Working as a trainee lawyer (advokatfullmektig) in Norway

Lawyers without a licence to practise as a lawyer (or equivalent registration) from their home country may, upon application from a Norwegian principal, be permitted to work as a trainee lawyer in Norway on certain conditions:

Legal basis

The legal basis is set out in the Regulations for Advocates Chapter 9, Sections 9-4 to 9-7.

Pursuant to the Regulations for Advocates Section 9-4, authorisation as an trainee lawyer can be granted to a person without a Norwegian law degree if

  • it is demonstrated that the trainee lawyer has an ‘equivalent education’ from an EU or EEA state, and
  • he/she is a citizen of an EU or EEA state.

It is the Supervisory Council for Legal Practice (not the Bar Association) that evaluates applications for authorisation as a trainee lawyer. According to the Supervisory Council for Legal Practice, ‘equivalent education’ means that the foreign lawyer has completed the highest level of education needed in his/her home country to become a trainee lawyer in that country.

Knowledge of the Norwegian language or of Norwegian law is not required.

Processing of the application - information and documents required

There is no standard application form, and no application fees.

The applicant (the lawyer who wishes to employ a person with a foreign law degree) must enclose any relevant documents relating to the law degree obtained in the EU, EEA state or Switzerland.

Applications and attachments that are not in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish or English must be accompanied by a translation into Norwegian made by or confirmed by a state authorised translator in Norway.

The application must be sent by post to:
Tilsynsrådet for advokatvirksomhet
(The Supervisory Council for Legal Practice)       P.O. Box 720 Sentrum
NO-0106 Oslo, Norway
Tel.: +47 22 00 75 00

The Supervisory Council may require documentation from the relevant authority in the home country/the country where the law degree was awarded (e.g. the bar association) confirming that the person in question has been awarded the degree as claimed.

If the application is approved and the foreign lawyer (jurist) is employed by a lawyer as a trainee lawyer, he/she will commence on the normal path to becoming a lawyer in Norway. The conditions for practising as a lawyer are set out in the Courts of Justice Act, Chapter 11. The most relevant provision is Section 220.

  • The basic condition for being awarded a licence is a Norwegian university degree in law.
  • The candidate must demonstrate by a police certificate that he/she has a reputable record of conduct.
  • Completion of a special course in topics relevant to a lawyer is required, such as: litigation, the preparation of cases, client relations, the rights and duties of lawyers (ethics), negotiation, client accounts, bookkeeping etc. The course concludes with a written examination on matters of special importance to the legal profession.
  • The candidate must practise as a trainee lawyer, or as an assistant judge or in a position with the public prosecutor for two years.
  • If the candidate´s practical experience was obtained as a trainee lawyer (not as an assistant judge or in a position with the public prosecutor) he/she must also conduct three cases before the courts, at least one of which must be a civil case.

Trainee lawyers work under the licence and indemnity insurance of their employer (a lawyer).

Persons with a law degree from countries outside the EEA area can apply to the Supervisory Council for Legal Practice for authorisation as a trainee lawyer, which can be granted following a concrete assessment. The practice as regards approving persons from countries outside the EEA area as trainee lawyers is very restrictive, however.