And once you become an attorney in France, you are allowed when the robe or eart with its haba and episode For everyone listening and watching out there welcome to the young foreign lawyers profile series. My name is Paris malakooti Of course, I am a California licensed immigration attorney and I love interviewing other professionals and lawyers from other countries today. I’ll be interviewing Michel nasaw who is a French born and educated lawyer. I’m gonna ask him about how somebody becomes a lawyer in France I’m gonna ask him about the educational requirements the licensing requirements For how I see a French citizen becomes a lawyer in France And I’m also gonna ask him how a foreigner becomes a lawyer in France. So first of all, welcome, Michelle, how are you? hey Musa, I am you’re Doing very well very well. Very excited for this interview So I guess now we can get right into some of the educational requirements to become a lawyer in France there, right? As you know in the United States, Michelle most people most lawyers most people who go to law school don’t end up having actually undergraduate major that’s related to law we go to Graduate school to get our JD juris doctorate, but it’s not the case there in France Is it it isn’t we start right after high school? We start with the three-year lease towns in France in French It’s a bachelor degree From there we continue with em1 and em2 Stands for my stuff up and mustard. Ooh Okay, great So in your case you graduate from high school and you went directly to the University of Versailles sang Canton, right? Exactly. Exactly. I went to her psych psych. It’s the full name of the Versailles University and I studied there three years with resource on the web today So it’s a major in private law During the three years I went as an exchange children for one semester in Lebanon to Send chosen University and I studied there compared low French and Lebanese mo And the University of Versailles sankirtan is right next to the recite palace, right? You can just throw a stone at it, right? That’s what everyone thinks it’s not true it’s false The the law school is actually 10 minutes from Versailles. So it’s just The psycho intensity. Okay. So so it’s false advertising huh University of Versailles Don’t go there only if you expect to be studying right the IT guys you okay. So you went to the University of Versailles and came home for your The equivalent bachelors you guys call it Nissan’s right? and Did you end up going Michele directly to your master one? Or did you take time off between the Nissan’s and master one? No, I went You went directly? Okay. Okay got it. So There’s a massive one in a master – of course I know from personal experience a little bit about the master – because that’s how I met you Right. We were in the same master – at University of Versailles. Thank Anton before we get to that though I’d like to ask you so When you do the master one in the master – in France Does it have to be the same specialization or can you have different specializations between those two? It has to be related so usually in the em1 you start to specialize so let’s say you’ll have M 1 in business law and During the end – you will specialize even more Within the business law and specialize in finance law in tax law Corporate law so this is how it works There is some differences between universities some of some of them will have a more strict specialization or was precise the civilization with M 1 Others will have only 2 specialization private and public law. And from there. You will have to your courses So you’ll choose your courses according to what you want to? Continue with during order M – okay. Got it and the M 1 and M 2 are both roughly a year Correct. Exactly. Yeah, so it’s ten years Five years from high school five years from high school. Okay, so at university of Versailles Thank Antone when you did your m1, did you have any professors in particular that stood out to you that made an impression on you? actually, you know, you know the Sun in her head, you know She she was also giving us the National Law course during the m2 so, yes, she She she I think I like what I like the most Well during the her class, is that she? she used powerpoints and she gave us in advance the topic of the class because I I think you know in France we we are used to have lectures and Small classes after the lecture we discover the topic the subject during the lecture, so sometimes it looks like you’re just listening and writing down and Sometimes you don’t even have the time to understand what’s happening during the class. So with something clever it was different we have the public’s for all the semester beforehand so we could Prepare in advance for the class and we we had more of the debate and conversation Got it Yeah, of course. I remember professor Sun twinklebell, and I remember she was always on point with her PowerPoint PowerPoint presentations So shout out to Professor send in kalibo from you vsq Okay, great. So you’re in the master one? Do you have to send an application to schools for the m2 when you’re in the m1? Or can you just continue on to the m2 if you’re in the same school? Application you have to send an application. Okay. So in your M1 here. You applied for em – of course Okay, um before we get to how you start the MQ vsq I know lawyers there don’t have to do the me2. Is that correct? All right M1 is enough To take the bar exam most of us I Have m2 as well. I would say maybe over 95% If you depend on one what the area you want to practice in in some areas like criminal law M1 can be enough in other areas like in let’s say finance law international law you have to be more specialized so You have to go on with them Ok, Michelle, just to follow up when you say for some areas, like international law or finance law You need to be more specialized. Does that mean that it’s a Requirement to take the m2 or it’s just highly recommended to get an m2. It isn’t a requirement It’s highly recommend highly recommended. Ok, got it. Ok, so Your job right to make yourself more competitive I imagine Exactly. Ok, got it For example in criminal law you have to practice more you have you have a lot to learn in the field Ok, so you started the m2 in? September of 2011 correct Ok, ok. So our class in the m2 was a