Legal professions in Iran Individual Lawyer in Iran, Contracts, and Law firms (Part one- Individual Lawyers)
Do you ever wonder how Iranian lawyers work? Have you ever needed a lawyer in Iran but had no idea about contracts? Do you need to know what the situation of law firms in Iran legal market is? Find out about lawyering and the lawyer in Iran in a nutshell.
Legal Professions in Iran
- All legal professions in Iran start with a bachelor degree. A bachelor of laws is qualified to enter into any legal profession.
- Legal professions in Iran are:
- Notary Public
- There are also government employees but since there is no specific category for legal employees, they are just employees not a legal profession.
- All legal professions in Iran need an entrance exam.
- Same as every country, judges in Iran are also government employees. Judicial branch is responsible for employment of judges. After an applicant passes the entrance exam, the training process begins.
- This process is for one year including three periodic exam.
- The materials of this process vary from solving cases and reports and oral presentations on new laws and regulations.
- Same as judges, a bachelor degree is all you need to be able to take the Bar exam and become a lawyer in Iran. This exam is once a year.
- While most of provinces have their own Bar Association, the entrance exam is one country wide exam for all Bars.
- After passing the exam, the newly lawyer starts training process. For two month after acquiring the certificate the newly lawyer is not allowed to accept any cases. After these two month and till the end of the training process, the newly lawyer is not allowed to accept certain cases. These cases are:
- The cases in which the claim worth more than 1 billion Rials.
- The cases in which the Supreme Court is appeal court.
- The second exception is related to jurisdictional division in Judicial Branch.
- The training process is 18 month. It includes workshops, reports and attending in courts.
- After this period there is a final exam. The final exam consists of ten to fifteen separate exams. Each exam consists of oral and writing parts. These two parts held in different days. The whole exam process usually takes one month. If the newly lawyer passes these exams, he or she will become a Lawyer.
- Don’t take this topic mistaken for paralegals. There is no such thing as paralegal in legal professions in Iran
- Parallel lawyer is a topic I choose to describe a very unusual type of lawyers that Judicial Branch created.
- Bar Association in Iran is an independent association that established by an Act of Parliament. The government can not intrude in any part of this association including entrance exam and training and professional courts.
- Parallel to this association, an Act passed by parliament that allowed Judicial Branch to employ its own lawyers. It is exactly as strange as it sounds.
- The Judicial Branch holds the entrance exam and training process. Although the Act that allowed Judicial Branch to employ its own lawyers was a temporary Act for duration of five years but still this branch sees itself authorized to employ its own lawyers every now and then.
- Because of this fragmentation, now there are two types of lawyers in legal professions in Iran.
- For a non-national who needs a lawyer in Iran, this topic is one of the most confusing aspects of lawyering in Iran. I will simplify it as much as possible.
- It all starts with Iran Civil Code. Iran Civil Code adopted in 1928 while Attorneys Law and establishment of Iran Bar Association adopted 9 years later.
- In the Civil Code there is one special contract which is very similar to what a lawyer does.
- This contract is something like representative or agency contract. See Commercial Agency in Iran Law.
- The civil code in contract’s section is based on Islamic law. This contract is also roots in Islamic law.
- After becoming a profession with an independent association, lawyering contracts still are under governance of Civil Code.
- Bar Association had to create some uniform contracts to comply with Civil Code. Furthermore Civil Procedure Act also has some special rules about this contract.
- One of the most important outcomes of this diversity is that you can not sign a lawyering contract with a legal entity. In the other words, a lawyer who can represent you in a court has to be a person.
- Another result was that the representation contract in Civil Code divided between two types:
- 1- You can sign this contract with anyone to represent you in any place and event except courts.
- 2- If you want to introduce someone to represent you in a court, he or she has to be a lawyer.
- I will explain this contract and its contents in details in another post.
- You probably heard that a lawyer introduces him or herself as an expert in some specific areas like a criminal lawyer or a business lawyer or a family lawyer.
- What comes to mind is that there must be a certificate for this expertise. In some countries, Bar Association approves the expertise of the lawyers in specific areas but not in Iran.
- As mentioned above, all you need to be able to take the Bar exam to become a lawyer in Iran is a bachelor degree.
- A lawyer in Iran is a general lawyer who can attend in any type of cases in any courts. There is no such thing as expert lawyer approved by Bar Association.
- Of course it is possible that a lawyer focuses on one aspect of law and become an expert lawyer in it but it is just a professional choice not a requirement.
- As I witnessed in legal professions in Iran some of the main lawyers in business organizations like ICC are educated in Criminal law. Some of them in fact are professors of criminal law but represent in commercial cases as arbitrator or lawyer.