How Does a Lawsuit Work? – #StayEnrolled


Due to the restricted admission of many German universities, it is not possible for everyone to study their desired major at their desired location. If this is a problem that you are facing, a study plaintiff is a possibility for you. But what exactly is to be considered? Many potential students think that winning a student lawsuit is as simple as just handing in a form. But realistically, it is a lot more than that. Being a plaintiff does not guarantee you a spot in any university; it’s not as simple as you may imagine.

What happens in a lawsuit?

One possible starting point is the so-called “capacity” suit. Legally, universities are required to accept their full capacity of students, because, according to basic law in Germany, everyone has the right to pursue the profession of his or her choice. A capacity suit accuses the university of not taking in their maximum amount of students. First of all, you need to be aware that if you do not want to deal with this whole thing by yourself, you should hire a lawyer. Keep in mind that this, of course, causes costs to be born in (almost) every case.

The process is as follows: First, the capacity lawsuit must be submitted by you or your lawyer to the court. The university may then submit a contradiction in which will attempt to prove that it has already given all possible spots to other students. If you have a successful capacity suit, in most cases the university grants additional spots, which are shared among all plaintiffs. If this number is larger than the number of plaintiffs who are complaining, it is solved.

But, particularly in the case of popular subjects, such as medicine, or in popular regions such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, the success rate is rather low. This is precisely the problem. Applying to a University or major which has a high number of applicants, results in a lower chance of you getting in.

What does it cost you?

Depending on the chosen process and whether or not you involve an attorney, the costs are very different. 50 euros, however, is the sum of the application of a procedure. Many lawyers also make special offers to study plaintiffs. For example, such that you agree to a success bonus, which means that you only have to pay if your argument is successful. This will save you any fees if the lawsuit does not suceed.You should always try to be aware of the charges incurred in advance. If you are not aware of these conditions, and you decide to file a lawsuit and it does not succeed after several legal steps, you could still have to pay the entire cost. The total cost in the end could very well exceed 1,000 euros.

What are the alternative options?

For one thing, you should consider whether or not it really is worth spending the money. In particularly difficult cases, it can easily become very expensive, and may go on for weeks. You should also ask yourself whether this university or subject is absolutely worth it. Maybe there are other cities that you would also like to study in, and that have enough space for you.

One option is just waiting one or two semesters and applying again (and having a higher chance of getting in). You can instead use this time to do something different before you start your studies. You could travel, do an FSJ or even do an internship in your desired area of study. For more ideas and suggestions, check out the gap-year article on our site. No matter what you decide, you should carefully consider all of your many different options before diving into one. Ask your parents and friends for advice, and discuss what might be the best fit for you. Sometimes you can get so lost in something, and that you can’t see the forest behind the trees.

So, do not rush into anything, because clearly, there are many different paths of action!