Legal Profession In Russia

Topics: Lawyer, Law, Barrister Pages: 8 (2009 words) Published: December 7, 2014
Legal Profession in Russia
Guest lecture at Law
Faculty of University
of Tartu, 5th of
November, 2012

Dr. Mikhail Antonov
Associate Professor of Law Faculty of Higher School of
Economics – Saint Petersburg, Director of Research Center for Legal Argumentation, Executive Director of “Russian
Yearbook for Legal Theory”, Advocate
The author’s position does not necessarily correspond to the official position of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”

Legal Education in Russia:
Principles, policies, and general structure
 The Bologna system in Russian legal education and the rests of the previous system.  MA and BA, specialist and other Russian degrees, compatibility with LLM and other degrees in law in the EU and the US.

 PhD and candidate degree; JD, habilitation and doctoral degree. Both candidate and doctoral degrees are delivered not by universities but by the State Qualification Commission.  Day, evening and correspondence courses, second education, open universities; priority of the day courses: formally there is no distinction but in fact employers avoid graduates of evening or correspondence courses, and those with the second education (usually two or three years of evening classes with generalized account of the basic legal matters).  Law faculties of the top-rank universities and academia of law in Russia; the state policy to decrease low-quality education in law and to promote the academia considered to be the best; difference in financing, merger of universities, suppression of non-profile law faculties.  Private and public universities: standards, policies and strategies. Advantages of the public universities, lower quality of education in the private sector.  Free of charge education in public universities: who eligible and who wins?  Prevailing methods of teaching: lectures and seminars, short internship before graduating.  The Unified State standards in legal education, what do they imply and what is to be taught?

Working as a lawyer in Russia
The principal jobs for lawyer in Russia



Every person who has diploma of legal
studies (BA, specialist, MA) is considered
to be a “qualified lawyer”. People without
diploma also can work as ordinary lawyers
(in-house, consulting, other legal
services). No obstacles to participate in
court proceedings with PoA from clients
(except trial cases and the CC RF). Most of
the graduates first get employed in the
public (state owned) companies or in
public organs (such as tax inspection)



To become notary, one must have
BA (MA) or specialist degree in law,
to have one year of internship at
notary’s office after graduating
studies, also to stand qualification
exams. The territory of Russia is
divided into notaries’ districts , and
there can be no more than one
notary in one district; to get office
the candidates must be inscribed in
the list of attendance and wait for a
vacant position in their region.


Several possibilities
which imply getting a
stable but not highly paid
job in one of the law
enforcement agencies .
To become investigator,
attorney or prosecutor,
one needs to have BA or
specialist degree in law,
one has not to stand any

Practicing as advocate
of advocate
– (according
to Federal Law from 31.05.2002 № 63)
No difference between advocates depending on their qualification: the Russian advocacy does not know such distinctions as between solicitors, attorneys or barristers; every advocate is formally equal to others.

No territorial restrictions: every advocate once admitted to bar can practice in any Russian court. No accreditation at courts – advocate just enters in a case and judge formally is to admit every advocate (except statutory limitations: familial relations with prosecutor, judge or like obstacles). Affiliation to the local bar is purely administrative: advocate pays fees to her...
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