the old exam oikeustieteen kandidaatti / juris kandidat (before 2005) or the new exam oikeustieteen maisteri / juris magister (after 2005). The oikeusnotaari/rättsnotarie degree alone doesn't give the right to practice law-related occupations.


The cand. jur. education used to be the qualifying legal education in Norway usually completed in 6 years full-time. As a result of an extensive reform of the Norwegian educational system, the cand. jur. program was replaced with the Master of Laws-degree. The Master of Laws is standardized to 5 years, based on the standard length of a bachelor+master education of 5 years.

The final cand. jur. degree was awarded in the Spring of 2007.

Traditionally, the student must swear an oath to avoid straying from truth and justice, nor encouraging needless dispute. The oath is no longer spoken, but it is implied with a handshake during the graduation ceremony.


In Scandinavian countries, the exam can only be taken at a university with a diploma privilege granted by the government – though any institution may provide legal education. University education was until recently based on large scale seminars rather than classroom education, thus several private institutions were established in the 1980s and 1990s in order to assist lawstudents.

The competition for a study right in law at university is very fierce in all Nordic countries. There are usually more than 10 applicants for one place at the Law faculties. The admission system however vary from every country.


The degree is roughly equal to the Master of Laws (LLM) in Europe but a step above the Juris Doctor (JD) the United States which would be the equivalent of a LL.B .

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