Different countries may have different laws but when it comes to determining who can be a lawyer, they don’t differ much. One reason is the similarities between our forms of government. Another reason is the fields of expertise in the practice of law are almost the same in all countries.
The following are examples of these fields of expertise in the law profession – corporate law, real estate law, business and commercial law, civil law, political and administrative law, labor law, criminal law, and international law.
Terminologies may differ from country to country, but they are pretty much analogous. Whether it’s commercial law, criminal law, civil law, international law or labor law, almost all of these are present in every country that has the law profession.
In Lebanon, a set of rules and policies has been established for those who wish to become lawyers and engage in the legal profession. The following are some of the qualifications necessary for Lebanese lawyers:
- Be a Lebanese citizen for at least ten years.
- Must possess civil rights, at least 21 years of age but not above 64 years old
- Possess the necessary educational qualification
- Must not have been found guilty of a criminal or disciplinary act
- Has not been discharged from a career as a result of reason in contrast to honor and dignity
Lawyers in Lebanon need to register with either one of the two Bar Associations, the Beirut Bar Association and the Tripoli Bar Association. Also, a Lebanese lawyer must have an office in the area where he wishes to practice.
Aside from the necessary qualifications, lawyers in Lebanon must also follow certain guidelines and are subject to certain restrictions while exercising the legal profession:
- A lawyer is not allowed to hold any position as a public servant except as a member of the Parliament or a municipal council
- A lawyer is not allowed to practice in commerce, business or journalism (with the exception of legal or scientific journalism) or any vocation which is for profit.
- A lawyer cannot become a chairman, vice-chairman or manager of any company.
- A lawyer cannot act as an expert in a court or any other organization.
- A lawyer cannot become the Speaker of Prime Minister of Parliament. If he wishes to be, he has to suspend his practice of profession and must inform the Bar President regarding the matter.
Finally, lawyers in Lebanon must observe ethics in the exercise of their profession. Probably the best example of adherence to ethical conduct is inhibiting from activities which might involve a conflict of interest. For instance, a lawyer who is presently a Member of Parliament can’t act as counsel in a case which involves the State or one of its public establishments.