Applying for admission to the Singapore Bar: Overview

An overview of the application process for admission as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore

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After fulfilling all the requirements to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore (mainly, being a 'qualified person' and completing the mandatory training period), the next step to actually qualify in Singapore is to apply for admission. This post seeks to provide some guidance on the actual application procedure.

Much of the information is available online somewhere, but requires some looking and may be outdated.1 For instance, much of SILE's guidance on its website predates the new Rules of Court 2021 and/or new procedures put in place since then and the Law Society's checklist has not been updated since 2011. This is an attempt to consolidate and streamline the information, as well as augment it based on anecdotes and my own experiences, for the benefit of future applicants.

The procedure is somewhat involved and it is advisable to have a general idea of the steps in broad strokes and cast an eye over all the requirements at an early stage so that you can ensure you fulfil them early on and avoid having to rush and risk missing the mass call date. In particular, you will probably want to look through the requirements in the practice training contract checklist (PTC checklist) and make sure that you complete the necessary e-Learning courses conducted by the Law Society in good time.

There may have been changes to the application and admission procedure since this post was drafted — do check the relevant legislation and agencies' websites before relying on the information here.


The process from application to mass call is as follows:

  1. Originating application: File an originating application (an OA, previously known as an originating summons) to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor
  2. Request for SILE certificate: After completing your training contract and before filing your supporting affidavit, you need to request for SILE to issue you a certificate confirming that you have met the substantive requirements for admission.
  3. Supporting affidavit: After the SILE certificate has been issued, you can proceed to file your supporting affidavit and request for a hearing date.
  4. Mass call: Attend the mass call briefing and mass call, then collect your practising certificate.

Click the links above for more details about each respective stage.


Prior to or in parallel to this process, you will have to fulfil the substantive requirements to be admitted, mainly:

  1. QP: Be a 'qualified person' (QP) under the Legal Profession (Qualified Person) Rules (QPR). To obtain proof of your status as a QP, you should register with SILE. In practice, this is done as part of the registration for the Part B course with SILE (for both local and overseas graduates).2 SILE will then furnish you with a letter confirming that they have entered your name into the register of QPs (sample here); and
  2. TC: Complete the mandatory training period (i.e. your training contract) as required under the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2011 (LPAR). Do remember to get SILE's approval before commencing your training contract.

Whilst you have to be a QP before applying to be admitted (i.e. before filing your OA), you can (and should) file your OA during your TC, although you can only proceed with the subsequent steps after completing your TC. This is because you can only file your supporting affidavit 30 days after your OA has been filed.3 Filing the OA at least 30 days before the end of your TC allows you to file your supporting affidavit as soon as possible once your TC ends, giving yourself some time to address any irregularities.

Other guidance

I hope this helps you on your journey to be admitted to the Singapore bar.

Here's some other useful guidance:

  1. I found Jack Tsen-Ta Lee, "Getting Called: A Practical Guide" (1997) 18 Singapore Law Review 455 to be a useful reference, although it is very much out of date.
  2. Broadly speaking, local graduates will be QPs upon passing their final exams and attaining the requisite grades whereas overseas graduates will additionally need to complete their RLT and pass Part A. For more information about the QP requirements for overseas graduates, see this SILE infographic.
  3. I have assumed here (as is the case for most people) that you will be doing Part B before your TC. It does seem to be possible to file your OA even before commencing your TC, although in practice this may be tricky since without eLitigation you would need to go down to the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau? Anyway there does not seem to be much benefit to filing so far in advance. See r 25(4) LPAR. Also, note that the OA may expire after a year.