Top 10 Best Countries To Practice Law: Law is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by a controlling authority and having a binding force on all who reside in the the territory to which it applies. In ordinary parlance, one can say that law is a binding regulation or custom established in a community. Salmond, a leading legal authority, defined law as body of principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice.
General Nature of Law
The study of law as a profession is a very noble and honourable one and involves persons who engage in the business of interpreting the law and administering justice. There are some features which are peculiar to law.
1. DYNAMIC: Law is always changing with the changing circumstances of the society where it is applied. The law is meant to regulate the society and the society is evolutionary, constantly changing. Consequently, the law also changes to tackle the new circumstances that might arise in the society.
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2. TERRITORIAL LIMITATION: Law is limited in applicability based on the territory where it is enacted. More so, a conduct which is regarded as against the law in a particular place can be an ordinary act in another. For instance, homosexuality is regarded as a crime in Nigeria whereas in some other countries, like the states of America, it is recognized by law. It is the people in a particular society that forms the law which will exist in it.
3. MULTIFARIOUSNESS: The law is corpus juris(ie a body of rules). It cannot be found in one single book; rather it exists in so many books. The constitution, laws of parliament, delegated legislation, decisions of courts, amongst others, all make up the law.
4. NORMATIVE: Law is normative in that it prescribes what should be done and should not be done. The laws of different countries prescribe that it is unlawful to take the life of another.
5. COERCION: The law takes on an element of coercion. The law regulates the people against certain conducts by incorporating punishment that accompany the commission of those conducts. In this way, social order is ensured.
In the practice of law, various persons are involved, and are mainly found in the legislative, judicial and executive arms of government. These law officials include lawyers, judges of courts, ministers of government parastatals. But our main concern would be with the practice of law by lawyers.
Lawyers in their bid to maximize their potentials look out for better opportunities where they could explore. The geographical location or country where a lawyer resides is a determinant to how much s/he will enjoy his career. We would be examining the 10 best countries suitable to practise law.
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Best Countries To Practice Law
1. SWITZERLAND: The first on our list is Switzerland. In order to become a lawyer in Switzerland, students would have to complete a three-year educational course after which they are certified with a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB). However, to be admitted to the bar and start practising, a further two-year Master of Law degree (LLM) programmes is required.
Switzerland holds the highest financial advantage to a lawyer. The average annual salary for a lawyer who is practising in Switzerland is 260,700 USD. Also, the value and net worth of a lawyer in Switzerland is based on wealth of experience and skill.
2. CANADA: Canada is the second country that holds wonderful prospects for lawyers. Canada legal system is based on a combination of common law and civil law. An accused person is regarded innocent until he is proven guilty. The average annual salary for a lawyer in Canada is 193,750 USD.
Like Switzerland, the value of the lawyer increases as his wealth of experience increases. The Canadian legal system encourages fair trial and always involve the public in administration of justice.
3. AUSTRALIA: The Australian legal system is based on the legal system of Britain due to European settlement in Britain. It also practices an adversarial system and has a specialized hierarchy of courts. The average annual salary for an Australian lawyer is 142,000 USD.
Experience also counts in the Australian legal system in determining the value to be placed on a lawyer. Australia upholds its constitution and the six foundational principles of the constitution are democracy, rule of law, separation of powers, federalism, nation hood and rights balanced by responsibilities.
4. NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands uses civil law and its laws are written. Their system of law is based on the French civil code with influences from Roman law and Dutch customary law. The average annual salary for a lawyer in Netherlands is 134,350 USD. It could increase depending on the experience and skill of the lawyer. The Netherlands has a transparent court system. The International Criminal Court is in Hague and in keeping with its lofty standards, the country adheres to high tribunal standard in its regular judicial system.
5. NORWAY: Norway has a civil law legal system and statutes are their main source of law. The average annual salary for a Norwegian lawyer is 131,000 USD. The experience of the lawyer also plays a crucial role. Norway’s judicial system is wholly independent of both the legislative and executive arms of government.
Unlike the legal system of many other countries that is punitive, Norwegian legal system is rehabilitative. It is also consistently ranked among the top countries in regard to adherence to rule of law. Norwegian court system is corruption-free and independent.
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6. JAPAN: Japan practises a civil law legal system based on codified law.The Constitution and the five major Codes (civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure and commercial) together form the legislative core of the system. The legal profession in Japan mainly comprises of judges, attorneys and prosecutors.
The average annual salary for a lawyer in Japan is 118,500 USD; the lawyer’s experience also determines how much more he will earn. In Japan, the judiciary consistently reviews the laws and government acts to ensure its constitutionality.
7. UNITED KINGDOM: The UK operates a common law system which comprises legislation and case law. The average annual salary for a lawyer in the United Kingdom is 118,300 USD. Like the other countries, experience plays a role in the increase or decrease of salary. It is important to note that in the UK, gender plays a role in the salary of lawyers. Female lawyers generally earn four percent (4%) less than male lawyers.
8. GERMANY: Germany comes in at number eight. Germany practices a civil law system and has a written, codified federal constitution known as the Basic Law (Grundgesetz). The average annual salary for a lawyer in Germany is 101,400 USD.
Experience also plays a role in determining a German lawyer’s salary. In Germany, the educational level determines a lawyer’s starting salary. Lawyers with Masters degrees earn higher than lawyers with Bachelors degrees. The judiciary reviews federal and state actions.
9. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: America practises a common law legal system. The average annual salary for a lawyer in US is 96,250 USD. The higher the experience of the lawyer, the higher his salary. The salary of a lawyer also depends on which part of USA he lives in. There are also other benefits such as health insurance, flexible schedule, working from home.
10. IRELAND: The last on our list is Ireland. The Republic of Ireland has a common law legal system with a written constitution that provides for a parliamentary democracy. The average annual salary for lawyer in Ireland is 92,100 USD which can increase based on the lawyer’s experience.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.