The fundamental conditions for foreign lawyers in the United States


In the contrary of what many may think, it is not easy for a lawyer to work in the United States, and many conditions have to be met in order to do so…

Local law for professional practice

Parisian lawyers may work in the United States of America under some conditions that are fixed by the State the lawyer wants or wishes to work in.

Generally, the concerned lawyers may choose to either :

Be admitted in the local tribunal, which requires the following cumulative conditions :

a/ To meet the required juridical qualifications. For instance, in the state of New York, a foreign lawyer may join the court if he meets these specific conditions : having fully attained 3 years of training in “common law” and have reached a Master of Law in an American institute.

Note that in this particular case, one must justify his study of some fundamental subjects during his training. This will favor the familiarization of a civil law lawyer with the American culture of the common laws. This means :

First, a minimum of two credits that are related to the study of the history of goals, norms and values, instructions, responsibilities and rules of the USA’s legal jobs.

Second, the lawyer must have two credits that prove the learning of the writing skills of memos as well as the familiarization with the juridical research.

Third, two exclusive credits to the American law, such as : constitutional law, and civil procedure

This also requires a minimum of six credits in the tested subjects during the exam : proof laws, society laws, and the civil responsibility law along with the contract laws etc…

b/ Sitting for the local deontology exam

c/ To be admitted at the local court

d/ Make an official demand from the competent authorities, pay the inscription fees and take the oath.

It is also necessary to obtain a license that is called “foreign legal consultant” that allows the lawyer to furnish the juridical services and to advise the clients in the desired State, but only on its original law, which requires the following cumulative conditions :

a/ He shall also justify his admission as a lawyer or judiciary advisor or equivalent in his own country, and be conformal to the rules  and disciplinary rules and order or public authorities that manage that profession.

b/ However, he must have used the country law for at least three from the five years before the lawyer submits his demand of license in conformity with the rules of the profession.

c/ The lawyer has to be certified with a good behavior in order to be able to work according to the criteria of the country he wishes to work in.

d/ The lawyer’s age must not exceed 26 years old.

e/ The lawyer must have the intention to work as a legal consultant in the second country and to plan to keep an office there for that reason.

f/ The lawyer shall have a second license that is limited to some juridical activities of enterprise lawyer or paralegal activity.