This page provides information on the role of a lawyer (also called legal counsel) in court.

The person representing the claimant or defendant in civil cases is called ‘legal counsel’. The legal counsel is usually a lawyer or trainee lawyer, but they are not mandatory in a District Court. The Norwegian term "prosessfullmektig" means that the person has been given authority to handle proceedings on behalf of someone else.

Lawyer or legal counsel

A lawyer has passed exams for the bar, and has a licence to practice law. To obtain the licence, a lawyer has to have approved practice. Most lawyers handle all types of cases.

A trainee lawyer has taken the bar exam, but does not have a licence to practice law. He or she is employed by a lawyer and is responsible for the work a clerk performs. A trainee lawyer can present cases before the District Court.

Presenting your own case

It is up to the individual whether he or she wants to use legal counsel, or present the case themselves (referred to as a ‘self-represented party’). However, the court can order use of legal counsel when deemed necessary to achieve satisfactory processing of the case during the main hearing.