Lawyers in Israel

There are times in life you run into legal issues. This can also happen when moving to Israel or even more while living in Israel. In such cases it's a good idea to get in touch with an Israeli lawyer. It's easy to find lawyers in Israel.

English speaking lawyer in Israel

Most Israeli lawyers will speak English fluently. There are also lawyers speaking languages who have made Aliyah from across the world. Also for Israelis living abroad with less knowledge of the local language and law it can be a good idea to contact an Israeli lawyer who speaks Hebrew.

Israeli lawyer association

Lawyers in Israel are obliged to have a membership of the Israel Bar Association (IBA), which was established in 1961. Contrary to the US practice of lawyers having to seek Court admission per State the IBA is self regulated by lawyers without government supervision. The IBA conducts the Bar Exam twice a year.

Israeli lawyer salary

According to this article in Ha'aretz "[e]xperienced lawyers grossed NIS 29,300 [8k$] a month on average in 2012, said the survey, which polled some 400 attorneys with at least six years of experience and earning more than NIS 23,000 [6k$] a month." So salaries are fairly okay, much less than what's usual in New York or London, where it's also pretty easy to find Israeli lawyers if you're in need of someone speaking Hebrew familiar with the local law. Of course if you're going to see an attorney you will be paying for this salary.

Israeli law

The legal system in Israel is based in common law and contains parts of civil law. In the Israeli Declaration of Independence from 1948 there was stated a constitution was going to be written but this has not materialized yet. Instead of that the Basic Laws of Israel serve a a substitute for a genuine formal constitution.

Influence on the Israeli law include Ottoman, German civil law, religious (both Jewish Halakha and Muslim Sharia) for family law and British common law.

Foreign lawyers, especially from the United States, are often interested in moving to Israel. However, they find themselves in need of information on how they can practice law in Israel despite their legal education in a foreign country. Israeli law is quite unique because of its mix of different from legal systems, so apart from learning Hebrew it will take a considerable amount of studying time to become an Israeli lawyer. This article explains the 4-step process undertaken by foreign lawyers to practice law in the Western Asian country.

1. Hebrew Exam and the Laws of Israel Exam

All foreign educated lawyers are required to pass two additional exams, viz. Hebrew Exam and the Laws of Israel Exam. The Hebrew Exam is conducted four times a year; whereas the Laws of Israel Exam is conducted twice a year. Lawyers moving to Israel prior to completion of two years at a foreign bar are required to take the Laws of Israel Exam before the start of the necessary articled clerkship (as explained in the next step). However, in case the foreign lawyer moving to Israel was inducted to a foreign bar more than two years ago; he shall be eligible to start the articled clerkship without the Laws of Israel Exam but shall be required to clear the Laws of Israel Exam prior to completion of the articled clerkship.

2. Articled clerkship

Every lawyer desirous of admission into the Israel Bar is required to complete at least 12 months of articled clerkship. However, the duration of articled clerkship can be reduced to just 6 months for experienced foreign lawyers. Lawyers moving to Israel however need to apply to Israel Bar for any such concession in the period of clerkship and any decision in this regard is solely the discretion of Israel Bar.

3. Israel Bar Exam

All lawyers moving to Israel having less than five years of experience in a foreign bar are required to take Israel Bar Exam. However, legal practitioners with more than five years at a foreign bar may be exempted from this exam. The standard of this exam is the same as for the law students in Israel who wish to practice law in the country.

4. Admission to Israel Bar Association

After the completion of articled clerkship and the Israel Bar exam (whichever is applicable in the light of forementioned details), the candidates are called for admission to the Bar. The ceremony for admission into Israel Bar takes place twice a year. However, lawyers moving to Israel may face a difficulty in this step as the admission to the Bar is only granted to lawyers who are either a citizen of Israel or have an A-1 permanent resident visa. However, a candidate not having permanent residency can get their candidacy status frozen until they get their status changed.

Finally, admission to Israel Bar is as challenging as to any other Bar. However, if a lawyer moving to Israel has a fair degree of experience and is willing to make a little more effort, he can surely enter the privileged legal community of this great country.