The Ministry of Aliyah and Integration is offering a retroactive reimbursement of up to 4,000 NIS to Olim who were required to translate and/or notarize documents in order to transfer their professional license in Israel.  The Oleh must submit the original receipts (or verified copies).

  • The reimbursement only covers translations and notarizations for professional needs
  • You can be reimbursed retroactively back to receipts that were issued from January 15, 2015
  • Age limit: Retirement age

In addition, the Ministry offers a reimbursement for Olim who took the governmental licensing exam.  Your eligibility lasts for 10 years from your date of Aliyah.  The reimbursement is ONLY given retroactively and will be paid back ONLY after submitting the receipt for your exam to your local Misrad Haklitah office.

Please note:  If you didn’t participate in a Misrad Haklitah preparation course for the governmental licensing exam, you may be entitled to reimbursement for two exams (if needed).

Detailed and most up-to-date information about qualifying as a lawyer in Israel (to practice Israeli law as well as foreign law) can be found on the Israel Bar Association (“Lishkat Orchei HaDin”) website. The format of the Israel Bar Exam has undergone several significant changes, which have made the exam exceedingly more challenging – specifically for non-native Hebrew speakers.

To contact the Israel Bar Association, please click here.

Law firms in Israel often seek to hire English-speaking attorneys who specialize in:

  • Corporate Law (with experience in contracts and securities); and
  • Intellectual Property Law (with experience in patent prosecution and/or licensing-type agreements).

Law students and younger attorneys planning their Aliyah would benefit from experience in corporate law as their transition into the Israeli workspace will be smoother and employability will be greater.

For information on working as a foreign licensed lawyer in Israel, please see this article.

A special thank you to Russell Mayer, senior partner at Livnat and Mayer, for participating in this interview. If you have further questions, please be in touch with Russell at [email protected] and his website is

What is your current position?
I am a senior partner in a law firm. I focus on labor law, business and corporate law and wills.

How did you find your job?
I worked as a lawyer in America for almost 9 years. After I made Aliyah, I worked at a large law firm in Tel Aviv as an employee for 7 years, through which I met my current partners. I have now been a partner in my firm for over 11 years.

What do you need to in order to be accepted into the Israeli Bar Association?
Immigrant lawyers have to take a series of exams, which include a Hebrew proficiency exam and a Laws of Israel exam. Lawyers with at least five years of experience abroad are exempt from the main Israeli Bar exam. Those not entitled to the exemption must take written and oral examinations. All lawyers must complete a mandatory articled clerkship after law school and before being admitted to the bar. Currently the requirement is for a one year term but it is due to be increased to 2 years. Lawyers who have experience from abroad can apply to shorten the period of their clerkships.

Do you need Hebrew to work in your field in Israel?
Part of the exams for the Israel Bar Association is a Hebrew proficiency exam. You do not need an exceptionally high level of Hebrew to pass the exam, but your Hebrew needs to be at a high enough level to study for and take the regular bar exam at the end of the clerkship (unless exempted). You will need to be proficient in Hebrew if you want to be a good Israeli lawyer who is not limited to working on English language matters.

Does it make any difference whether you studied in Israel or abroad?
My American law degree was recognized by the Bar Association. You just need to go through the proper procedures in order to have it recognized. Those who did not study in Israel, however, will not have a background in Israeli law. The transition is not too difficult once the Hebrew barrier is passed. Israelis value a foreign license (and study) so being admitted overseas has its value.

What is the salary range?
With experience, you may be able to earn in the mid to high teens per month, when you start out.

Who are the major employers in your field?
There are big laws firms in Israel, but most lawyers work in small firms. In addition, many companies have in-house legal departments.

What are the upcoming areas of specialization that you would recommend?
General business knowledge is valuable. Although business is cyclical, those who are good will always be in demand. Having sub-specialties such as securities will also increase demand. Litigation is difficult to do in Israel, unless your Hebrew is at a very high level or you limit your work to dealing with court matters overseas.

Is there a professional organization in your field?

There is The Israel Bar Association.

What recommendations can you offer Olim looking to work in this field?
The more business-related experience you have from abroad, the more marketable you are likely to be here. In addition, to the extent that you can improve your Hebrew before arriving, you will be a step ahead. The ability to be interviewed for a position in Hebrew is not necessary for the most part, but will enable you to make a good impression on your prospective employers.

