5 Minutes with: Prof. Karsten Schmidt

Prof. Schmidt, honorary president and professor at Bucerius Law School, speaks about his fascination with the law, law school, and Gerd Bucerius – #5

Professor dr. dr. h.c. multi. Karsten Schmidt was a university lecturer long before Bucerius Law School was founded. He worked at Göttingen, Bonn and Hamburg universities before he helped set up the law school. Prof. Schmidt still gains great pleasure from teaching students and continues to work and research diligently.


Fascination with law

For the honorary president, jurisprudence is both fascinating and inspiring, and involves more than just studying the law. Legal research combines constantly confronting new tasks with social responsibility. So that means stimulation for the head, mind and heart! For Karsten Schmidt, thinking independently and persuading others to come around to your point of view also characterizes the life of a legal scholar.


Motivation for Prof. Schmidt: himself

For the Bucerius Law School founding member, thinking and writing are essential. He draws strength and joy from them again and again, which motivates him to continue working. What for many others means social commitment to scientific research and practice is for him “working for oneself”.

For this reason, Prof. Schmidt can regularly be found in his office on campus late in the evening. In order to ensure the continuance of such a work ethic, this professional drive must come primarily from oneself, he believes. Researchers should approach their work positively and strive to get the most out of themselves and their endeavours.

Fascination with law school

Fortunately, the honorary president still feels very much at home at the law school, even after so many years here. “Anyone who comes to the campus expands their hearts.” The so-called law school spirit combines seriousness with light-heartedness, and at the same time conveys academic dignity without appearing stiff. Hamburg, the law, and even Europe would benefit from the university. Karsten Schmidt is all the more delighted to have been a part of this project from the start.


Fascination with Hamburg

The location of the law school is also part of the fascination for Prof. Schmidt. Hamburg as a city exudes a cheerfulness he has always liked. Whether you are driving along the Elbchaussee or looking out over the Elbe, wherever you are in Hamburg it is always extraordinary!

5 minutes with

In the video series: "5 minutes with" we introduce our professors. What kind of chair do they hold and what are their main areas of work? In addition, we are just as interested in the personalities of our professors. What fascinates them particularly about the university and about Hamburg? We answer all this and much more in "5 minutes with". Click here for all episodes: 

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Gerd Bucerius and Karsten Schmidt

Gerd Bucerius and Karsten Schmidt have had a long association with one another, since Gerd Bucerius once asked Karsten Schmidt for legal advice in connection with his company. After a short time, he was impressed by the quality and clarity of the answers he received, as well as the professional expertise of the professor, and so shortly thereafter Gerd Bucerius brought Karsten Schmidt on to the board of the then-existing ZEIT Foundation. For a long time, Karsten Schmidt helped shape the future of the foundation. Due to this special connection between Prof. Schmidt and the person who gave the law school its name, he has a very personal connection to the origins of the university.


The spirit of Gerd Bucerius at the law school today

Being self-confident without showing off or placing oneself above others are qualities that distinguished Gerd Bucerius as a person. Today, these characteristics direct the life path and describe the personality profile of the students at Bucerius Law School. Karsten Schmidt loves experiencing this “Bucerius spirit” on campus every day.


Florian Helwich, Emma Schimmel