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THAILAND'S LEGAL SYSTEM: REQUIREMENTS, PRACTICE, AND ETHICAL CONDUCT

By Charunun Sathitsuksomboon

III. LEGAL EDUCATION: THE INSTITUTE OF LEGAL EDUCATION OF THE THAI BAR ASSOCIATION

As discussed above, law graduates who want to be lawyers are required to register and obtain a lawyer's license by passing a training course and examination set up by the Law Society of Thailand. On the other hand, law graduates who want to be judges or public prosecutors are required to pass the bar exam. However, the bar exam is provided not only for law graduates who want to apply to be judges or public prosecutors. Any legal practitioner who wants to obtain knowledge of legal practice is also urged to attend the bar exam.

The Institute of Legal Education of the Thai Bar Association was established in 1948, with the objectives and duties to educate and promote knowledge of legal practice for law practitioners. The qualifications of a candidate who can apply to study in the Institute include being a law graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in law (LL.B.) from Thammasat University, Chulalongkorn University, or Ramkhamhaeng University, a law degree in the faculty of law in other universities in Thailand or foreign country approved by the Bar Legal Study Committee, and having passed an examination up to the standards stipulated by the Bar Legal Study Committee.

The period of study is separated into two terms. An examination will be held at the end of each term. The examination consists of written and oral tests. A student who passes the examination will be entitled to be a Barrister-at-Law and be an ordinary member of the Thai Bar Association.

Memberships of the Thai Bar Association are of different classes: Ordinary membership, Extraordinary membership, Associate membership, Auxiliary membership, and Honorary membership. Only a student who passes the bar examination will be eligible to be an ordinary member of the Thai Bar Association. The Extraordinary and Associate memberships are for any law graduate who passes a lawyer examination held by the Law Society of Thailand. Auxiliary membership is for a student in the Institute of Legal Education of the Thai Bar Association. Honorary membership is given to any distinguished person with extensive knowledge of legal or political science.

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