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.