How to Qualify as a Seychelles Lawyer


There are several routes to qualifying as a lawyer in Seychelles. The exact provisions for qualification are contained in the Legal Practitioners Act and its secondary legislation.
 
The most common route is to successfully complete a qualifying law degree and the bar exams. This will allow one to qualify as a pupil. Pupillage takes 2 years and thereafter one can be sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law. These are outlined below:
 
United Kingdom Route:
1. Qualifying Law Degree ('QLD') [3 years duration]: You must ensure that you undertake a QLD. You will need at least a lower second class QLD to be able to qualify to attempt the Bar Vocational Course ('BVC') or the Legal Practitioner's Course ('LPC'). Note that some LLB's are not QLD's and that some QLD's are not LLB's.
2. BVC or LPC [1 year duration]: Completing the BVC and other requirements will entitle you to be called to the bar. This will give you the title of Barrister. Many local practitioners are very proud about having this title, but it has no local practical significance anymore. Completing the LPC confers no additional title, one does not become a Solicitor on its completion.
3. Pupillage [2 year duration]: Successfully passing the BVC or LPC will entitle one to become a pupil at an approved chambers. Most returning graduates will undertake their pupillage at the Attorney General's Chambers as a State Counsel.
4. After completion of pupillage one can then be sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law.
 
Mauritius route:
1. University of Mauritius Law Degree [3 year duration]: Contrary to local popular belief, the Mauritian LLB is quite hard and is highly respected. Competition to enter the University of Mauritius LLB program is far fiercer than to enter any UK University law program (except Cambridge and Oxford).
2. Mauritian Bar Exams [1 year duration]: Again, contrary to local popular belief, passing the mauritian bar exams is quite hard. Please note that passing the mauritian bar exams does not confer the title of Barrister to one.
3. Pupillage [2 year duration]: As with the UK route, passing the mauritian bar exams entitles one to commence pupillage at an approved chambers.
4. After completion of pupillage one can then be sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law.
 
French route:
Completing the education phase of qualifying as a lawyer in France will entitle one to sit for the Seychelles Bar Exams. Upon passing the Seychelles Bar Exams one can commence pupillage in an approved chambers. After 2 years of pupillage one can then be sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law.
 
Foreign Law Degree and Seychelles Bar Exams:
1. Foreign Law Degree [around 3 year duration]: A law degree from the UK, Mauritius or France will suffice for one to attempt the Seychelles Bar Exams. A law degree from any commonwealth jurisdiction may allow one to attempt the exams.
2. Seychelles Bar Exams [no duration]: There is no course for this. Just the exams. Exams are prepared by practitioners chosen by the Chief Justice. One must sit for around 10 exams. Each exam covers important pieces of legislation.
3. Pupillage [2 year duration]:Passing the Seychelles Bar Exams entitles one to commence pupillage.
4. Completion of pupillage entitles one to be sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law.
 
The Local Route
There is also a way to qualify without ever having to leave the Seychelles. This route is by far the longest route. This is the route of the Articled Clerk.
1. Articleship Entrance Exams [no duration]: There is no course per se. One must successfully pass exams set by a board of examiners.
2. Articled Clerkship [6 years]: One must then spend 6 years as an articled clerk at an approved chambers. The Attorney General's Chambers is considered as an approved chambers. At the end of the 6 years one is then entitled to sit for the Seychelles Bar Exams.
3. Pupillage [2 years]: Passing the Seychelles Bar Exams then entitles one to commence pupillage at an approved chambers.
4. Completing the pupillage period will then entitle one to be sworn in as an Attorney-at-Law.

The Bar Association of Seychelles has made proposals to the judiciary for the implementation of a more structured and transparent Seychelles bar exams course, but to date, none of the proposals have been implemented.

Page last Updated 13/10/2011
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