Admission to the bar

Admission to the bar

: "This article is about requirements for admission to practice law not just terminology. Most countries listed have additional requirements."

Admission to the bar is the term commonly used in the United States and Canada to indicate that a person is licensed to practice law as an attorney at law. Different terms for admission are used in other countries. The term "bar" originates from the short wall in courtrooms that separates the general public from the tables where lawyers sit and address the court. Only those that have "passed the bar" may sit where the lawyers sit, hence, "passing the bar."

Commonwealth countries (general)


* A Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) or a Juris Doctor degree
* A year's practical training in a law firm, known as an Articled Clerkship, or an equivalent practical course
* Written and spoken fluency in English


Lawyers in Canada are called to the bar when they meet the following requirements:
* A Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), Juris Doctor (JD) or Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) (in Quebec) degree from a recognized Canadian university is required. Foreign lawyers may apply to the [ National Committee on Accreditation] of the [ Federation of Law Societies of Canada] .
* Written and spoken fluency in English or French.
* Completion of 10 months of practical legal training, known as Articling.
* Passing the bar exams of a province.

England and Wales (Barrister)

* Aged at least 21
* Obtained a law degree of at least II(ii) level or obtained a degree in another subject to the same level and passed the Common Professional Examination
* Passed the Bar Vocational Course
* Written and spoken fluency in English
* In England a barrister who is granted permission to plead and practice before the high courts is said to have been called to the bar. The term is not used for solicitors, who are "Admitted to the roll" after the Legal Practice Course and a two year Training Contract.
* Admission to the bar is not required to practice law in England and Wales. [ "Overseas lawyers in England & Wales, International Unit January 2003"] , [ The Law Society of England & Wales] [ International Unit] However, only duly qualified solicitors and barristers can use those titles, and provision of immigration advice and services is restricted to certain groups. Certain other services also require qualification or registration, including financial advice.

New Zealand

* A Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree
* Professional legal studies course
* Written and spoken fluency in English
* Aged at least 20
* Having passed a university paper in Legal Ethics (if having completed your LL.B degree after 2000).


* A Barrister-at-Law degree from the Honourable Society of King's Inns, admission to the 1 year barrister-at-law degree requires either a recognised law degree (LL.B. or BCL) or the King's Inns legal diploma and passing the entrance exams.
* Passing the Statutory Irish Language Test
* Solicitors although having rights of audience in all courts are not "called to the bar", they are enrolled on the roll of solicitors.


* A Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) or a Juris Doctor degree
* Written and spoken fluency in English

Hong Kong

* A Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), a Juris Doctor degree or having obtained a degree in another subject and passed the Common Professional Examination
* Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (P.C.LL.)
* Written and spoken fluency in English
* Hong Kong, like England (see above), retained the difference between the roles of barristers and solicitors.

United States of America

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