Can a foreigner be a lawyer in Switzerland?

Can a foreigner be a lawyer in Switzerland?


It’s a question that gets asked a lot: can foreigners be lawyers in Switzerland? Yes, but it’s a little more complicated than you might think. Here I’ll explain the requirements and restrictions that apply to people who want to study law in Switzerland and then practice as lawyers.

The central legal requirements

  • Citizenship is not required to become a lawyer in Switzerland. However, you must be able to prove that you have permanent residency and are eligible for naturalization (to apply for Swiss citizenship).
  • To practice law in Switzerland, you’ll need a university degree in law or equivalent experience. This can include internships with lawyers and private companies, but most law firms prefer candidates who have completed postgraduate studies at an accredited university.
  • After graduating from school or being awarded an advanced degree, you’ll take the Law Society Qualification Examination (LSE). This exam tests your knowledge of legal fundamentals such as civil procedure, criminal law, and contracts; it also tests whether or not you’re fluent in German (the official language) so that if necessary it could help determine whether or not someone qualifies through another country’s system first before applying directly into theirs.”

Swiss training in law

You can study law at a university or polytechnic. There are also many private schools, which offer legal training. You can also do an apprenticeship with a lawyer that will prepare you to become a lawyer in Switzerland.

The orals examination

The oral examination is a written and oral examination. It is based on the Swiss legal system, so you must pass it to be able to practice law in Switzerland.

The exam consists of two parts:

  • Part 1: Written exam (60 questions)
  • Part 2: Oral exam (20 questions). This part consists of two parts: an interview with a lawyer from our team, followed by one question from each section of the law that you have studied during your professional training as a lawyer at home or abroad. The judges will evaluate both parts separately before deciding whether or not you passed the entire test set for foreigners wishing to practice law in Switzerland


  • A person trained outside Switzerland can specialize in the same areas as a Swiss lawyer.
  • If you are from outside Switzerland, you can apply for a specialization certificate or exemption from the orals examination.

People trained outside Switzerland can practice law here.

The Swiss Confederation is not a single state, but rather a loose confederation of cantons (or individual states). Each canton has its own legal system and its own separate government.

The Swiss Confederation makes no distinction between citizens and residents: all citizens are equally entitled to use the law in their own jurisdiction. This includes lawyers who have been trained outside Switzerland but received their training within this country’s borders.

In order to practice as a lawyer in Switzerland, you must be accredited by your local bar association or university department. Bar associations are independent of both federal governments and cantonal governments; they’re responsible for issuing accreditation certificates for foreign lawyers who want to practice law here.


So, if you’re a foreigner who wants to become a lawyer in Switzerland and you’ve already been accepted into the legal training program at an institution here in Switzerland, then congratulations! You now have another option for practicing law. We hope this article has answered all your questions about becoming a Swiss lawyer.

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