Any advice for students interested in going into your field?
Yes, I have a few recommendations:

  • It is important that you are aware of the articled clerkship requirement ahead of time, since that is a requirement with which most lawyers in America are not familiar.
  • Do well in school, and strive for a high ranking in your class.
  • Many law firms take law students to work part time during school. If you seek out these opportunities, firms are likely to hire you to stay on after you graduate.
  • Work on your Hebrew.

How do you feel about working and living here in Israel?
I love working here in Israel! It is challenging being away from family and adjusting to a new culture, but if you’re dedicated to living here, you’ll succeed. As they say, there’s no place like HOME.

A special thank you to Jay Kalish, General Counsel and Partner at OurCrowd, for participating in this interview. For further questions please contact Jay at [email protected]

Please provide us with a brief description of your field.
As general counsel, I am responsible for all of OurCrowd’s legal matters.  This includes transactional work (negotiating and documenting venture capital deals), regulatory work (making sure that we comply with all relevant laws and regulations in the US, Israel and other parts of the world), and consulting on general legal matters for the company.  In addition, I am heading up a social responsibility initiative to encourage our portfolio companies and investors to support social initiatives in Israel.

How did you find your job?
Networking, and !השגחה פרטית

What types of backgrounds are relevant for someone looking to work as a General Council and Partner?
Obviously, legal background is very important for this position.  However, business savvy and people skills are equally, if not more important.  In addition to providing protection to the company and its investors, one needs to be able to work well with the team, portfolio company management and attorneys representing the other side of the transaction.  By working cooperatively, rather than in an adversarial manner, I build bridges and connections, which will first and foremost make the legal process function more smoothly, but will also encourage the attorneys to refer further business to our company. I also have extensive experience in the field of investor relations, which provides me with additional insight in both our investors’ and portfolio companies’ goals, and helps me be more effectively in my job.

What education and experience should an Oleh looking to become a General Council and Partner come with?
Along with legal training, excellence in communication, both written and oral, are vital.  While most of my documentation is in English, many of the meetings and negotiations are in Hebrew. Since I have been in Israel for many years (26+), I can also build relationships with counsel without cultural barriers.  By speaking Hebrew and being Israeli, I can understand what the other side is looking for even if they are not expressing it fully.

Is there any kind of license or certification you need, to work in that field in Israel?
I hold a license to practice law in NY and Israel.

How important is Hebrew in your field?
See above – I think it is vital to success.

What are the benefits of your job?
The job is professionally stimulating and challenging.  As a company, with a goal of helping to build the Israeli start-up scene, we are making an impact.  During our first year of operation we helped raise funds for 30 companies, mostly Israeli – and that translates into several hundred jobs, critical for any economy. The social responsibility initiative gives me the opportunity to encounter some of the fabulous work being done in Israel, as well as the chance to show this amazing side of our country to our overseas investors.

 Is this employment more in demand in certain areas of Israel?
There is a larger concentration of venture funds in the Tel Aviv/Herzlia area, but not all of the funds have an in-house counsel/partner.

What is the salary range?
The salary range depends on experience and the company, so it is hard to generalize.

Do you have any other advice or tips for Olim?
1) Learn Hebrew; interact with Israelis as much as possible. Leave your radio on Hebrew talk shows, listen to the news in Hebrew and read the Hebrew press. While the English press is good, the Hebrew press adds that element of acculturation, which is so vital for success.  I am still labeled as an American in certain places, but I can safely say that when I travel overseas, I realize more and more how I have become Israeli.

2) Work hard to build a network of contacts, especially during a job search.  Try meeting with people with the purpose of trying to get another introduction, to increase your network.  The best positions come up when you are not looking.

3) Be flexible in what you are looking for. Is the goal to be a [fill in your profession] here in Israel, or is the goal to live and succeed here? If the latter, I always like to think of the quote from the movie Apollo 13 – “I don’t care what it was designed to do; I care about what it can do.” Look for opportunities based on your skill set and be open to different challenges that can harness this skill set.

How do you feel about working and living in Israel?
I would never trade it for anything in the world.  B”H I still wake up in the morning with the excitement of knowing that we are living and building our homeland.

For additional information about practicing law in Israel, please see the following article which was written by legal recruiter, Minna Felig: Living in Israel: Practicing Law.

How can we help your Aliyah?