In order for an individual to become an attorney, with the exception of certain law professors, he or she must pass the national bar examination and, except for certain persons with specified experience as public servants or engaged in specified legal affairs in enterprises, persons passing the bar examination must undergo one and a half years of legal training at the Legal Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court, and thereafter obtain admission to the local bar association of his or her choice, in order to register with Nichibenren. In October 2005, 911 graduates of the Legal Research and Training Institute were registered with Nichibenren, of which 190 had joined Toben.
A new membership application submitted to Toben is reviewed by the Admission and Retirement Review Committee and approved by the House of Delegates. An application not approved by the House of Delegates will, by petition of the applicant, be further reviewed by the Qualification Review Board of the Toben, an independent statutory committee established pursuant to the Attorneys Law. The membership of the Qualification Review Board consists of 7 lawyers, 1 judge, 1 public prosecutor and an academic with specialized knowledge and experience. The President of Toben serves ex-officio as chairman of the Board. Any decision to dismiss a membership application may be appealed to Nichibenren. Thereafter, further legal action may be brought, in the Tokyo High Court, to reexamine the application. As of May 31, 2006, the Association had 4,842 member lawyers, of which 681 were female.