relatively small class about 30 students super international Of course we had representation from Colombia from Venezuela Dominican Republic, Finland You know Morocco Lebanon, of course in comparison, what was that Michelle and then as well, Penina? Of course, we can’t forget about Benning in Comparison. How big were the classes in the m1 and how are the classes structured there? m1, we were over 100 something like 1 120 30 Ok, got it. So You did the m1. You did the m2e vsq. We were together in the fall semester of 2011 in December I got on a plane I went home to my old school Which is the University of Miami you guys all continued in the spring and then you graduated from the m2 in the spring, correct? Technically we graduated in the fall in October. Okay, we had is the worst in the spring, correct? Started exams and then internship period and from there after the three months obligatory Internship we had we graduated and most of us continued your internship. Okay. I got it So let’s get right now into some of the licensing requirements after you’ve finished with your education, right? so You finished the m2. Okay now Michelle I know in France There’s kind of two exams that are very important that are related to vote to be to the bar here in the United States It’s very simple graduate from law school We take one bar exam and if you pass you get sworn in and you’re a lawyer, that’s it But over there, it’s quite different actually, right? It is different. Yes We have the first exam the entrance exam and this second exam the end exam. The first exam is called CFP R in French CR f PA. The second exam is called Kappa CAE a so Right after the m1 you are eligible to take the CR f PA exam you have to prepare for the exam within a university there is legal study center called ug I J you have to Attend the classes. They’re highly you don’t have to attend. It’s highly recommended you take the exam first a written exam then all exam and If you pass this exam you are eligible to attend the bar school the bar school Consists of four periods. The first one is a six months of actual classes There you have from there. You have first six months period of internship and another six months period of internship and then again Approximately four months of exams. It’s two weeks Then you have free summer then again two weeks of exam and then you have to wait more than one month Or the result okay to be sure. Sorry. I’m late who I was saying the first the first internship During the bar school must be in any play, but French law firm so it can me in the company in France can be in the law firm abroad and be in the company abroad in an institution like in the like for example Like Sudoku that appear or NGO but not the French law firm the second internship must be in a French law firm and and Right after it you go on with the kaepa exam first the early July then you have the summer For yourself made you can go on vacation or some of us continue as an internship and then back in September you have another a period of exams and then you wait, hopefully for For the kaepa degree. Okay, great. You gave me a lot of information to unpack here so let me just go back to the beginning of what you said on the e IJ is the Institute that you study in in order to take an exam to gain entrance to the bar school, is that correct? Yeah, okay. Well, first of all, what is AI J stand for in French? Us compute the jujubes here. Okay. Okay also the to did to do this year and what is that mean in English? And you have to tell me since you learn French I think Yeah, yeah exactly I think it’s the Judicial Studies Institute Exactly, okay actually actually you can attend this institute not only to become a lawyer but to become a judge or a public notary so it’s not only And a little bit later, Michelle I’m gonna ask you about how much all of this process costs or how little it costs I should say especially in comparison to the United States But let me get back to this real quickly So how long does a student typically study at the e IJ before taking the entrance exam to bar school the CRF, PA? Somewhere from one year of six months before the exam Okay So from six months to a year and then do most people study Full-time or do they have a job and then study on the weekends? How does that work? Well really depends some of us study full-time others will have a job Or maybe an internship so three depends. Okay. It really depends. Okay got it. So you study in the Institute of judicial studies. Okay. All right. Um, you take the CRF PA, okay Yes, go through your first internship, which is anything but a French law firm. Okay. Well sure. Yeah you have Entered the bar spoon into the bar school. Okay. I’m sorry Excuse me, six months of study first you say correct? Exactly. Okay Six months of internship anywhere except 40 French law firm Okay, then six months internship at a French law firm Okay, then at the end who take the Coppa CA PA exam. Yeah now I imagine Michele That the final exam before you become a lawyer has got to be the hardest one. Is that right? It’s not the case actually I don’t know it because yeah, I don’t know if it’s because we get used to a certain level of exam or Just because it’s really not As difficult as the first one There has to be some selection at some point, so I assume they just want it to be as early as possible So the hardest exam is the written exam. So the first part reduce your FDA exam Okay, right. Yeah, and I was saying that a little bit tongue-in-cheek because I know that the reputation is that the CRF PA is Significantly more difficult than the kappa exam, right? And that that’s always been something that’s been weird for me to wrap my head around because you know I’m used to the American system where the final exam. The bar exam is the most exam Yeah, and the this process is actually different for foreign lawyers, isn’t it? It is it is for foreign lawyers. We have what we Especially exam we call active loose on exam because it comes from a dick. Hey, it’s Executive order so we we call it in short Articular some article 100 that foreign lawyer if you are attorney admitted to a foreign bar So let’s say you party if you want to become attorney in France since you are qualified California you will only have to take to it and exams and to all exams. It will