The Notary Public is a discipline that is basically about attesting and, through this, making a private document public. It is a well-paid and always necessary career, but one that carries great responsibility.
I do not know this race, is it called the same in all countries?
No, although in almost all Spanish-speaking countries it is known by this name, in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay the Notary is called Notary Public. This is so because formerly its main function was to give faith with respect to scriptures.
Can I study it directly?
There are several notarial systems. According to the Latin system, prevailing in Spanish-speaking countries, the Judicial Power requires, in order to qualify as such, the candidate for Notary Public to have a degree in the field of Law. In some countries it can be studied as a postgraduate degree and in others there is the career of Notary, but within the scope of a law school.
But, what does a Notary Public do?
A Notary Public is a professional in the field of Law, to whom the Judicial Power grants the power to attest, that is, to make a legal act, such as a deed, a contract, a will, etc., take character public and are considered as valid by the State in which the notary practices. As it has the Public Faith in its possession, it can help to draft the document to be valid, and it has the ability to interpret the will of the signatories of those documents.
What is the difference with a lawyer or with any official of the Judicial Power?
It is worth clarifying that it does not work in the same way in all countries (in Spain, for example, they are public officials and, at the same time, private legal professionals). In general, a Notary performs a public function, but is not a public official himself. In many cases, a public office cannot be held simultaneously. With regard to any lawyer, these in general must take the side of one of the parties, his client, while the Notary must maintain his neutrality.
What is the job opportunity of a Notary?
A Notary Public will always have a job, since his signature and performance is required in many moments of the life of any person. Let’s show some examples:
- Administration of marital property or dependent minors
- Generation of business contracts of any kind
- Purchase – sale of real estate
- Wills Administration
- Signature authentication
- Opening of books at any Assembly, Board meetings, etc.
- And many more examples …
But can anyone be a Notary Public?
This depends on the regulations of each country. In general, you must be part of a Professional Association of Notaries or Notaries. In some countries the exercise of the profession is open and unlimited, provided that the required degrees and certifications are available. In others there is a limitation to practice this profession, either by number (number of notaries) or by territory (amount allowed in each province or department). In Argentina, for example, there is a (quite restrictive) system of enrollment limitations. New registrations are granted, in general, only after the retirement or death of a Notary Public, and many times to get this new registration, one must be a relative of another Notary Public who possesses it, so the mere study of the career does not guarantee the exercise of the profession.
What characteristics must I have to be a Notary Public?
- Possess a law degree.
- Have faultless conduct and morals.
- Ability to explain, since it must be done in general to the parties involved in the document that will be made public.
- Patience, for the same reason.
- Be willing to give up jobs and personal businesses in pursuit of the profession.
Advantages of studying Public Notaries:
- Give constant work
- The economic retribution is usually quite high
- The satisfaction of knowing that your single word gives meaning to an act or document
- Contact with people
- The peace of mind that, unless we commit an unethical act, we will continue to practice our profession
Disadvantages of studying Notary Public:
- In general, you cannot study directly, but you must have a law degree first
- You don’t always start exercising instantly. Sometimes you have to wait to get a license or be licensed.
- Sometimes business opportunities must be turned down in order not to cast doubt on our unblemished personal reputation. Likewise, the profession is incompatible with the exercise of any public office.
How long is the race?
This depends on whether the entire career of Notaries can be completed or if a specialization must be carried out after studying Law. But in both cases the total years of study is between 5 or 6 years.
Where to study Notary Public?
Argentina: the legal profession must be studied first. Then you will be able to do a postgraduate degree in Notary Public or Notary Public. The best universities that teach it are the National University of La Plata and the National University of Rosario. The duration in both cases is 1 year.
Uruguay: Notarial degree career is being studied. The duration of the degree is 6 years, and in this case we recommend the University of the Republic.
Mexico: No additional studies are required to those of Law, but a very rigorous opposition exam must be passed.
Spain: As in Mexico, no additional studies are needed, just be over 23 years old, have a law degree and pass the opposition exams, which are also extremely difficult.
Curious fact: This year there was a stir in Bolivia, due to the government’s project for the Minister of Justice to appoint notaries. The controversy arose because, according to its detractors, the necessary independence for notaries would be being taken away, by subordinating them to the Executive Power.