How to become foreign lawyer in Japan

Range of service of foreign lawyer in Japan

In the case you are a lawyer outside of Japan and hope to work as a lawyer in Japan, you can become registered foreign lawyer in Japan.
Assumed you have worked as lawyer in California (In this page, this assumption shall be applied) for more than ten years and you hope to work in Japan. In that case if you have been registered as foreign lawyer, you can provide legal service in Japan as far as legal service related to law of California. So, even if you have become foreign lawyer, you can not engage in legal service related to Law of Japan. So, it should be difficult to find client in Japan who demand legal service related to law of California.

Range of my support

In the case you apply for approval of registration as a foreign lawyer, you need to come to Japan in person. However before you apply for it, you can use preliminary examination to secure approval. In that case you do not need to come to Japan in person. But you can appoint me as your agent in Japan. I will consult with authority on your behalf and submit necessary documents .

Necessary cost  to be registered as a foreign lawyer in Japan

27500 yen

How to become foreign lawyer in Japan

You need to obtain approval of ministry of Justice and to be registered as foreign lawyer.

How to engage in legal service related with legal service that is not law of California

If you want to provide legal service, for example law of New York, you need to receive approval to engage in provision of legal service of New York, too.

Necessary duty after you become a foreign lawyer

Once you have become a foreign lawyer in Japan, you need to submit document that can clarify details of your activity in Japan every two years.

Necessary work experience as a lawyer in California

In the case you have been a lawyer outside of Japan ( assumed California ), you need to have work experience of three years or more.

Accompanying of interpreter

In the case you apply for approval of foreign lawyer, you need to swear an oath that you will abide by law and regulations of Japan and perform your profession sincerely. At the time you swear an oath, if you can not speak Japanese language, you need to prepare an interpreters they can speak with you at authority office.

How long does it take to obtain approval of registration

It will take about two months after you have submitted application paper and supporting documents

Necessary documents to apply for approval of registration.

1 Application form for approval
2 Written statement
3  Sworn statement
4  Power of attorney for me
5  Certificate as lawyer
6  Document certifying you can compensate for any losses that you may cause to clients ( So, you need to purchase an insurance in Japan )
7  Resume that can certify your work experience
8  Passport etc. to certify your identification
9  In the case you are going to work as employee, you need to submit document that can clarify employment conditions, outline of office, ability to pay salary for you, office space etc..
10 In the case you are going to be work as self-employee, you need to prepare documents that you have prepared office space, specific explanation of business plan. (You do not need to conclude lease contract nor purchase contract of insurance before you are granted approval of GJB. However you need to contact with real estate company and find specific real estate and receive document that can indicate you can rent the real estate once you are registered as GJB )
11 Documents you have prepared residence in Japan.
(In order to sustain your status as registered foreign lawyer, you need to reside in Japan for 180 days or more per a year)
( though it is not easy to rent an residence before you have obtained status of residence in Japan. As for this aspect, I will try to support you, too. )
12    Document that can clarify you have enough money to sustain your living in Japan.

What is preliminary examination ?

Before you apply for full application for approval, you want to know if you can actually receive approval or not in advance. In that case you ( or your agent in Japan ) can apply for preliminary examination. Necessary documents for this procedure are almost same as full application. You do not need to submit original paper and do not need to swear an oath in person though.
Membership fee as GJB in Japan
In the event you are registered as GJB, you need to enroll in bar association (bengoshikai) and Japan federation of bar association (Bengoshi rengo kai).

Enrollment fee differs depending on each association.

In the case of Tokyo, it is about 60,000 yen ( this is one time).
Moreover you need to pay annual fee for them and annual amount is about 600,000 yen. So, in order to sustain your office, you need to receive enough fee from your clients.


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