Every year, many former students of our law school choose to become lawyers.
what do you need to know before choosing this professional career: the qualities required, the essential missions, career development, and of course the training we offer to practice this profession and those you will need to follow in addition to your studies at UCLY
The profession of lawyer
To become a lawyer is to become a legal expert whose main mission is to advise and defend his clients. He must have analytical skills and know how to deal with various missions.
The profession of lawyer can be practiced in different areas of law, such as family law, criminal law, business law, tax law, civil law, European and international law, new technology law, environmental law…
During your studies, you will have to be both a “generalist” and gradually “specialize” in one of the different branches of law. Indeed, lawyers generally intervene in specific fields of expertise.
The essential missions of the lawyer
During his career, the lawyer has three main missions:
One of them, probably the most well known, is to assist and defend his clients.
At the same time, the lawyer has a mission of advice. A lawyer must advise his clients on the laws in force, on their rights and on their business.
The lawyer is also in charge of drafting documents. Indeed, this legal expert must know how to draft legal documents according to his or her specialization: employment contract, business transfer act.
The qualities required to be a lawyer
To be a person of confidence, because the lawyer must show discretion and deontology being held to the professional secret.
To like to help others. A lawyer must help, have compassion for others in order to try to understand and help his client as best he can.
To have a spirit of synthesis, analysis and a good capacity of reasoning.
Be a good speaker. To be a lawyer is also to enjoy speaking in front of others.
University training to become a lawyer
To become a lawyer, you must have at least a first year, and ideally a second year, of a Master’s degree in law. You can access a Master’s degree at UCLY after having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Law, offered in our Lyon and Annecy establishments.
Once you have your Master 1 or 2, you can enroll in one of the specialized institutes, called IEJ (Institut d’Études Judiciaires) or in a private preparatory program, in order to prepare for the CRFPA (Centre Régional de Formation Professionnelle des Avocats) entrance exam.
Please note that the entrance exam to a CRFPA to become a lawyer can only be taken three times. That is why it is strongly advised to put all the chances on your side before attempting it.
The entrance to the CRFPA
Validation of the bar admission exam opens the doors to an eighteen-month training course in one of the CRFPAs in France. At the end of this training, you must obtain the Certificate of Aptitude to the Profession of Lawyer (CAPA), in order to take the oath and apply for registration with a bar association.
The average salary
The salary is quite variable: a lawyer, at the beginning of his career, can earn between 1700€ and 2500€.
It should be noted that this salary will vary according to seniority, fees and the specialization chosen, whether he works alone or in a firm. The national observatory of the legal profession estimated in 2018, the median annual income of lawyers at 43K€ and the average annual income at 77K€.
A beginner will often start as an employee in a law firm. This can be a good choice to build up an address book before opening your own firm!