In Spain, a lawyer practicing law or legal advice must hold the title of abogado (lawyer) and be a member of the local bar association (Colegio de abogados). This means that not everyone is allowed to sell legal advice or represent a client in court.
There are, of course, a few areas of law or situations in which, for example, the client can send the application to court himself or defend his case without a local lawyer (an abogado).
If you intend to practice law and provide legal services in Spain, you must have the required degree in Spain. Legal studies started elsewhere can also be accepted and completed in Spain.
As a general rule, once a Spanish law degree and diploma in law (máster en ejercicio de la abogacía) has been recognized, the lawyer is still required to practice under a senior abogado, after which he may take part in national exams for lawyers. If the exam is passed, the lawyer must apply for a certificate from the Spanish Ministry of Justice. He can then apply for membership in the local bar association (Colegio de Abogados). The members of the association must meet certain conditions and send information to the association, e.g. criminal record and details about their own business or workplace. Besides, the abogado must have insurance or other warranty that covers responsibilities that occurred in their practice. The abogado then receives his or her bar association number for identification.
In Spain, therefore, it is not possible to practice law without being a member of the bar association(Colegio de abogados), and only lawyers belonging to the bar association with an abogado title may practice as a lawyer. An Abogado must also abide by the rules of the bar association and its legal duties.
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