What is Shiho-Shoshi?

The term “Shiho-Shoshi” is sometimes translated as Judicial Scrivenerand roughly equates to solicitor or notary public, as opposed to “bengoshi” meaning advocate or barrister.  

A Shiho-Shoshi lawyer is authorized to represent their clients in real estate registrations, commercial registrations, preparation of court documents and filings with legal affairs bureaus, or in negotiating out-of-court settlements.

The Shiho-Shoshi lawyer may also represents clients in summary courts, arbitration and mediation proceedings but not in the superior courts.


Someone wishing to become a Shiho-Shoshi lawyer needs to pass a qualifying exam, and only about 3% of those who sat the test pass annually. I passed the Shiho-Shoshi lawyer exam administered by the Ministry of Justice in 2006.

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