Our program is taught in the English language and focuses on European and International Law. We also offer the possibility to study Finnish law in Helsinki. Our law program is well balanced between the theoretical and practical aspects of law and if you study with us, you will learn from practicing lawyers as well as internationally recognized legal scholars. Experience vibrant student life in Tallinn Estonia, a Nordic country with an interesting Nordic European-Estonian culture, meet interesting people from around the world, and most importantly, take that first step along the path to a rewarding career in the legal profession by studying law at Tallinn University!
Tallinn University’s law program is a classical law program, which gives students a firm foundation to build upon in master’s level specialization studies. The law program covers the areas of legal theory, the history of law, private law, public law, and international law. The law program offers two modules to specialize in - International and European Law, and Finnish Law (offered only in Helsinki). The program develops lawyering skills in case analysis, logical reasoning, reading comprehension, legal writing and research, and argumentation. Courses utilize the Socratic Method, as well as case presentations, research projects and ‘mooting’ – mock trials – to develop the skills needed to be a successful lawyer. Our program is taught by competent legal professionals and legal scholars, it has the right mix of the practical and theoretical, and the practical training experience and an interdisciplinary project are required to complete the program. At Tallinn University, we prepare future lawyers, business professionals and leaders of society to meet the challenges of today’s globalized world.
Who are we looking for?
The law program is ideal for students who want to become lawyers, lawmakers, judges, and advocates for causes, as well as students who desire a career in business. Our students are a mixture of students who come straight from secondary school and students who have already obtained a bachelor, or even a master’s degree in another academic area. And our students are diverse, coming from all over the world, with different life experiences and backgrounds.
Why study with us?
Law encompasses the rules and regulations that govern our daily lives. Studying law develops one’s understanding of the levers of power in society, from the local to the national and to the international level. Our program is designed to meet the challenges of a globalized world by giving students a classical legal education while developing persuasive problem-solving skills and addressing topical legal issues such as the migrant crisis and climate change. Studying law at Tallinn University combines the theory with the practice - learning how to use and apply the law and pondering the timeless question of ‘what law is and what law ought to be’. Studying law develops one’s skills to become a lawyer by learning to think like a lawyer, which involves developing and refining problem-solving skills, and learning - in a legal case - how to identify the issue, research the law, and apply the law. Learning to become a lawyer is not easy, it is a challenge. Our students are equipped with a skill set that is applicable for a career in the legal profession, and in a host of other professions in an increasingly globalized world - where mastering the rules is essential for success.
Attend Tallinn University Summer School course The Formation of Global Norms in a Changing World Order this summer to get an insight to factors contributing to the changing world order and the impact the changing world order will have on the stability of current global norms as well as the formation of new global norms. The course is multidisciplinary in nature, being based on the disciplines of Law and International Relations.
The law program is offered in Tallinn and in Helsinki. Courses are scheduled on weekdays in Tallinn and on weekends in Helsinki (Thursdays-Saturdays) and the normal time to complete the program is six semesters. The program is composed of compulsory law courses, module specific courses, and law electives. The program offers two modules, European and International Law, and Finnish Law (offered only in Helsinki). Further, the program includes compulsory practical training – giving students an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom by working under the direction of a practicing legal professional. In the final year of study, students participate in an interdisciplinary project and have an option to take ‘Advanced Legal Writing and Research’, a course in which students produce a scholarly research paper - similar to a thesis - on a topical legal issue. At the end of the program, students must successfully defend the final thesis.
Our faculty is international, with members from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, and the United States of America. Further, among our faculty are past and current lawmakers (members of parliament), judges, lawyers, and well known legal scholars, which combines to make a well balanced legal education from the theoretical and practical viewpoints.
Rein Müllerson is the Research Professor of Law and Politics at Tallinn University and was the most recent past president of Institut de Droit Internationalis. He was Professor and Chair of International Law at King's College, London (1994-2009). He has been a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (1988-92), visiting centennial professor of the London School of Economics and Political Science (1992-94), and first deputy foreign minister of Estonia (1991-92). Professor Müllerson is an internationally recognized legal scholar, the author of eleven books on international law and politics and more than 200 articles and reviews.
Massimo La Torre is the Professor of European Law at Tallinn University, and he is also a Professor at the Department of Law of the Università di Catanzaro (Italy) and at the Law School of the University of Hull (United Kingdom). He held numerous visiting professorial fellowships at European and American universities, and he was fellow of the Alliance Française, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, the British Council and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Professor La Torrie is a prolific writer on legal philosophy, political philosophy and questions of subjective rights, sovereignty, freedom, the rule of law and democracy.
