Thailand is known for its democratic legal system, which includes four courts such as the constitutional, military, administrative and Court of Justice. Anyone who wishes to become a lawyer in Thailand is not required to pass the bar examination, as an aspiring attorney would in the United States. Moreover, this type of profession is not grouped into solicitors and barristers. Thai lawyers should obtain a license from the Thailand Law Society, and they should meet several other requirements before they could become a legal professional.
Qualifications for Thai Lawyers
Individuals who intend to become a lawyer in Thailand should meet several qualifications. For instance, they should be at least 20 years of age and a citizen of Thailand. Furthermore, applicants should hold an Associate Degree, Bachelor's Degree in Law, or a certificate that is equivalent to these degrees. The degree earned should be obtained from an institution that is accredited and recognized by the Thailand Law Society.
Aside from these credentials, candidates should possess a notable character and a sense of professionalism. Those who have been imprisoned, bankrupt, or known for their delinquent morals are prohibited from pursuing a career in law. In addition, applicants are required to be in excellent health condition, since any mental or physical ailment may impair their competence as a legal professional. Lastly, applicants who are currently government officials are not permitted to become a lawyer in Thailand.
Regulations and Requirements
According to the Lawyers Act of Thailand, no one can become a legal professional in the country without a degree in law, license to practice and registration. The Law Society operates to educate, promote and supervise all its members. Those who wish to become a member of the Society should meet specific educational requirements and credentials. Educational requirements include a Bachelor's or Associate Degree in Law. An alternative to the LL.B is a certificate in law that is equivalent to these college degrees. Moreover, applicants should be an active member of the TBA (Thai Bar Association).
How to Become a Registered and Licensed Thai Lawyer
Individuals may register and obtain their license after they have completed professional training in the legal profession, as well as ethics and essential principles of advocacy. The Institute of Law Practice of the Thailand Law Society offers the training courses for lawyers. The course is divided into two semesters or terms. During the first term, candidates learn more about professional ethics and case conduct theory. The courses may be completed in a minimum of 90 hours. On the other hand, the second term is dedicated for practical training. Candidates must experience working in a registered law office, which they must do so for at least 6 months.
After each term, candidates are required to take an examination. Then, they may already proceed to their application for membership in the Thailand Law Society when they have completed their training courses. However, some candidates may be exempted to take the training course if they have become a law firm apprentice for more than one year. An exemption is also given to those who have passed the test specified by the Law Society's Board of Governors.