Located in Western Asia along the Mediterranean Sea's southeast shore, Israel shares borders with several countries and states including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria. Politically and ethnically, Israel refers to itself as a Democratic and Jewish state. Israel's most populous city is Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is the country's financial center.
Israel's government is a representative democracy controlled by a parliamentary system and a Prime Minister. Among Israel's achievements are its high life expectancy, large economy and exceptional standards of living, considered the best in the Middle East.
Essential Facts about Israel
- Israel's economy is considered the most durable economy among other developed nations and has also been ranked number one in development and research center investments.
- Comprehensive growth in Israel's industrial and agricultural sectors have allowed this country to become mostly self-sufficient in regards to food production.
- Israel leads the world in solar energy development and is also the leader in geothermal energy and water conservation.
- Because Israel routinely experiences water shortages. they have a highly developed water technology industry that makes them one of the world's leading experts in water conservation techniques and water recycling.
Israel's Legal System
Resembling Western-style legal systems in some aspects, Israel's legal system is primarily a hybrid of historical and religious legal tenets developing under British and Ottoman sovereignty. The "Knesset" statutes and the "Basic Laws of Israel" support the basis for Israel's laws that are further substantiated by jurisprudence and political precedent. Recently, Israeli courts have been exhibiting characteristics of Canadian and American law rather than Continental law.
Israel's Court Structure and Legal System
The Supreme Court, district courts and magistrates' courts comprise Israel's general court system, with the Supreme Court existing as the highest court in the country. Israel also has "special" courts that deal with religious, labor and military justice issues. These courts are governed appellate tribunals that may receive limited consideration by the Supreme Court in certain complex cases.
Israel has five judicial districts: Nazareth, Tel-Aviv, Beer-Sheva, Jerusalem and Haifa, with district courts and magistrates ruling over their respective districts. Any actions outside these judicial districts are transferred to the District Court of Jerusalem.
Study Law in Israel
The Legal Profession in Israel
To legally practice law in Israel, you need to be an official member of the Chamber of Advocates. Requirements for acceptance in the Chamber of Advocates include:
- Must be a resident of Israel who is at least 23 years old
- Graduated from a university law school recognized by Israel's Department of Education
- Graduated from a law institute that has been recognized by the Minister of Justice
- Graduated from a recognized law institution outside of Israel
- Has completed one year of an internship
- Passed examinations given by the Chamber of Advocates
Judges in Israel must also be Israeli citizens and possess qualifications necessary to be included in the Chamber of Advocates. Lawyers who want to be considered for magistrate or district court judge positions should have practiced at least seven years in some field of law.
Earning a Law Degree in Israel
Israel has several law schools. Students entering these law schools must have proof of excellent grades and an undergraduate, or pre-law degree, from an accredited higher education facility. In addition, students must take the Psychometric Entrance Examination and get a 600+ score on the exam before being accepted into a law program. Degrees earned by prospective lawyers include the LLB (Bachelor of Law), the LLM (Master of Law) and the PhD in Law.
The time it takes to obtain a degree in law in Israel is comparable to U.S. and European standards--between five and six years.
Depending on the type of law studied by international students, such as patent law or other specialized field, tuition may be significantly higher than traditional legal courses. Once again, tuition may vary from one law school to the other.
Student visa for Israel
All international students participating in programs of one semester or longer must have a Student Visa (A-2) before arriving in Israel.
The student visa is granted to those who want to study in the elementary and high schools, academic institutions and yeshivot and youth institutions of the Jewish Agency.
You must appear in person at your local Israeli Consulate or Embassy of Israel prior to your arrival to obtain a student visa. The documentation you need to provide typically includes the original letter of acceptance from a recognized educational institution in Israel, a bank statement showing sufficient funds for your study period, roundtrip airline tickets, and a completed and signed application for a visa to enter Israel. You may also need to provide your original birth certificate.
You should apply for your student visa soon after you have received the official letter of acceptance from your hosting educational institute in Israel.
The student visa is valid for up to one year. It allows many entries to the country, and can be extended in the Population Authority office for an additional period.