what is a french lawyer called

by Anita Legros 8 min read

More than 70,000 French lawyers (“Avocats”) are registered in France. French lawyers are admitted to one of the local bar associations (“Ordre des avocats”).Apr 1, 2022

What is a lawyer in France called?

Maître (spelled Maitre according to post-1990 spelling rules) is a commonly used honorific for lawyers, judicial officers and notaries in France, Belgium, Switzerland and French-speaking parts of Canada.

What is a barrister in France?

Roughly comparable to the English barrister, the avocat's main function is to plead in court. In France, as in most civil-law countries, the examination of witnesses is conducted by the magistrate rather than the attorney, as in common-law countries.

What is a lawyer called in Europe?

A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdictions.

What is a fancy name for a lawyer?

lawyeradvocate,attorney,attorney-at-law,counsel,counselor.(or counsellor),counselor-at-law,legal eagle.

How much do French lawyers make?

The average pay for a Lawyer is €90,874 a year and €44 an hour in France. The average salary range for a Lawyer is between €62,551 and €113,276. On average, a Master's Degree is the highest level of education for a Lawyer.

Is a barrister higher than a lawyer?

Due to this, barristers also command a higher fee than solicitors, but work independently as sole practitioners (not in a law firm). Barristers often work in quarters called 'chambers'. These chambers are fundamentally a shared space, close to Court, where multiple barristers work.Jan 29, 2021

What is a UK lawyer called?

solicitor, one of the two types of practicing lawyers in England and Wales—the other being the barrister, who pleads cases before the court.

What do they call lawyers in Ireland?

A barrister (also called "counsel") is a type of lawyer who specialises in court advocacy and giving legal opinions. To become a barrister, you must pass the exams set by the Kings Inns. The Kings Inns is the body which governs entry to the profession of barrister-at-law in Ireland.Sep 7, 2020

What is a Scottish lawyer called?

What is an Advocate? Advocates are specialist lawyers who can represent clients in the highest courts in the UK. Advocates practise in Scotland (at the 'Scottish bar') and also in the House of Lords in London. Advocates are similar to barristers in England and Wales and attorneys in America.Dec 29, 2014

How do you call a female lawyer?

Women in law describes the role played by women in the legal profession and related occupations, which includes lawyers (also called barristers, advocates, solicitors, attorneys or legal counselors), paralegals, prosecutors (also called District Attorneys or Crown Prosecutors), judges, legal scholars (including ...

2. The origins of the French legal system

The basis of the French legal system is laid out in a key document originally drawn up in 1804, and known as the Code Civil , or Code Napoléon , (Civil code or Napoleonic code) which laid down the rights and obligations of citizens, and the laws of property, contract, inheritance, etc..

3. The making of law

Laws in France, as in other democratic countries, are generally proposed by the Government of the day, and must be passed by the two houses of the French Parliment, the National Assembly and the Senate.

4. The two branches of French law

Unlike the English-speaking countries, France has a dual legal system; one branch, known as Droit public , or Public law, defines the principles of operation of the state and public bodies. This law is applied generally through public law courts, known as les Tribunaux administratifs.

5. How the courts operate in France

French courts are presided over by Juges (Judges) also known as Magistrats (magistrates). Magistrats, are highly qualified professionals, almost all of whom have graduated from the postgraduate School of Magistrature; they are high-ranking juges . In other words, a French Magistrat is not at all the same as a Magistrate in the English legal system.

6. Recent reforms

In 2008, President Sarkozy announced plans to further reform and streamline the French judiciary. Among the reforms were plans to reduce the number of courts, move court procedures towards a more adversarial system, and to get rid of the system of avoués in the courts of appeal. This change has not yet been implemented.

7. Getting a lawyer in France

If you wish to take legal action against someone or against an institution, if someone is taking legal action against you (civil litigation), or if criminal charges have been brought against you (for example for reckless driving), you may need to find a lawyer ( trouver un avocat )..

Sources of Law

Legislation is seen as the primary source of French law. Unlike in common law jurisdictions, where a collection of cases and practices (known as the "common law") historically form the basis of law, the French legal system emphasizes statutes as the primary source of law.


In the High Middle Ages, most legal situations in France were highly local, regulated by customs and practices in local communities. Historians tend to be attracted by the large regional or urban customs, rather than local judicial norms and practices.

Private law

The term civil law in France refers to private law (laws between private citizens, and should be distinguished from the group of legal systems descended from Roman Law known as civil law, as opposed to common law .

Public law

Public law is concerned with the powers and organization of the state and governmental bodies.

European Union Law

The French Constitution specifically authorizes France's participation in the European Union (EU), an economic and political union with many legal powers. The Constitution has also been amended, as required by the Constitutional Council, to allow EU citizens to participate in municipal elections and the monetary union.

Judicial institutions

French courts go by a number of names, including juridiction, tribunal, and cour. The Constitutional Council and Council of State are nominally councils but de facto courts.


While in Germanic Europe the supreme courts can and do tend to write more verbose opinions supported by legal reasoning, the typical Francophone court of cassation decision is short, concise and devoid of explanation or justification.


At the bottom of the court hierarchy are the courts of minor jurisdiction. The Police Court ( tribunal de police, also called the Police Tribunal) hears contraventions, minor criminal offenses such as traffic violations, minor assaults, and breaches of the peace. The Civil Court ( tribunal d'instance) hears minor civil cases.

Constitutional Council

The Constitutional Council ( Conseil Constitutionnel) practices judicial review of legislative acts and laws. The ordinary and administrative courts have refused to perform this type of judicial review, outside of 2 exceptions in 1851.


Docteur " ( Dr) is used for medical practitioners whereas " Professeur " is used for professors. The holders of a doctorate other than medical are generally not referred to as Docteurs, though they have the legal right to use the title; Professors in academia used the style Monsieur le Professeur rather than the honorific plain Professeur.

Nobility and royalty

Kings of France used the honorific Sire, princes Monseigneur. Queens and princesses were plain Madame .