Mart Susi is the Professor of Human Rights at Tallinn University and the Head of the Law study area. Professor Susi is active in publishing articles and commentaries on human rights, with special focus on new human rights.
Matthew Crandall, PhD, is an associate professor of International Relations at Tallinn University (Estonia) where he received his doctoral degree. He completed a master’s degree in EU-Russian Studies from the University of Tartu (Estonia) and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University (USA)in Political Science. His major fields of research are soft security threats, small state foreign policy, and the foreign policy of the United States. He has published in Contemporary Security Policy, Defence Studies, Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, and East European Politics.
Tiina Pajuste, PhD, is a Lecturer in International and European Law at Tallinn University. Dr. Pajuste received her PhD from the University of Cambridge on “Accountability Mechanisms for International Organisations”. Before her doctoral studies, she completed a Diploma in International Law at Cambridge, on the accountability of international territorial administrations. She also holds a LLM in Public International Law from the University of Helsinki (Finland) and a BA in Law from the University of Tartu (Estonia). Her research interests focus mainly on the activity and impact of international organisations, examining both practical and theoretical issues.
Samuli Miettinen is associate professor of transnational law at Tallinn University and holds the title of docent (adjunct professor/hablitation) in European law at the universities of Helsinki and Lapland He has taught a wide range of international and EU law subjects at European universities and is currently working on issues in EU public and criminal law. Miettinen is the author of The Political Constitution of EU Criminal Law (Hart, forthcoming 2017), The Europeanization of Criminal Law (Helsinki, 2015), Criminal Law and Policy in the European Union (Routledge, 2012) and The Sporting Exception in European Union Law (Asser/Cambridge, 2008, with Richard Parrish), some 40 longer articles or book chapters, and is co-editor of Data Protection, Privacy and European Regulation in the Digital Age (Forum Iuris, 2016, with Tobias Bräutigam). Miettinen was FIDE national rapporteur for Finland in 2016 (Competence) and 2014 (Citizenship), and is also a contact point for Finland in the European Criminal Law Academic Network.
Igor Gräzin is Lecturer of Law at Tallinn University and a member of the Estonian Parliament. He taught law in the United States at the University of Notre Dame and was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. He has written academic papers on the philosophy of law, the theory of legal interpretation, and macroeconomics.
Meelis Eerik is a Lecturer of Private Law at Tallinn University. He is also a trial level judge for Harju County Court in Estonia. He has served in this capacity since 2001 and he is also a member of the Judicial Examination Council.
Norman Aas is a Lecturer of Penal Law at Tallinn University. He is also the Chancellor of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Estonia. The Chancellor manages the daily work of the Ministry and coordinates the activities of the Ministry.
Heiki Lindpere is a lecturer of International Law at Tallinn University. He is an internationally recognized expert on the law of the sea and a member of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration.
There are many other professors and lecturers who are teaching Law at Tallinn University.
More information about them can be found on Estonian Research Information System (click on the name and the profile opens):
Selected non-permanent members of the Law Teaching and Research Staff
Haldi Koit is a Visiting Lecturer of law at Tallinn University. She is a legal counsel at the Estonian Ministry of Justice. She specializes in cross-border issues in executive procedure and child custody.
Kristina Vaksmaa-Tammaru is a Visting Lecturer of law at Tallinn University. She is the Director of the European Customer Center of Estonia, which was created within the Estonian Customer Protection Board to protect the rights of consumers in regard to cross-border purchases.
Tanel Kalmet is a Visiting Lecturer of law at Tallinn University. He is the legal advisor at the Ministry of Justice for the Republic of Estonia. He specializes in intellectual property law.
Nandor Knust is a Visiting Lecturer of law at Tallinn University. He is the head of the International Criminal Law Section of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg i. Br. Germany.
- Completed Secondary Education or the equivalent
- Proof of English Proficiency
Please see the complete overview of admission and application requirements for Bachelor's level applicants.
- The entrance exam consists of written assignment (a motivation letter that also includes answers to the questions concerning the motivation and desire to study at the programme) and an interview via Skype.
- For the purposes of identity verification at the admission procedure the admission committee has the right to take a screenshot during the oral part of the exam carried out via video bridge.
- The maximum number of points is 100 (50% written, 50% oral part).
