The bar examination
What is a bar examination?
The bar examination is a prestigious professional examination for lawyers arranged by the Finnish Bar Association. Please note, that the examination must be done in Finnish or Swedish. Passing the examination is one of the requirements for obtaining the title of attorney-at-law which in Finland is protected by law and can only be used by members of the Finnish Bar Association.
Lawyers who do not intend to work as attorneys can also take the examination as continuing education. Those who pass the bar examination are issued with a legal counsel licence without a work experience requirement, provided that the other requirements for the licence are met. The licence is granted by the Legal Counsel Committee.
You can take the bar if…
- you have a Finnish OTK/OTM or ON degree; or
- you have completed a law degree outside Finland and have received a final eligibility decision from the Finnish National Board of Education confirming that your degree is equivalent to the Finnish OTM degree (there are no equivalents for the degree of oikeusnotaari)
About the bar examination
The bar examination consists of three parts: the written examination, ethical part and trial part. The ethical part includes a two-day training course on ethical and practical issues related to attorney services. The total duration of the trial part is approximately 12 weeks, comprising preliminary assignments and a two-day training course.
The bar examination is passed when the examinee has passed all three of its parts in full. The parts can be completed in any order, but the Examination Committee recommends taking the written examination before the ethical part. Once passed, the bar examination will remain valid indefinitely. A certificate of qualification will be posted to you automatically once you have passed all the parts of the examination.
Each part of the examination will be held at least twice per year in Helsinki. The written examination can also be arranged elsewhere in Finland if necessary. The names of those who have passed the written examination will be published on the Finnish Bar Association’s website on the day after the meeting of the Bar Examination Committee.
Claim for rectification
If you fail one of the three parts of the examination, you have the right to file a claim for rectification with the Bar Examination Committee. The appeal instructions will be enclosed with the notice of failure. You can request more information by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does the examination cost?
The total fee for all three parts of the bar examination is EUR 1,500. You will receive separate invoices for each part of the degree by e-mail after the closing of registration. Payment of the invoice by the due date is a requirement for participating in parts of the degree and for passing the respective part of the examination.
- Written exam EUR 150.
- Ethical part EUR 675.
- Trial part EUR 675.
* Note! The prices do not include VAT, as the Finnish Bar Association is not liable to pay VAT.
The registration is personal. You can cancel your registration for a part of the examination free of charge while registration remains open. The full fee of the part of the examination in question will be charged for cancellations made after the end of the registration period. If cancellation after the end of registration is due to a cause equivalent to a legal obstacle, no fee will be charged. The registration must be cancelled via the link sent to you in connection with registration.