This paper is an English translation of the introductory chapter of Legal Education in Russia: In the Search of New Quality Standards [Yuridicheskoe obrazovanie v Rossii: poisk novykh standartov kachestva], published by PILnet™ in 2014 in Russian as part of the project Legal Education in Russia: Building Institutional Will for Reform. The project and the publication funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

In 2010-2012, PILnet staff conducted “expert interviews” with over 130 legal professionals in four Russian cities – commercial and non-profit lawyers, government lawyers, law professors, law school administrators and students – to collect and analyze their views and attitudes as to what defines the modern Russian lawyer and how the country’s legal education system responded to the needs of the profession and the society at large in this respect.