- Students receiving at least 30 points of the written part are allowed to the oral interview.
- BA: Minimum programme enrollment threshold: 65 points out of 100.
Written assignment. Please submit a motivation letter (5000-6000 characters) in which you also answer to the following questions:
- The choice of the study programme: Why Tallinn University? Why this specific programme? What interests you about law? What kinds of courses and fields are you most interested in and why?
- Previous experience and studies: What have you done before applying here? Where and what have you studied? What kind of previous work or volunteer experience do you have?
- Your plans after BA studies: What do you plan to do after your BA? How will this degree help with your career and future studies? Discuss your plans in as much detail as possible.
- Describe a social issue in your country and what are the possible solutions to it. Does it relate to some global issues?
- Describe yourself as a student, what are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you plan to finance your studies?
NB! Plagiarised motivation letters are not accepted in any form and will be failed.
2015 examples of graduates from the Helsinki Section of Tallinn University English language BA law program:
Matti Aulaskari is enrolled at the Catholica Global School of Law, Lisbon Portugal. Program: LLM in International Business Law.
Lauri Suhonen is enrolled at Tilburg University Law School, Netherlands.
Program: LLM in International Business Taxation
Julia Hyvärinen is enrolled at Tilburg University Law School, Netherlands.
Program: LLM in International Business Taxation
Johan Granqvist is enrolled at King's College Law School, UK.
Sini Männistö is enrolled at King's College Law School, UK.
Mikko Tolsa is enrolled at the University of Amsterdam Law School, Netherlands.
Joonas Tervo is enrolled at Leiden University Law School, Netherlands.
Jessica Jokivirta is enrolled at the Institute for Law and Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.
Program: LLM in Banking and Finance Law.
Jyri Poutala is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in public law
Samir Abdoune is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in public law.
Asta Salo is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in public law.
Jesse Urjansson is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in public law.
2015 examples of graduates from the Tallinn section of Tallinn University English language BA law program:
Ozgur Baykara is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in international business law.
Anu Annikki Vihervaara is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in international business law.
Lauri Pajunoja is enrolled at the University of Helsinki Law School, Finland.
Program: LLM in public law.
2014 graduates from the Tallinn section of Tallinn University English language BA law program:
Carsten Wulff was accepted at KU Leuven University, Belgium, Master's Program in European Studies. He completed his studies and graduated in 2015.
Tuomas Huokuna was accepted at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, Master's program in International Commercial Law. He completed his studies and graduated in 2015.
Jana Guzanova was accepted at the Estonian School of Diplomacy, Estonia, International Relations and European Integration program. She completed her studies in 2015.
Jusso Turtiainen was accepted at University College London, England, LL.M program. He completed his studies and graduated in 2015.
Heikki Selin was accepted at Copenhagen University, Denmark, LL.M program. He is currently enrolled and in the process of completing his studies.
Vilma Jussila was accepted at Queen Mary University of London, England, LL.M program. She is currently enrolled and in the process of completing her studies.
Kristiina Airi (Finland)
“It gives many opportunities, especially because of the law studies at SOGOLAS are international, and you can count on an international career instead of only working in Finland,” tells Kristiina. She is not sure about her future yet, but she is prepared to live and work abroad since she loves warm countries. She has been thinking about Italy, Spain and also Germany. “International law and environment is the strength of SOGOLAS – we have lecturers from USA, China, Germany, Estonia and Finland and they bring along their knowledge and study methods from their own countries,” she explains.
Auri Lomperi (Denmark)
“I never really thought about studying law until I heard about the possibility to study law in English. I have always been keen on studying in English, and this possibility seemed interesting. When the studies eventually started, I knew that I was at the right place and I wanted to become a lawyer,” says Auri. In her opinion the strength of SOGOLAS is its international teachers and a good variety of courses. She also emphasizes that “The amount of discussions within the courses was very good and gave variability to classes. In my Bachelor's thesis, I wrote about transportation law, and I hope to work within that field in the future. I am also interested in alternative dispute resolution and diplomacy. I have many good memories from SOGOLAS. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies there. I would highly recommend SOGOLAS to others. An international degree separates you from the others, and might open doors to other countries,” says Auri.
