Since 1961, research assistants, doctoral students as well as post-doctoral researchers from universities all over Germany – and meanwhile also from Austria and Switzerland – come together once a year to debate current topics of public law. Over the last decades, the annual meeting has developed into an important forum for young public law scholars; they present their ideas, get a glimpse of the world of academia, and get to know their colleagues. From March 13th to March 16th, 2012, the 52nd Assistententagung took place in Hamburg. The meeting was organized by the three law schools located in Hamburg: the University of Hamburg, one of Germany's largest universities; the Bucerius Law School Germany's first private law school; and the Helmut-Schmidt-University, one of two German universities of the Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). With collectivity as the general topic of the conference, the organizers provided a rather broad but nonetheless useful framework for the thirteen presentations given over the three days. While the presentations approached the concept of collectivity from different perspectives settled in different fields of the law, the relationship between individuals and groups as well as the significance of an overarching community interest appeared as recurring themes of the discussion.