Nigerian Law Forum
It is not new for lawyers licensed in one country to practise law in another country or jurisdiction. This practice has improved diversity in the legal profession.1 A full-fledged lawyer who is qualified to practise law in his home country can usually practise law in another country if he meets that country’s requirements.
Different countries have different rules that govern how foreign-trained lawyers may be allowed to practise law. This article aims to show how a lawyer can practise law in another country other than where he is qualified to practise by looking at three different jurisdictions.
There are different provinces in Canada, and each province has its own rules regarding practice. An applicant must first decide on the province he intends to practise. Then he must apply to the law society of that province and meets its requirement before he can be licensed to practise. The following are the steps to getting licensed by an applicant:
Just like Canada, every state in the US has different requirements for allowing a foreign-trained lawyer to practise law. Generally, there are five ways a foreign-trained lawyer can practise in the United States.5 They are;
Permission as a licensed lawyer is the most common means. The following steps will usually be taken by a person applying to the state of New York to be licensed:
A lawyer is either addressed as a barrister or a solicitor. Therefore practising in the United Kingdom means an applicant will have to apply and be qualified as a barrister or a solicitor.
The following steps qualify an applicant as a solicitor:7
To qualify as a barrister,8 the applicant must show:
If an applicant passes all the necessary requirements of the foreign country where he intends to practise law, then he will be licensed to practise law abroad.
1 Kenneth S. Kilimnik, Lawyers Abroad: New Rules for Practice in a Global Economy, 12 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 269 (1994).
2 The Federation of Law Societies of Canada
3 The Law Society of Ontario
4 Law Society Act, R.S.O 1990, c. L. 8 (amendments current to 1 March 2018)
5 Terry L, Jurisdictions with Rules Regarding Foreign Law Practice, Penn St. Dickson Law, (2016)
6 Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.6)
7 As laid by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; which is the body that regulates solicitors in England and Wales
8 As regulated by the Bar Standards Board; the body which regulates barristers in England and Wales
Preye Ezonfade , LLB