Will my qualifications be valid back home?

If you are thinking of working as a solicitor back in your home country following your studies in England or Wales, then you may well be thinking about whether or not your qualifications will be valid back home.

  • Last updated Jun 14, 2019 11:26:20 AM
  • Jos Weale

Your UK law course has been structured to focus on the legal system in those countries, and therefore to prepare you for work there too. Once you’ve completed your LPC and training contract, you’ll be a fully qualified solicitor… in England and Wales. Unfortunately, at this stage, you will not be deemed eligible to practise outside of the English legal system.

Converting to a different country's legal system…

This isn’t the end of the road! Just as you may have converted to law from another degree, it’s possible to convert to another country’s legal system.  To do this, you still have to undergo a further form of assessment. You just you can’t get enough of those exams!

Each country has its own official eligibility requirements and examination process to ensure you possess sufficient legal knowledge to practise within their legal system – even if it is your home country.

If you are a national of the country in which you plan to practise, you should in most cases be eligible to carry out the same duties as a national who qualified at home, providing you requalify as required.

Some countries have restrictions on some roles for non-nationals; in Argentina, for example, foreign lawyers cannot appear in court and advise on Argentinian law.

Requalification

The exact stages of your requalification will depend entirely on the requirements set by your home country. They may ask for some or all of the following:

  • Study of a particular course at one of their approved institutions in some instances
  • Completion of an aptitude assessment (particularly in EU countries)
  • Completion of a supervised adaptation period.

 If you’d like detailed information on what you’ll need to do it’s a good idea to check out your home country’s legal regulator’s website.

Working as a foreign lawyer

If you’d like more information on potential restrictions and extra requalification requirements as a foreign lawyer you can check out the Law Society’s International Division or the relevant country’s regulator website.

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