Check the National Register of German Attorneys at Law

The official professional title of a German lawyer is Rechtsanwalt (male) oder Rechtsanwältin (female). Only fully qualified German lawyers who have passed both legal exams are entitled to refer to themselves as “Rechtsanwalt” or – in short – “Anwalt”. The use of the word “Anwalt” in Germany corresponds with the use of “counsellor” in the USA.

The German legal profession is not divided into two classes of lawyers (solicitors and barristers). Instead, as in the USA, a German counsellor is permitted to appear and represent clients in court. Unlike in the USA, the right to practice law in Germany is not restricted to a certain German state (Bundesland) or region. Instead, while they take their bar exam in a certain state and are members of a local bar association, all German lawyers are admitted to all courts throughout the country. Thus, a Bavarian litigation lawyer from Munich may, for instance, appear in a Berlin court, without any need for prior registration or getting the licence registered in that state.

The only exception is the Bundesgerichtshof (German Supreme Court), where only specially accredited German lawyers have the right of audience in civil matters. Those lawyers are referred to as Rechtsanwälte am Bundesgerichts (for a list of these lawyers see here).

If you need to hire a German lawyer and you are uncertain whether the lawyer you have found on the web is actually admitted to practice law in Germany, there is a very easy way to check and verify the name and professional address of said lawyer online. Simply visit the official register of German lawyers on the website of German Bar Association (Bundesrechtsanwaltkammer). The same is true in case you are being contacted by an alleged German lawyer and something appears fishy. Simply go on the official register and contact the address given there to verify.

For legal advice on German civil procedure and how to successfully litigate in Germany, contact the international litigation experts and trial lawyers of GrafLegal and visit our YouTube channel

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