Yes and no. Ability to understand isn't the same as ability to read. Think of the difference as the difference between reading the book out loud and the ability to understand what was said. You can have perfect pronunciation, but understand nothing of what is written.
I am taking a couple diversions here, but they relate directly to your question.
A book I read in Danish
When I was learning Danish in Denmark, we had to read Babette's Dinner (Da:Babettes Gæstebud). Important note: I read this book in Danish. The understanding of the book can be radically different, depending on your understanding of a few passages. My teacher, an formally trained artist, well educated and intelligent, who's mother tongue is Danish, insisted the guests were sober and the book was only about the difference between values. It is worth noting, it isn't about the difference between social classes. I disagreed, and I read up a single passage. They stumbled and crawled through the snow returning home. This one point, that they were clearly drunk at the end of the dinner, changed my teacher's understanding of the book.
The assumption is, the native speaker knows best, and I likely misunderstood the passage. However, I read the book with care, and understood if they acted drunk at the end of the dinner, they likely drank a good deal of wine at dinner. It is also supported by a central passage in the book, a drunkenly philosophical passage about beauty through beer goggles. Understanding this point was dependent on how carefully I read the book, and ability to reason if B, then A.
Likewise, Dickens can be understood if you read the book with care and are able to make logical inferences and deductions. Those are skills that do not automatically come with reading a book in one's native language. Reading the book with care in your second language is one skill you can develop in your native language. Drawing logical conclusions is a different skill you can develop in your native language.
The American LSAT
Law schools in the U.S. require you have both an undergraduate degree and take the LSAT.
- Any undergraduate degree qualifies
- Any major qualifies
- Any STEM major
- Any Arts major
- Any Business major
- The LSAT is the Law School Admission Test
- Your score is dependent on your ability to reason
- Your score is dependent on your ability to read
- Your score ranks you against other applicants
- Your score is a big factor if you get into law school
- A lot of information about you is recorded when you take the LSAT
Because your undergraduate degree and its major is recorded, there is a ranking of majors by score on the LSAT. The common assumption is pre-law, which is the only pathway to study law in most other countries I know about, will take first place by average LSAT score. Truth is, I do not remember if it is even in the top 100 majors, because it certainly isn't in the top 10, top 20, or top 30. Truth is, many arts majors place higher than pre-law. And an important truth is, the top two majors by LSAT score are mathematics and physics. The last time I looked at the ranking, those two majors were tied at 160 points.
The lesson here is, legal reasoning is heavily affected by subjects that are the same in all languages. Reasoning is heavily affected by aptitude other than linguistic skill. It isn't everyone who can easily reason, or reason at all, so a book such as Dickens may be a difficult read for a native English speaker, while a non-native speaker who can easily reason will find it a light read.
The two skills you need to read Dickens are the ability to read carefully, and ability to reason. Your skill in English is less important.