In principle, legal representation in civil matters before the Federal Court of Justice is reserved to lawyers admitted to the bar of the Federal Supreme Court. These lawyers are appointed by the Federal Ministry of Justice, who chooses from a list of candidates nominated by the Election Committee at the Federal Supreme Court. The Election Committee consists of the President of the Federal Supreme Court, the presiding judges of its twelve Civil Divisions, and the members of the presiding committees of the Federal Bar Association, and the Bar Association at the Federal Court of Justice. It selects candidates from a list submitted by the Federal Bar Association. This list is based on proposals by the regional Bar Associations and proposals by the Bar Association at the Federal Court of Justice. Only lawyers who are at least 35 years of age and have practiced law for at least five years without interruption may be proposed.
The procedure of the election of lawyers at the Federal Court of Justice and the resulting limitation of the admission to the Federal Court of Justice are to some extent controversial and have frequently been subject to judicial review. The Federal Supreme Court has confirmed the constitutionality of this procedure (decision dated Dec. 6, 2006 – AnwZ 2/06, decision dated Feb. 18, 2005 – AnwZ 3/03). The Federal Constitutional Court has not accepted a constitutional complaint disputing this procedure (non-acceptance order dated Feb. 27, 2008 – 1 BvR 1295/07).
Currently (February 2017), forty-two lawyers are admitted to the Bar of the Federal Supreme Court. Names, addresses and contact details are published on the website of the Federal Court of Justice and on the website of the Bar Association at the Federal Supreme Court.