General

Who is the lawyer?

The lawyer represents and defends individuals, companies or communities before the courts, this can involve civil matters (divorce, inheritance, litigation…) or criminal matters (contraventions, misdemeanors, crimes…),he can also be solicited by companies as a consultant.
Job description
Lawyers are becoming more and more specialized. The lawyers of proximity, who settle the problems of the everyday life (family law, labor law…), are more and more specialized.
family law, labor law, etc.), are still by far the most numerous. However, business law and advice to companies are today the most promising niches.

Companies that do not have a legal department regularly call on outside lawyers to settle routine legal, commercial or financial matters. Even if they have in-house lawyers, they may also seek out a lawyer to deal with more complex issues.

Functions of a lawyer can be multiple as legal advice and defense.

Legal advice is mainly given to companies (multinationals, banks, insurance companies). The objective is often to avoid the risk of lawsuits that could be detrimental to the company. In case of litigation, the lawyer acts as a mediator, trying to reconcile the opposing parties.

The criminal lawyer is specialized in the treatment of crimes and offenses. He can be at the service of the victim as well as the perpetrator. In the service of the presumed perpetrator, he represents his client during immediate appearances, police custody, pre-trial detention, investigation and trial. He meets with his client several times before the trial, puts together his file and drafts the documents necessary for the defense. He assists the accused at the investigating judge’s office to ensure that their rights are respected, as well as during the hearing of witnesses and expert reports. During the trial, he supports his client’s case through his interventions and a final plea. In the context of the victim’s defense, his role will be to obtain compensation for the harm caused.

In order to practice, the lawyer must be registered with a bar association (a group of lawyers attached to a court of first instance).

Whatever his specialization, the lawyer is a person of record. He has a great capacity for work, a spirit of synthesis and analysis and a capacity for logical reasoning. Oratory and writing skills are essential assets for this profession.

A lawyer follows the rules and ethics of his profession.

Studies / Training to become a lawyer
Becoming a lawyer is only possible if you have :

a M1 or M2 in law (criminal law or criminal science, social law, tax law…)
The CAPA that is certificate of aptitude for the legal profession.
Future lawyers prepare for their profession in one of the regional centers for professional training for lawyers (CRFPA), commonly referred to as a law school. There are about a dozen of them (list available on the website of the National Bar Council).

The CRFPAs are accessible on the basis of a very selective examination (35% of applicants are admitted) to law students with a master’s degree (or an equivalent diploma) of French nationality or a member of the European Union. However, most of the candidates hold a M2 degree.
You can study for the CRFPA entrance exam via the Institutes of Judicial Studies (IEJ) or a private preparation course, it is possible to attempt the entrance exam to CRFPA three times only .
The training lasts 18 months and is organized into 3 modules:

6 months of training at the CRFPA,
a 6 to 8 month module devoted to a specialized teaching project,
a 6-month internship in a law firm , then obtaining the CAPA, certificate of aptitude for the legal profession.

The lawyer takes the oath and joins the bar of his or her choice.

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Note: obtaining a specialization (business law, community law, etc.) is often necessary due to the complexity of laws, the increased importance of contracts, the enlargement of the European area and the appearance of new rights (consumer law, computer law, environmental law, etc.).

Salaries
At the beginning of their career, lawyers earn between €1,800 and €2,700 gross per month.

The hours of a lawyer are freely agreed upon (fees calculated on the basis of time spent, fixed price or result).

The remuneration is different depending on every situation (reputation,activity,location of the firm). The average monthly income in the profession is around 5 000 €.But it exist obviously a huge gap .
Career development

Upon completion of their internship, young graduates have three options: to be recruited as an employee, to become an associate of a law firm (with the possibility of developing one’s own clientele) or to open one’s own law firm (a rare occurrence).

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