Becoming a lawyer in Malaysia requires a combination of academic qualifications, practical training, and passing the bar exam. The profession is regulated by the Malaysia Bar, and the process of becoming a lawyer typically takes several years to complete. To become a lawyer in Malaysia, you will need to follow these specific steps:
Obtain a law degree: You will need to obtain a law degree approved by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia. In Malaysia, there are several universities offering a recognised law degree, such as the University of Malaya and Universiti Teknologi MARA. The Board also allows law degree holders from shortlisted universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to gain admission to the CLP.
Complete the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) in Malaysia or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the UK: Once you have obtained your law degree, you need to pass the CLP, which is a 9-month full-time course conducted by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia. Known as the Malaysian Bar Exam, the CLP is is extremely rigorous with a very low passing rate of between 10% to 20% each year. Alternatively, you can choose to take the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the UK which is a vocational training course that aspiring lawyers take to be admitted as barristers in England and Wales. Malaysians or permanent residents with this qualification can also be admitted as a lawyer in Malaysia.
Complete pupillage: After passing the CLP or BPTC, you need to undergo pupillage, which is a period of practical training in a law firm or legal department. Pupillage lasts for 9 months, and during this period, you will work under the supervision of a qualified lawyer and gain practical experience in legal practice.
Apply for admission to the Malaysian Bar: After completing pupillage, you can apply for admission to the Malaysian Bar. You will need to fulfil other requirements set by the Bar Council of Malaysia, such as character and suitability assessment, and comply with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. After being admitted to the Malaysian Bar, you can practice as a lawyer in Malaysia. You can work independently or join a law firm or legal department of a company.
Note that the process of becoming a lawyer in Malaysia can take several years, and the requirements may change from time to time. It is important to keep yourself updated with the latest regulations and requirements set by the Bar Council of Malaysia.