The lawyer in dress

In the exercise of their judicial functions, lawyers wear the costume of their profession, called the lawyer’s dress.

These dresses are mostly made to measure and are, nowadays, made in different fabrics (which hold more or less hot!).

Here is what the costume of the profession of lawyer consists of:

– the black dress with buttons (traditionally 13 as on a cassock)

– the epitome: for information, Parisian lawyers, according to an ancient custom, wear an epitoge without ermine (it will, however, be sealed during the oath, when pleading in the provinces, before the Assize Court or during a formal hearing of the Court of Appeal). The 12 secretaries of the conference also wear the epitoge with white fur. The President and members of the Council of the Order of Paris, during their term of office, but also the provincial lawyers, also carry an epitoge hermine.

Thus, in Seine-Saint-Denis, we wear an epitoge with ermine.

– the flap: it is the small white part that comes out of the dress, on the front, at the top and in the middle

– a toque: however, it is no longer used and now refers only to the box in the cloakroom lawyers.

– white gloves: which are no longer used – additional accessories can be added, such as the white bowtie during the oath (like the one worn by Dominique de Villepin during his recent oath) .

Just be aware that costumes worn by magistrates, prosecutors, clerks and bailiffs can sometimes, for uninitiated, look like lawyers’ dresses and that it is often only a few details that differentiate them.

As far as fares are concerned, at least 300 euros are required for a lawyer’s dress, which represents an investment for a junior lawyer who has just been sworn in.

Some lawyers are convinced that one dies in his third dress (and that therefore must maximize the first 2 profitable!) …

That’s it, you now know everything (or almost) about avocado dresses!

The revolution of the profession is in motion

A very fast ticket to allow you to follow the evolution of the profession live.

I explained several articles, including the one on The gratification of students trainee lawyers: the perverse effect that in the not too distant past, young lawyers, sworn in, were automatically included on the list of their Home Bar and did not have the opportunity to settle individually to practice the profession. It was therefore imperative that they look for a law firm that would agree to employ them as a collaborating lawyer. Thus, most of the activity of the young lawyer is to take care of the files of the firm for which he works.

After two years (or more if the practice of the profession was part-time) and the fulfillment of training obligations, the young lawyer lost his trainee status and was registered in the Grand Tableau of the Order.

Until then, no problem.

The worry is that this practice, which has been going on for many years, was in breach of the rules of Community law which recalls the absolute principle of the lawyer’s independence from his clients, even when they have other lawyers. However, I remind you what I said in my other article, we must not forget that, legally, for the collaborating lawyer, the lawyer “boss” is primarily a client of his, certainly a special status but customer all the same.

Thus, to comply with the rules of Community law, French law had to abandon the notion of internship, trainee lawyer and therefore mandatory collaboration.

This is the subject of one of the last laws on the profession, the law n ° 2004-130 of February 11, 2004  which puts an end to any reference to the Stage in the previous texts. I’ll give you the details.

The important point was transitional measures. Indeed, what about lawyers who had started to practice under the old statute when the law came into force? This article of the UJA of Paris detailed at the time how things would unfold.

En tout état de cause, à compter du 1 er septembre 2007 et quelle que soit la situation de l’avocat avant cette date, la liste du Stage disparaîssait, entraînant le passage automatique de nombreux avocats au Grand Tableau de leur Ordre respectif et la possibilité for everyone to settle immediately.

However, to settle when you are a young lawyer and especially in major cities of France and in particular Paris, you need a certain starting capital or / and a network of significant influence, to develop quickly its customers.

This is obviously not the case for everyone. Thus, even if it is no longer mandatory to go through the status of collaborator, for financial reasons and / or training, a number of young confreres are and will still be forced to get there.

Some feel however able to throw themselves immediately in the bath, even if to ask for a bank loan important to start in this profession. Indeed, even if during the first two years, flat-rate social charges remain affordable, structural expenses can represent significant expenses.

This is why the new President of Paris, Christian Charrière-Bournazel had proposed, some time ago in the bulletin of the CNB to set up a “nursery” of lawyers. He talks about it again today in the latest Bulletin of the Paris Bar  in which he explains that the “nursery” in question will probably be installed in the building which currently houses the  Bar School , the latter being transferred to a new building to be built in the 5 th arrondissement.

