September 25, 2011, 1:03 am
Lawyers in France practise in either private or public law. Private law focuses on civil and criminal law, while public law means especially administrative and constitutional law. In 2007, there were over 47,000 lawyers in France, out of which half were practising in Paris. The profession of an attorney in France falls under the regulating body of the Bar Associations. There are 181 Bar Associations in France, which are governed by the National Council of the Bar Associations. Basically, this Council provides training for French attorneys and supervises legal activities. Lawyers from EU member states can provide advice to clients in France if they register here.
If a person wants to become a French lawyer, they must obtain at first a law degree after four years of study and then pass the Bar examinations. Only after two years of practice and training in law firms in France or other companies, a candidate can be admitted to the Bar. He cannot practise his legal profession unless he is registered with the French Bar Association.
Forms of practice
A lawyer in France can be found under different names. An advisor drafts contracts, while an advocate represents parties in litigation or presents arguments in front of the court. The role of a custodian in French law system is to receive funds or to take care of the documents. Lawyers in France can also be arbitrators, trustees or lobbyists, who must practise the law profession according to the regulations in France. A lawyer in France who also holds a public position cannot practise law services. It is the case for members of the Parliament, who cannot act against the French state.
The French attorney can practice in all jurisdictions of France and can represent a client in front of the European Union Court of Justice. Any lawyer in France can offer advice over investments in Europe, for instance. Besides the role of an intermediary, he can be a custodian, an arbitrator, a trustee or many other things. However, this profession cannot be practised by the chairman or the director of any company or corporation. An attorney in France must educate himself continuously in law, must stay informed about the changes in his field of interest and must provide confidentiality.
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