Law encompasses the rules and regulations that govern our daily lives. Studying law develops one's understanding of the levers of power in society, from the local, to the national, to the international level. Our program is designed to meet the challenges of a globalized world by giving students a classical legal education, while developing persuasive problem solving skills, and addressing topical legal issues such as the migrant crisis and climate change. Studying law at Tallinn University combines the theory with the practice - learning how to use and apply the law and pondering the timeless question of 'what law is and what law ought to be'. Studying law develops one's skills to become a lawyer by learning to think like a lawyer, which involves developing and refining problem solving skills, and learning - in a legal case - how to identify the issue, research the law, and apply the law. Learning to become a lawyer is not easy; it is a challenge. Our students are equipped with a skill set that is applicable for a career in the legal profession, and in a host of other professions in an increasingly globalized world - where mastering the rules is essential for success.
Tallinn University has many opportunities for students to have an active social life, such as choir singing, gym practice, and the chance to become involved in numerous student organizations and social clubs. SOGOLAS’s students have a student representation organisation, Civitas that takes care of students’ educational and social needs. And further, Law students have two organizations that support the academic and professional side of law studies and balance that out with recreational and social activities; the International Law Guild for students in Tallinn, and Primus Collegium for students in Helsinki. Both organizations arrange visits to law firms and legal institutions, host social gatherings and speaker events, and trips abroad. Furthermore, SOGOLAS organizes conferences and special events every year, open to students and researchers, as well as many public lecturers.
Primus is the student body for students of Tallinn University in Helsinki who actively participates in SOGOLAS student life.
Maj-Lis Pelli - President
Johanna Hanwell - Vice-President
Elisa Laaja - Treasurer
Kalle Nummelin - Marketing Representative
Milja Vuopio - Event Organizer
Tiina Kemppainen - Corporate Relations
Tuomas Riikonen - Secretary
Following are the two major projects the Law direction is coordinating:
The project “HURMUR: Human rights – mutually raising excellence” is a European Commission Project funded under the first TWINNING call of Horizon 2020 (Project No. 692143). The project will decisively expand the world-class research area of human rights in Europe. Tallinn University Law School will develop research excellence of human rights and become involved in global research and regional dissemination networks through specific activities of an outstanding consortium, where two other partners are premier global academic institutions in the field of human rights – the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Walther Schücking Institute of International Law (Kiel University, Germany).
LAWMEDIA NETWORK will bring together scholars and specialists from law and media to explore the factors involved and suggest solutions for protecting the right to expression and the right to privacy in the new media environment. Participants will define and discuss the role of various significant actors – such as the media enterprises, media users, governments and civil organizations – in achieving the task of maintaining the core values of the modern world. Dialogue between various stakeholders enables the project participants to assess which standards of good faith and accountable journalism can be realized in the Internet and whether there is a need for developing common new standards on the basis of voluntary acknowledgement by new media enterprises. International discussion with interdisciplinary focus may be the most reliable way to achieve meaningful and realizable results for building the foundations for maintaining the freedom of expression and right to privacy in the realm of new media realities.
LAWMEDIA NETWORK hosts this year for the second time the summer school LAW and Media in Saaremaa / Estonia. Participation of 25 students from 4 partners universities and relevant stakeholders are expected.
Below is a select list of bachelor's theses from some recent graduates of our Law programme:
- The Legal and Political Effects of the OECD’s Beps Initiative - Samir Abdoune, 2015
- Legal Base of Internet and Domain Name System - Who Controls the Internet? - Tuomas Martti Edvard Hauvala, 2016
- Mens Rea Doctrine in International Criminal Law - Emmi Emilia Heino, 2016
- The Importance of Intellectual Property Rights in Start-up Companies - Jukka Pekka Hilmola, 2016
- Trending Payment Solutions and EU Electronic Payment Directives - Oladeji Michael IwalehinIkuesan, 2016
- United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals - Jessica Esteri James, 2016
Tallinn University has a modern urban campus located in the center of the city. The airport, train and bus stations are just a few minutes away by public transport. The beautiful view of the harbour is a constant reminder that students studying at Tallinn University are in the center of a major European hub. Our students have access to physical and online libraries, computer labs, cafeterias and cafes. Further, the university has all the facilities necessary for a productive learning environment and ample opportunities for leisure, sports, and social activities, all leading to an exciting and well-balanced student life. Take a walk around our campus via the virtual tour!
Our Law program is taught entirely in the English language by competent legal professionals and legal scholars. Our student body is international, with students from many countries in Europe, as well as students from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Day-to-day student life is always international at Tallinn University, as our program is closely connected with other English language programs and among your classmates, you will frequently find Erasmus students who have come to visit.
