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A Malaysian Lawyer, How To Become One?

Justice, Jurisdiction 

Becoming a lawyer is one of the dreams of people who are outspoken; who surmise that it is cool to appear in court to defend the right from the wrong, to bar the bad and free the innocent; who have the fortitude to surmount the temptations in the court; who trust the long arms of law and order will prevail, always.

You must be all of the above mentions during your nascent stage of being a lawyer. After some stages of being a lawyer, the world of jurisdiction is not what you expect, not a heaven where equality and justice are treated as it is made. It is undulated, convoluted, darker than you ever imagined of.

To be a lawyer, it is a long way to go.

Before becoming a lawyer, you must be able achieve astounding results academically, have the eloquence to converse and the ability to write both in English and in Bahasa Melayu, have critical thinking skills, analytical skills, observational skills to develop a legal stratagem, these are the personal traits, demeanor, are the fundamentals, the basic building blocks of being a lawyer.

Karpal Singh, the man who has white hair, one of the most significant lawyers in Malaysia.

Below are the practical and methodical process of getting to be a lawyer:

1.Upon the completion of SPM, you may choose the routes below:

  • the ‘A’ levels examination
  • the Australian Matriculation examination
  • the New Zealand Bursaries examination
  • Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
  • any other qualifications which may be accepted by the Qualifying Board as equivalent to the STPM. 

2.Degree (UOL/ UK Transfer Programme/ study in UK/ Australia/ local university)

3.Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)/ Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP)

4.Pupillage for 9 months– Pupil master must have been actively practiced as a advocate & solicitor continuously for 7 years and above.

5.Finish pupillage, wait to be call to the Bar.

6.On your call day, you are officially admitted to the Malaysian Bar.

**People who are borned in Peninsular Malaysia are only allowed to be called to High Court of Malaya, they are not able to practice in Sabah and Sarawak.


  1. In the case of a full-time study at a university, the law degree which is obtained must be completed within 6 years of initial registration with that university, but for the LL.B. external London degree, candidates must complete the degree within 4 years upon successful completion of the intermediate examination or a referral thereof.
  2. the law degree must contain a minimum of 12 law subjects and the 12 law subjects must include 6 core subjects, namely; Law of Contract, Law of Torts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Land Law and Equity and Trusts.
  3. Joint degrees are not totally unacceptable.
  4. For external law degree programme of the University of London, Student must get at least second upper in order to take CLP.
  5. Distance learning students are not eligible to take CLP.

** You must attain a Credit in SPM exam subject of Malay language, only then you can apply for the Malay Exemption Exam. Conversely, you must take a Malay language examination that is approved by the Bar Council of Malaysia. (For instance, IGCSE Malay language examination is strictly not approved)

List of recognised Universites for undertaking CLP exam and admission to Malaysian Bar :
UK Universities
Australia and New Zealand Universities

It is a common misconception about lawyers earning big bucks. No, the mojority do not. The employer size, experience level, type of lawyer, and geographic region are all taken into account in your salaries as a lawyer.
Based on the statistics, the Kuala Lumpur district, the allowance for pupillage is in the range of RM1500-RM3500 whereas the salary for a fresh lawyer is around RM2800-RM4500. The range of income that you are starting off with in the economically challenging state in Malaysia is considered a mediocre, just enough to survive as a single person.

  1. Litigation Lawyer

Civil Litigation

Criminal Litigation

Banking litigation

Family Law

Probate and Letter of Administration


  1. Corporate Lawyer

Intellectual Property

Company law 

Deals with transaction between companies, shareholders, business corporation.

Mainly deals with business entities in the form of partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and business trusts and each form has its own set of legal rights and responsibilities, organizational structure and tax burdens.

  1. Conveyancing

Mainly deals with property matters such as

Tenancies, Sub sales, Developer New Project, Transfer of Property Titles.

The number of lawyers in Malaysia are steadily increasing each year, that makes a lawyer one of the most competitive careers in Malaysia. The demand is high in this market, but not enough to surpass the number of lawyers in this market. Therefore, emanating the high stress in this line of job. 

Deadlines, demands, injustice, are all prominent when you are a lawyer. Most of the working time- 8 to 5, you will be spending it waiting for cases, lining up in the court for cases. After the waiting period, you will need to spend the rest of your time off to work on the case. Basically, 6 hours of your time will be spent waiting for cases and, the rest of your day will be done on studying the case.

Lawyers may sound depressing, but for those people who believe in justice, it is a career, a character that is urgently needed for the world, restoring balance to the line of justice.

Written By Pei Yan & Bryan Phua
Edited By James Chia 10 Feb 2021


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