- Andri Ganzoni
Admission to the Bar in Switzerland
In Switzerland, only admitted attorneys may commercially represent clients in court. Any admitted attorney can represent clients in any area of law in front of all courts in Switzerland, cantonal or federal. A distinction between barristers and solicitors is unknown to the Swiss legal profession.
To be admitted to the bar, a lawyer must complete a Bachelor of Law (BLaw, which involves 3 years of reading at a university), a Master of Law (MLaw, which lasts three terms), a one-year to two years apprenticeship (depending on the Canton), and pass the bar exam. Also, the admission requires the registration with a cantonal bar.
European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) attorneys are free to occasionally represent clients in Swiss courts. If they regularly represent clients in Swiss courts, a registration exam with the cantonal bar must be passed. Non-EU or -EFTA nationals must successfully acquire a master's degree in law from a Swiss University, pass the bar exam and fulfil all other prerequisites for admission to the bar.