Tallinn University opened a law affiliate in Helsinki five years ago in 2012, so this year we will already witness the third graduation ceremony.
Our staff is international - the professors, alongside with guest lecturers, travel from Tallinn to Helsinki to teach and supervise the students. Our students get good knowledge and practical skills in international, European and Finnish law and have great opportunities to do their Master's degree wherever in the world. All students who hold an EU passport can apply for studying law in Helsinki.
Study form: cycle studies – classes only from Thursday to Saturday.
Your support team in Helsinki and in Tallinn
In School of Governance, Law and Society we have besides the professors also a support team who are next to the students whether they need guidance in the admission process, study programme or any issues; also with extracurricular activities such as conferences, seminars and other interesting events. We have study counsellors who are going to Helsinki every week when the studies take place. The head of the law studies in Helsinki is the lecturer Philip Graves who is also teaching there.
Due to the worsening political situation in Syria, it was impossible for me to complete my academic studies and was forced to leave the country. I then moved to live in Finland where I found a new home. Upon arriving in Finland, I began searching for study options at Finnish universities with the hope that I would be finally able to pursue an academic degree in the field of law which has always been of my passionate interest.
Unfortunately, all bachelor level programmes offered by the Finnish traditional universities were taught only in Finnish and an advanced to the native level of understanding was required of the Finnish language, a level of which I had not yet attained.
As such, I was left with no options other than to seek an opportunity in another European country. Searching for study options in some of the neighbouring countries on the internet, I come across a Bachelor’s degree programme of law that was entirely taught in English. The programme was provided by Tallinn University, and to my pleasant surprise, the programme was also offered in the university campus in Helsinki.
It is a fascinating and dynamic programme. The first year was foundational, aimed at creating a solid ground and providing the students with all the necessary tools and instruments that will help them throughout their studies as well as in their professional lives. The program comprised of introductory courses covering different areas of law, history, philosophy, logic, politics and international relations. Second and third years courses switch focus to three areas of law – Finnish law, European law, and International law. Students are free to choose whichever module they prefer as a major and as a minor. I chose International law as my major and European law as my minor. The fact that we have international professors coming from different legal systems and cultures adds great value and richness to the learning experience.
We live in a world that is becoming more and more interconnected, where concepts and ideas are relentlessly developing and evolving. Markets, cultures and ideologies grow and expand beyond political borders, And hence, the need is bigger for jurists and lawyers that can extend their knowledge beyond the limits of a single legal system, and are better equipped to cope with the future challenges of such a complex world. In concluding, I truly believe that it is not only what the university can offer, but also what we as individuals are willing to strive to achieve from our time at university. The university is indeed a state of mind and it is on us to honour that experience.
It is very good that the Law programme is in English – none of the Finnish universities offers law studies in English. That what makes Tallinn University really special. I wish to do my masters abroad, so the studies here give me excellent ground – I am focusing on European law which gives me very good opportunities for my future. I appreciate Tallinn University because it has a different approach to studies compared to Finnish universities. It is easier to get into Tallinn University but there are demands that need to be fulfilled in order to stay in the university. It is good because the grade average keeps high and almost all of those that graduate, graduate on time.
Lecturers here are interactive, we have lots of group works and discussions on how to take the knowledge and put it into a practical situation. It is quite intensive but I like it! The university is in the Meeting Park, right in the middle of Helsinki’s old town, so the access to the transit is very good. I am working at the same time and quick transit is very important to me because the travel distances are not too long.
Dan Rainer Nyberg
I decided to come to study law later in my life, so I am a bit older than most of the other students here. I have many experiences in life and I can say that Tallinn University gives more personal studies than some other universities. Lecturers in Tallinn University are really good – lawyers really need that deep critical thinking and that’s what the lecturers here are teaching us. They also try to guide us in the right direction. I am glad that we can discuss everything – lecturers are very dedicated to their topics. They have a fire in themselves! I appreciate the material they share with us. I feel that there is personal contact between students and lecturers – that is great!
School of Governance, Law and Society
The BA in Politics and Governance is a contemporary academic programme combining a strong politics and governance core with a variety of choices including international relations, economics and management.
School of Governance, Law and Society
Liberal arts ideology comes from the era of antiquity. It is the idea that a free person must know certain things to be a good member of society. Tallinn University’s liberal arts in social sciences does not teach rhetoric or grammar but does give you all you need to know about social sciences.