The profession of lawyer and its obligations
This profession has existed since antiquity.
Already in the Romans the intervention of the lawyer becomes common.
One of the most famous Roman lawyers was CICERON.
In the 6th century the Emperor Justinian created the corporation of lawyers for the first time.
The first oath of the lawyers goes back to the Justinian code, the lawyer has to swear on the Gospels not to neglect anything for the defense of his client and not to take on a cause recognized as bad.
The development of deontological rules will take several centuries.
In the Middle Ages, lawyers were mostly members of the clergy who wore black robes.
In France, an ordinance of Philip III in 1274 recognized lawyers who were members of Parliament as a “constituted body” (entitled to the title of Master). They were subject to professional secrecy and the profession of lawyer was organized.
Among the rules is the obligation to take an oath, to defend a just cause and to receive a moderate salary.
During this period, it became mandatory to take an oath and to have a sufficient level of knowledge to practice.
The title of “Master” was then given, and the notion of fees appeared.
The bar did not start until 1327 with an ordinance of Philippe DE VALLOIS which created the roll of lawyers.
The lawyer is then ” Knight ES – Law ” and defends the poor and the humiliated.
At that time, lawyers were mainly recruited from among the ecclesiastics, who were scholars and had a good knowledge of Roman law.
They received the monopoly of pleading, i.e. representation before the courts.
The Bâtonnier is the President of the Bar Council.
He carried the baton in religious processions in the Middle Ages.
His role is to settle disputes between lawyers.
The lawyer is considered as an auxiliary of justice, and as such, to respect the professional rules enacted by the State.
In the 16th century, the dress of lawyers was codified.
The lawyer’s dress
The lawyer’s dress has been modified over time, but it was originally a religious cassock with 33 buttons symbolizing the age of Christ at his death.
Today, when lawyers plead, they must wear a black robe reminiscent of the clergyman’s cassock.
He wears an epitome on his shoulder with white fur at the end, originally ermine and currently rabbit.
The wearing of the robe, allows all lawyers to be on an equal footing before the law.
The lawyer’s robe or toga is therefore the garment worn by lawyers as a professional practice suit.
The lawyer is bound by professional secrecy.
He cannot disclose, nor be forced to disclose, the confidences made to him by his client.
The lawyer is independent of the government, the judge, the client, and of any preconceived idea.
This independence allows him to express himself freely before the courts with immunity from pleading, and gives him the right to accept or refuse a case in conscience.
To become a lawyer, one must have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in law to then complete a 3-year internship with a Master of Laws, and pass the bar exams.
In law, a lawyer is a jurist whose traditional function is to advise and defend his clients in court, pleading to assert their interests, and more generally to represent them.
The word “lawyer” in its legal sense, comes from the Latin “advocatus” designating the “avowed defender” the person called, the one who comes to help, to rescue.
The lawyer is the one who makes profession to defend causes in justice.
The term bar comes from the place delimited by a wooden bar reserved for lawyers in the courtroom of the Tribunal.
The bar surrounding the bar, separated both the lawyer from the public and the judge.
The word “avocat” appeared in French around 1160 and designates, at that time, a person entitled to assist and represent someone in court.
The president of a bar association is elected by all the lawyers and represents his order, he presides over the council of the order.
He prevents and reconciles disputes between members of the bar, he investigates all claims made by third parties.
In this capacity, he answers complaints from litigants.
He proceeds to the designation of the lawyers appointed by the court for the persons who have not chosen a lawyer.