If you ever meet a Jersey Advocate you should be impressed. For
most, finally qualifying is the culmination of nearly two years
hard work requiring attendance at a number of intensive study and
revision weekends for each subject.
In order to be able to qualify as a Jersey Advocate you first
need to have either qualified as a lawyer in the UK or to have
passed appropriate post-graduate courses such as the BVC or LPC, to
have practiced in a Jersey firm for two years prior to admission
and to have passed seven exams. The reason behind these stringent
requirements is that Jersey has been a distinct legal jurisdiction
since the early 13th Century, when it separated from the rest of
Normandy, which has developed its laws and jurisprudence separately
from neighbouring jurisdictions.
In recent years the Institute of Law was founded providing a
more structured approach to the process including the production of
study guides collating the relevant core material for the syllabus,
some of which are in excess of 400 pages. Study weekends are run by
a visiting professor in conjunction with an experienced local
practitioner and are invaluable for students in helping to clarify
some of the more complicated aspects of each subject. The exams
test knowledge thoroughly and encompass subjects, which will be
very different from a lawyer's day to day work (as a litigator
or a fund lawyer, for example).
The seven subjects examined cover a broad range of Jersey's
legal system and are as follows:
Jersey Legal System and
Contract (which is derived from
Norman and French law)
Immovable Property (also rooted in
Norman and French law)
An elective option of Trusts Law,
Companies Law or Family Law;
Civil and Criminal Procedure and
Legal Professional Ethics
Testate and Intestate Succession
(which developed from Norman law)
Security Interests and
Examiners understand that studying whilst working full time is a
challenge in itself and so some students choose to split the exams
over two years, sitting four in June of one year and three the
following June. The study process is challenging, reading the
significant volume of material in the evenings and weekends before
each study weekend requires careful planning and dedication. This
is not even taking into account the outside influences of friends,
family and life in general.
You might ask why put yourself through this process years after
having qualified in England?
There are number of good reasons, firstly it is the only way to
qualify as a Jersey Advocate, which is important for career
progression and professional development and is particularly
important for litigators because, generally, only Jersey Advocates
may appear before the Island's courts. Secondly the course
provides a good grounding in Jersey law, which can often markedly
differ from English law. Finally, from the firm's perspective,
it is important because our clients expect a firm practicing Jersey
law to be well resourced with Jersey qualified lawyers.
Walkers has seen a significant increase in its numbers of Jersey
qualified lawyers in recent times to meet our clients' needs
and I am sure this trend will continue as our business grows.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).