Do you want to become a lawyer but are apprehensive about entering the profession? Choice of internship, commercial relationship, extended hours… Laurent Martinet, vice-president elected in January 2014 and president of the EFB (Paris Bar Training School), and Jean-Louis Scaringella, director of the establishment, you give their advice to succeed in your first steps Law Tutoring.
Tip #1: build a generalist profile
Don’t look for the specialty that will facilitate your entry into the job market. Above all, firms appreciate young, generalist and curious lawyers, capable of understanding the various problems of clients. “ We must be able to advise an individual, a small business or a CAC 40 boss , which requires a great open mind,” underlines Laurent Martinet. Specialization becomes necessary later, as one’s career progresses.
At the CRFPA (Regional Professional Training Center for Lawyers) , do not hesitate to attend as many optional courses as possible. And take advantage of the individual educational project to discover other horizons . “Some students complete an internship in a criminal court, others go to a university abroad to follow an accelerated LLM (Master of Laws) . This 6-month period is an opportunity to test one’s adaptability” , assures Jean-Louis Scaringella.
Tip #2: choose your internship wisely
Upon leaving the EFB ( Paris Bar Training School), 90% of collaborations are the result of the internship. Hence the need to choose it carefully. “The internship allows you to experience the life of a young collaborator, it is a privileged moment of meeting between a student lawyer and a lawyer ,” notes Jean-Louis Scaringella. In short, if you feel like you have a vocation for criminal defense, target an internship in a firm specializing in this specialty. Being recruited by the firm where you are doing your internship is an asset for the rest of your career .
Tip #3: Start with Collaboration
The choice of setting up as an individual or joining a firm upon leaving the CRFPA is up to each individual. However, Jean-Louis Scaringella advises against embarking on the adventure alone . “There are examples of success but it’s more reassuring to start with collaboration.” In terms of salaries, the “floor rate” set by the Union of Young Lawyers amounts to €3,600 gross monthly for the first year of practice, and can be doubled in certain firms. However, don’t get too excited because almost half of this amount goes to expenses. Liberal profession requires.
Tip #4: appreciate human relationships
The legal profession is a service profession that involves loving people . “It’s not a question of loving them stupidly and blissfully, because we would serve them badly, but we must not be annoyed when they tell their story ,” jokes Jean-Louis Scaringella.
For his part, the vice-president remembers that, during his studies, he had not identified the importance of human relations in the profession of lawyer. “Today, I spend half my time listening to customers, and I love it.” Fortunately !
Tip #5: accept extended hours
By becoming a lawyer, one thing is certain: you will not have office hours . “ It’s structural to the profession ,” explains Laurent Martinet. “The hearing is a parameter that we cannot circumvent, for example. When a magistrate sets a date for summary proceedings, we must act urgently.” Rather than managing your time over the week , Jean-Louis Scaringella recommends planning over periods of two or three years . “We invest ourselves fully and then take six months to rest. But when you are passionate about your job, you no longer count your time,” he smiles.
Fewer theoretical courses, more international. The Professional Training School for the Bars of the Paris Court of Appeal received a facelift at the start of the 2014 school year and now presents itself as a “law application school” . You will not study law but how to use it to advise and defend clients. With 100% new teaching , the training is intended to be more adapted to the market. “It takes into account new professions and the fact that half of a class ends up at the end of their studies in a company,” explains Laurent Martinet, the vice-president of Paris.