Jun 25
Becoming A Lawyer
The Americas

In U.S. English, admission to the bar is also commonly known as obtaining one's "law license" ("licence" in Canadian English). Examples from the U.S. include: "Respondent used his law license to commit crimes [...]. Accordingly, we conclude that respondent should be disbarred" (, "Appellate Division Decisions of November 15, 2002"); "...ordered to surrender his law license and resign from the practice of law" (, "EOIR Announces Disciplinary Actions Against 11 Immigration Practitioners", 2001); and "A North Carolina judge who lost his law license based on accusations he took money [...]"[5] and "Scooter Libby Loses Law License"[6] (American Bar Association Journal, both in 2008, from more than 300 instances in the ABA Journal).

Examples from Canadian medias include: "Disbarred lawyer [...] says he'll fight to get back his law licence."(The Brantford Expositor) and "Convicted murderer wants law licence back" (</ref> called a law license.



Canadian applicants to the bar must obtain admission to one of the local Law Societies in the various jurisdictions of Canada. As an example, the Law Society of British Columbia requires that a student complete an undergraduate degree in any discipline (B.A. of four years), an undergraduate law degree (LL.B. and/or B.C.L., three to four years) or Juris Doctor (three years), a nine month apprenticeship referred to as "articling," a Professional Legal Training Course (ten weeks), and the bar exam for that jurisdiction.


Lawyers in Mexico are required to complete a law degree (Licenciado en Derecho, a five year program), and obtain a practice certificate (cedula professional) from the Bureau of Professions of the Ministry of Education (Direction General de Profesiones), which officially certifies the license by virtue of the law degree.

United States of America

Main article: Admission to the bar in the United States

Lawyers in the United States must be admitted by each U.S. jurisdiction in which legal advice is rendered (a U.S. state, commonwealth or territory), which generally requires that they complete an undergraduate degree in any discipline (usually four years), obtain a Juris Doctor degree (three years) and pass a bar exam. However, the requirements vary between jurisdictions, and there are exceptions to each of the general requirements in some. In a handful of U.S. states, one may become an attorney (a so-called country lawyer) by simply "reading law" and passing the bar examination, without having to attend law school first (although very few people actually become lawyers that way).


In Argentina, prospective lawyers must complete an undergraduate law degree (Bachilleres Universitarios en Derecho, which lasts four years), and a professional certification program (Certificado de Orientación Profesional, a one year program).


Brazil requires an undergraduate law degree (Diploma, which lasts five years) and the passing of the bar examination.


Chile requires a law degree (Licenciado en Ciencias Jurídicas, five years) and a six month apprenticeship.


Lawyers (Abogados) in Peru must be members of a local bar association, which requires an undergraduate law degree (Bachiller en Derecho, a four year program) and a diploma (Titulo de Abogado), the latter requiring one year of apprenticeship and passing of the bar exam. Learn More!!

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