The transfer of the EFB is a good thing. For those who have had to go there, the building that is five to six floors, if I remember correctly, is almost desert. It contains over a hundred rooms, most of which remain desperately empty. It is not that there are not enough student lawyers since this number is increasing from year to year, it is just that the building definitely did not have a surface suitable to its functions.

This will now be more the case since it is planned to develop each “classroom” office to accommodate a lawyer. Thus, ninety individual offices of 10 to 12 m² will be created with meeting rooms on each floor, relaxation areas and a cafeteria in the basement, the rents are obviously set at preferential rates.

We spoke, some time ago, with other lawyers of the Blogosphere of the reform of the Legal Aid with the possibility of setting up a dedicated body of private lawyers who would treat only this type of files in premises specially reserved for this purpose and whose fees would be paid by the State.

Even if the “nursery” has not, for the moment, vocation to serve as a crucible of lawyers to the AJ, I feel well left for that, anyway, in the near future.

This seems to me a natural evolution of the profession towards a more Anglo-Saxon model that will at least have the merit of transparency, which is not always the case at present.

The first appointment with the lawyer: paid or free?

An article in the form of questions and answers adapted from a discussion that I had a while ago with a surfer and who shows a little how to correctly apprehend the first appointment with a lawyer.

In italics, the questions of the user:

I am entitled to legal aid and following my dismissal, I wish to meet a lawyer to know if I must put my employer before the prudhommes and what I can ask. Will the lawyer’s consultation be billed to me and if so how many? Otherwise, who can I consult to obtain information on the opportunity to go before the prudhommes and what I could ask?

Let’s be clear to avoid disappointment.

All consultations with a lawyer are, in principle, paid, which is normal (with the exception of consultations that are only intended to inform the client about the cost of the intervention of the lawyer). Each lawyer does as he wishes regarding the invoicing or not of the first consultation but few work for free.

We spend time on a file to assess whether our client is in his right or not: examine his pieces, listen to what he has to tell us about his situation, what he wants to do in the future, the advise on this and consider with him the opportunity to initiate a procedure or rather to try to amicably settle his dispute.

A lawyer may well refuse to take a person to legal aid. In fact, the lawyer, like any other person, has to support himself and the AJ allows him to collect on average a fee three to five times less than his usual fee.

To avoid paying for the consultation, you must already file your AJ file and a lawyer must be appointed. The latter will not be able to ask you any fee, provided that it is designated to the total legal aid. Unfortunately, it will only be paid at the end of the journey if there is legal proceedings. Thus, even if initiating a procedure is not the best option, it will be much more likely to proceed as if it had not been designated under the AJ.

You can also go to a lawyer, pay for the consultation, see with him if your case is solid and then agree that he will assist you to start the procedure at the AJ if he accepts. It is a good solution.

Regarding the cost of consulting outside AJ, the lawyer’s fees are free and depend on several criteria such as the difficulty of the case, the reputation and specialization of the lawyer. Competence has a price, in any case.

In addition, we can not compare a quick consultation to give “basic” information with a close consultation of nearly three hours that require prior research.

Thus, few lawyers do not charge the first consultation.

I totally agree with you that a lawyer must be paid for his work but in fact my main concern is that my financial means are weak and I hesitate to spend money if it’s for nothing and I I do not have the slightest idea of ​​a simple consultation with a lawyer. I also think that with the legal aid, the lawyer should be paid from the beginning of the case that he must defend and proportionally to the complexity of it, you make a difficult job that must be recognized.

The state is unfortunately not of your opinion. To give you an idea, we receive less than 800 euros for a labor tribunal file at AJ, which corresponds to about six hours of work on the file.

Imagine, therefore, already a first meeting of two hours. As a rule, on labor court files, it is more like 15 to 20 hours of processing on small files and sometimes more than 100 hours on very large files.

A starting idea would be to go to the free legal consultations organized by the Orders in the Courthouses or also in some town halls. The consultation will last about twenty minutes but it can already give you a starting idea for free. Be careful to try to find a lawyer practicing labor law, this is not always the case.

If the file seems interesting, you can try a paid appointment with a lawyer practicing the subject (ask for the directory of the Order and look for lawyers specialized in social law or those whose labor law is the area of ​​activity ). The appointment will be billed generally between 60 euros minimum (for a short period of time) up to 300 euros (long appointment and study of the file).

It should be kept in mind that the lawyer is an investment in the future: his intervention relieves you of some of the stress due to the dispute and greatly increases your chances of success and especially your chances of obtaining a much more satisfactory for you.