Job description: What does a notary do?
What is the difference between a notary, attorney, or lawyer? Very few people know the answer to this question. Even aspiring professionals sometimes stumble. The professions’ different orientation is relatively easy to explain: While a notary prevents legal disputes, lawyers or judges are only asked as soon as applicable law has been broken.
This can be explained as follows: A notary’s main task is the notarization of planned legal transactions of any kind. Most notaries should be familiar with inheritance matters or a planned purchase of land. His presence here is even required by law.
For this and other processes, he prepares the relevant contracts, certifications, and copies. What is unique: The notary is obliged to be independent and impartial. What distinguishes him from his fellow lawyers is that both a lawyer and, for example, a public prosecutor represent a particular side.
On the other hand, the notary is obliged to look after all those involved equally and advise them comprehensively on legal issues so that they can precisely record their wishes in the contract that they draw up. If the agreement is justifiable for everyone, the notary draws up a record in the form of a document and reads it out to all parties involved.
Thereupon all give their consent to the realization with their signature. This enables the most significant possible objectivity and reduces the risk of a dispute between the contracting parties at some point. Therefore, there must be no deviation from this protocol. It is subject to the strictest legal formal requirements.
As already mentioned, notaries are also the right contact when it comes to certification. They differentiate between the certification of signatures and copies. With the certification of a signature, the notary confirms that a contract’s signature was given in his presence at a certain point in time.
On the other hand, when certifying a copy, the notary confirms the exact match of a template. This can be, for example, a certificate, a copy of which must be submitted to an official body.
The job market thinks it has always been good with notaries. The work-life balance is usually even, and the working hours tend to be regulated, although there can still be more complex cases in which notaries have to kneel in particular.
Education: How do you become a notary?
The path to becoming a notary is regulated. The first step is studying law. It is divided into a basic and the main course. In the introductory course, the following content is on the curriculum:
- Civil Law
- Law of obligations
- Public law
- State and constitutional law
- Administrative law
- Criminal law
In the main course, the curriculum provides the following content:
- Labor and social law
- Inheritance law
- Family law
- Property law
- Possible focus areas are:
- The legal profession and notary’s office
- Media law
- Medical and pharmaceutical law
- Environmental law
- Economy and competition
This is followed by the first state examination and a traineeship with stations at a regional or district court, in the public prosecutor’s office, or at a criminal court, an administrative court, or an authority. The second state examination follows this.
The journey does not end there for prospective notaries. You must have successfully passed the second state examination in law and then do a three-year traineeship as a notary assessor. Only then is the appointment as a notary by the responsible state judicial authority.
Employer: Who is looking for notaries
Those who have completed the extended training to become a notary can open their own notary’s office. However, there are hardly any employed notaries. Those who shy away from the step into self-employment can also find employment in larger law firms or notaries’ offices. Sometimes commercial companies also look for a notary.
Salary: How much does a notary make
How much a notary earns gross per month cannot be quantified because most of them strive for self-employment. Each notary is paid after completing the individual tasks that he does for his clients. According to the fee schedule, he is given a percentage of these. In other words: if you are diligent and write contracts for goods of high value, you go home with an even higher income at the end of the month. A notary earns an average of nearly $22 per hour.
Entry opportunities: The prospects for notaries
Notaries per se have excellent chances in the job market. You are trained in a variety of ways and can work independently. This also enables them to gain a foothold in other areas. They are recognized colleagues in public authorities and many other administrative sectors of the public service. Some notaries also work as a lawyer at the same time.
Application: How do notaries score
Notaries are best known for their calm, level-headed manner – because sometimes they also have to mediate between two parties. But there are other hard and soft skills that they should have:
- Completed education
- Social competence
- Confident demeanor
- Quick grasp
- Comprehensive analytical skills
- Deadline accuracy
Career: Development opportunities as a notary
Notaries are, per se, specialists at a very high career level when they start their careers. But of course, there is always room for improvement. As a rule, notaries work on smaller cases first. With increasing experience and awareness, they usually succeed in pulling the “bigger fish” onto land.
However, this assumes that the notary is entirely familiar with the respective area. Therefore, he cannot avoid permanent training or even specializing in a particular site, for example, on family or corporate and company law. That increases the chances of making a career enormously.