be Substantially the same it will cover the same area As our exam but in a much shorter format, so it’s a matter of month maybe three to four months between the first and the last example, so Often foreign loans with tribal. Let’s say for the first written and then go back and then come again, France, but the order Okay, got it. And um, actually I have a friend right now who is an American Lawyer, California licensed? His name is Mark. White’s shout out to mark he’s studying right now for the article 100 exam he’s gonna be taking it in March, I believe so just in two months, so Michele is the article 100 exam considered easier or more difficult than the process for French people It’s easier Okay, then there’s a key primarily because it’s shorter first because it’s shorter and second because They know When you are dealing with foreign attorneys then maybe sometimes they will they won’t have the same French level as others or maybe their practice won’t require the same maybe let’s say I won’t say the same qualification, but they it won’t require the same standard and plus they have There is a kind of trust in Foreign legal systems. So if you are qualified in another country, why shouldn’t you? be qualified for hours as long I took the minimum requirement of French procedure and French annex for the bar got it And um for all the listeners I’m gonna actually post links in the description to the article 100 text so you so you guys can meet it Okay, Michelle. So now I want to ask you about the cost over there. Okay, so For people who went to the to law school here in the United States or know about law school United States They darn near have a heart attack when they see the prices. All right When I was there in 2011 meaning in France I was going to University of Miami and I believe that year. I paid tuition thirty nine thousand dollars For the year in 2011 So my first question is, how much were you paying for your master – at? university of Versailles, Stan Kenton it was less than 800 euros Okay for the whole year. Yeah. Okay. All right making me feel bad there. All right How about you are these songs your undergraduate degree? Do you remember how much he paid? It was even less. I won’t remember exactly but Under 500 per year for you Wow, okay Very nice the fees for the RDJ. We’re Under 800 as well Okay for the e IJ. Um, how about bar school? The word school was more expensive. It was one hundred and one thousand and six hundred euros I asked now it’s 1800 so it’s even more How about the actor last step the actual licensing and swearing-in ceremony Yes, because right after the Kappa to see APA exam you are not done yet. Not an attorney yet you have to from the exam to have to go to the lobe of the cervical segments which the order of a sport for the attorney our Administrative authority from there you have to ask for swearing-in Ceremony day and you have to pay 800 euros of needs. Okay. I got it and I have a very very important Subset of question about the swearing-in ceremony and that is do you guys wear your robes at the swearing-in ceremony? Yes, I know. I know that you like the rule I do know I love the robe So let’s talk about that for a second for those who know you guys in the United States were used to just judges wearing robes Lawyers don’t wear Rhodes, but you guys in French lawyers when you’re in court You wear a roll a long rope crack, right? Yeah We have to wear the robe when we stand before a judge when we stand when we are defending our client interest before Judicial authority. Okay. Do you know about the history of the robe or why you guys wear it in court there? Yeah, actually we learn the origin of the row during the bar school and it comes from the history because the first attorneys who are used to be men of church So that’s why oh yeah, that’s right right Christ and attorneys have similar rules Okay. Okay, very interesting. Do you have your robe on you right now by the chance? I? Have it but I will wait only if the viewers will like the video and subscribe to the channel Okay, so maybe pause the video During this time. They were like like the video subscribe and then we’ll get back. Who’s the robe on? Okay, let’s sounds good Let’s do that Okay. So Michelle you have the robe on right now that looks very nice. Looks very formal You know, I can see you’re ready to go to war in court right now What’s the robe called in French It’s actually home. So it’s wrong as well Okay, okay before we move on I’m just curious. You know, I like the rogue But you kind of have mixed feelings about it, huh? I have I’m not sure it has an added value so Okay moving on. We’re pretty much we’re almost done Michelle I just want to ask you one more question about starting your practice in after you’re sworn in so You know nowadays in 2019 young professionals the world over are getting used to the idea of working remotely where basically people are working from their homes or Coffee shops, or you know office or whatever in France Is it the case that a lot of young lawyers starting off work remotely or do you guys all have an office? You have to have an office but it hasn’t have to be a Full-time office dedicated so I have to have one I have to have access to an office but if you would most of the time as a counsel, let’s say you and you can and you’ll find working from home on the phone on skype or By email, it’s fine. That’s why but you you just have to have an office. Oh, okay So now Michelle are you ready for the lightning round of questions? I am okay first question coffee or tea Coffee, okay Okay, cats or dogs dads, okay, what’s your favorite place in the world? I’d say my parents hometown village in Lebanon. Okay, if you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be doing? Well, I think I’d open the restaurant I like what type of restaurant I Don’t know that so maybe that’s why I didn’t switch. Yeah Okay, and my last question what’s one piece of advice that you would give an 18 year old Michel massage I Said to him just do it Nice. All right, very good advice Okay that does it for the interview Michelle I really want to thank you for coming on I think it was a very productive interview and I hope that we added some value for people looking To find out about how you become a lawyer in France. Thank you My pleasure. Thanks