Saudi Arabia’s legal practice requires one to have a bachelor degree in law or Sharia with a three-year training contract at a law firm, in order of them to apply for their license or a master degree in law with a one-year training contract at a law firm. There are no bar exams nor a specific type such as a barrister and a solicitor.
There are over 6,000 lawyers and 20-50 international law firms with some kind of associations with Saudi local law firms.
The question is how do you choose a law firm. Law firms that have many lawyers doesn’t necessarily mean they are better equipped to handle your particular case. For example, if there are 50 lawyers in a firm, and only two or three of them specialize in company incorporation, then there’s not much of a “manpower” advantage to hiring that firm, as opposed to a solo practitioner or a small law firm. However, sometimes going with a larger law firm is better.
Both small and big firms have their advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of the size of the firm, one of the most important considerations in choosing a lawyer is your level of confidence, comfort and trust that your lawyer will do good work in representing you or your family in your time of need. Another important consideration is their experience. If your matter for example has to do with inheritance, then you would need to look for a lawyer who has a major experience in inheritance law.
The pros of smaller law firms are that you can have a close and strong relationship with your attorney, your case will get the attention it deserves and its cheaper than a large law firm. The cons of smaller law firms are the shortage of resources and manpower.
The pros of large law firms are that they have multiple specialities and more workforce to handle large cases. The cons of large law firms are that they are more expensive.
The most important thing you should consider is your financial status as well as the intensity and complexity of your case when making the decision. Because once you sign an agreement with a law firm to represent you, it would be a very difficult procedure to leave them and some law firms impose a penalty if you decide to terminate your contract with them. Therefore, make your decision wisely and choose the right firm at the very beginning.