About ELSA Leiden


On May 4, 1981 “The European Law Students' Association” was founded in Vienna. The founders were students from both sides of the “Iron Curtain” from Poland, Austria, Hungary and former West Germany. Their aim was, on the one hand, to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between European lawyers and, on the other hand, to promote the establishment of international contacts.

ELSA continued to grow steadily and by the early 1990s already had more than 30 member and observing countries. In order to manage and coordinate such a large organization, an office in Brussels was rented in 1993 for the International Board. In 1995 this turned out to be too small and the board moved to the current ELSA house.

ELSA's great strength is its extensive European network. ELSA is currently active in 43 countries with more than 200 local groups: from Iceland to Malta and from Portugal to Estonia. Its 60,000 members make up the largest legal association in the world. ELSA is also the only association of students in the world that, as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has special advisory status vis-à-vis ECOSOC (the United Nations Social and Economic Council).

ELSA Leiden is one of eight local groups in the Netherlands, next to Nijmegen, Tilburg, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Groningen.

ELSA Leiden was founded in 1999. With approximately 500 members, ELSA Leiden is the largest local group. This means that ELSA Leiden can organize a lot, with something for each of its members! This way you can participate in our career-oriented activities such as the Congress, the Career Event and visits to law firms. In addition, we have weekly drinks on Thursdays, with a monthly lecture linked to it. We also organize various training courses, such as a language test training for first-year law students and a pleading training for students taking the Mootcourt course. In addition, ELSA Leiden, in collaboration with Leiden University, offers students to participate in the Human Rights lecture series. This is an extracurricular course, where you gain knowledge about human rights issues and you even get the opportunity to travel to Strasbourg. ELSA Leiden also organizes activities for international students who follow law courses at our faculty.

Finally, as a member of ELSA Leiden you receive a discount on your study books and a discount on the products of AthenaStudies:

  • 5% book discount
  • 10% discount on summaries and exam training from AthenaStudies

In short, membership at ELSA Leiden offers you a broad European network, with many activities that are both social and study-related!