Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Friday, June 1, 2012

Legal specialist position at US Embassy, Beijing (2)

I just posted a notice about the above position but hadn't read the job description. Now that I have, I really have to wonder whether anybody has thought this thing through. They are requiring someone with a Chinese lawyer certificate. This raises at least two questions:

  • Why? Nothing in the job requires somebody to engage in the practice of Chinese law, and indeed, anyone holding the job would probably be forbidden to do so, since practicing Chinese lawyers need to work in a properly registered law firm (or be properly registered solo practitioners). Of course, to ask for knowledge about the Chinese legal system is reasonable, and to make bar passage a proxy for such knowledge would be understandable (although inaccurate). But to have passed the bar is not the same as holding a Chinese lawyer certificate.
  • Holders of Chinese lawyers certificates must be Chinese nationals. Yet various aspects of the job description clearly contemplate that the successful applicant could be a US citizen.

Do they really mean to say that only Chinese nationals may apply? That's the effect of the lawyer certificate requirement, the need for which is not obvious in the first place.

I'll be happy to post any explanations or clarifications anyone wants to send me.

Commentary, Internships/Employment Opportunities | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Legal specialist position at US Embassy, Beijing (2):


As a Chinese student studying for JD degree in the United States, I think maybe the job posters have a presumption that Chinese lawyer certificate are similar to bar admission of the United States which will allow foreigners to take.

Posted by: Ge | Jun 1, 2012 5:58:46 PM

I know the previous resident legal advisors, three of them were US citizens and lawyers who were seconded from the US department of Justice for a couple of years.

Posted by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung | Jun 2, 2012 4:50:49 PM

there is a surplus of American lawyers to export to China. Like Deng Xiaoping was asked how many Chinese would leave China for the USA, he said how many do you want? Obama and his wife, Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton and many others are lawyers. May be this time, Obama would say: how many do you want?

Posted by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung | Jun 11, 2012 10:50:55 AM

Post a comment