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Information center: Foreign lawyers and law firms – registration and operating ‎in Israel

Information center: Foreign lawyers and law firms – registration and operating in Israel

If you are a foreign lawyer thinking about making Aliyah – First of all – congratulations! Second, check out this guide, compiled especially for you, to assist you with your first steps as a lawyer in the holy land. Welcome to Robus’ Guide for Foreign Lawyers in Israel.

(1) First things first – the history of foreign lawyers in Israel

In September 2012, with the understanding that Israeli business world – and thus legal market – is becoming more and more international, the Israel Bar Association passed a reform, which opened the Israeli legal market to foreign law firms and lawyers allowing international law firms to open a branch in Israel and for foreign lawyers to operate in Israel.

To read more about the reasons behind this reform, check out Yaara Deitcher’s, Head of Robus’ International Department, article in legal Business World MagazineLINK.

(2) The Process

Lawyers arriving in Israel who wish to practice law can choose one of two paths:

  • Register as a foreign lawyer – however, in this situation you will only be able to practice foreign law or;
  • Choose to complete the process of becoming an Israeli lawyer – and by doing so will be able to practice Israeli law.

 (3) Registration as a Foreign Lawyer or Law Firm

It is important to note that foreign law firms and lawyers are required to register with the Israel Bar Association foreign directories (scroll down for more about law firms’ registration):

“In order to provide legal services under foreign law in the state of Israel, foreign lawyers and foreign law firms operating in Israel must be registered with the Israeli Bar Association (“IBA”) pursuant to Sections 98f and 98i of Bar Association Law, 5721- 1961. This registration is mandatory.”

The registration as a foreign lawyer includes the need to meet several requirements:

  1. Valid license to practice law in a foreign country.
  2. Five years of professional experience as a lawyer in the same foreign country. If you do not have 5 years of experience you cannot be registered as a foreign lawyer and you will need to be certified as an Israeli lawyer.
  3. Passing grade on the Israeli Ethics Exam for Foreign Lawyers (see an example here)
  4. Professional liability insurance in Israel compliant with the IBA Order (Click here for Securities for a Foreign Lawyer), 5772 – 2012.

Click here for the full text of the rules.

Click here to download the IBA’s registration form

(4) Becoming an Israeli Lawyer

Foreign lawyers can be certified as Israeli lawyers that can practice Israeli law. The process of becoming an Israeli lawyer depends on your years of experience.

Foreign lawyers with less than 5 years of experience will need meet the following requirement:

  1. Receipt of a passing grade on the “Rules of the State of Israel Exam” (known in Hebrew as “Dinei Yisrael”).
  2. Completion of a full-term (18 months) articled internship in an Israeli law firm (under the supervision of an Israeli attorney that meets the IBA’s requirements).
  3. Receipt of a passing grade on Israeli Bar Exams.

Lawyers with less than 2 years of experience might be subject to additional requirements.  For the full set of rules issued by the IBA click here.

Foreign lawyers with more than 5 years of experience will need meet the following requirements:

  1. Receipt of a passing grade in the Rules of the “State of Israel Exam “(“Dinei Yisrael”).
  2. Completion of an abridged term of articled internship in an Israeli law firm (under the supervision of an Israeli attorney that meets the IBA’s requirements)

(5) Foreign Law Firm Registration:

A foreign law firm that wishes to open a branch in Israel is required to register with the IBA (click here to download the registration form).

The foreign law firm will also have to meet the requirement of the Rules of the Bar Association (A Branch in Israel of a Foreign Law Office), 5772 – 2012 (click here for the full text).

Robus’ international department has vast experience in working with foreign lawyers and international law firms operating in Israel.

For more information about your first steps in Israel, contact Robus’ International Department: office@robus.co.il

We also welcome you to read a short article written by Yaara featured on the Jerusalem Post dealing with the practical aspects of immigrating to Israel as a lawyer – click here for the article that is also available in audio format.  

All links:

Foreign lawyer registration

  1. Example of the Ethics exam for Foreign Lawyers (LINK)
  2. Information regarding the Securities for foreign lawyers (LINK)
  3. The Rules of the Bar Association (Registration and Supervision over Foreign Attorneys and Fees), 5772 – 2012 (LINK)
  4. IBA’s registration form (foreign lawyers) (LINK)
  5. Article: Your Legal Practice as an Oleh Chadash/ Yaara Deitcher, Jerusalem Post

Admission as an Israeli lawyer

  1. Basic requirements for admission to the Israel Bar (LINK)

Law firm registration

  1. Foreign law firm registration (LINK)
  2. Rules of the Bar Association (A Branch in Israel of a Foreign Law Office), 5772 – 2012 (LINK)
  3. Article: Small Country, Big Opportunities for International Law Firms / Adv. Yaara Deitcher, Legal Business World Magazine (LINK)

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