How an American can become a European lawyer?


stevv555
Hi all,

I'm a dual French/American citizen born and raised in America, a freshman in college actually studying International Studies/Political Science in California. I'm interested in studying law after school, maybe in political interest. However my main goal is to live in Europe, probably France or Italy (or even the Netherlands), and I think this is my problem.

The American and French legal systems seem to differ a lot, meaning that an American legal degree would not allow me to take a French bar exam. So here is my understanding of my options: I can go through the 5 years of French law school (rendering my American college degree useless), or is there a way to go through this more quickly if I have an American poli sci degree? Or if I get a law degree in America is there anything I can do with it in Europe? Like is there some sort of equivalency exam I can take allowing me to take a French bar exam, or are there even programs in America offering European LLMs?

I'm willing to work hard to to be a European lawyer but of course I would like to know the fastest way a foreigner can get fully into the system. I hear also a lawyer in one EU country can easily transfer to another? Does this mean with an American degree I can pass an exam in UK (with somewhat similar legal code to America) and then transfer to France more easily?

Since I am a French national immigration is no problem, and I do speak the language though I think I will need to take classes to be able to write better and learn French legal language.

Thanks for all your help
Hi all,

I'm a dual French/American citizen born and raised in America, a freshman in college actually studying International Studies/Political Science in California. I'm interested in studying law after school, maybe in political interest. However my main goal is to live in Europe, probably France or Italy (or even the Netherlands), and I think this is my problem.

The American and French legal systems seem to differ a lot, meaning that an American legal degree would not allow me to take a French bar exam. So here is my understanding of my options: I can go through the 5 years of French law school (rendering my American college degree useless), or is there a way to go through this more quickly if I have an American poli sci degree? Or if I get a law degree in America is there anything I can do with it in Europe? Like is there some sort of equivalency exam I can take allowing me to take a French bar exam, or are there even programs in America offering European LLMs?

I'm willing to work hard to to be a European lawyer but of course I would like to know the fastest way a foreigner can get fully into the system. I hear also a lawyer in one EU country can easily transfer to another? Does this mean with an American degree I can pass an exam in UK (with somewhat similar legal code to America) and then transfer to France more easily?

Since I am a French national immigration is no problem, and I do speak the language though I think I will need to take classes to be able to write better and learn French legal language.

Thanks for all your help
quote
legalalien
Aargh - typed a long reponse and my PC ate it. I'm not an expert but my gut feeling is that the shortest and easiest route would be
finish undergrad degree in US

do Graduate Diploma in Law in UK (one year, converts non law degree into a law degree, you would need to check you were eligible)

do LPC in England (professional qualification, sponsored by law firm if you are lucky enough to get a training contract)

two year training contract with English office of a firm

gets you in a position to practise English law, then try to get a job at a continental European office of an international firm, or an in house job on the continent, practising English law.


Civil law (as practised in most continental jurisdictions) is very different from common law (as in the US and UK), so I think you would have some fairly substantial studying to do to qualify in eg France. Also consider that it's likely to be easier to convert a UK qualification back into a US qualification if you want to move back at some future date, although I think someone once told me that eg the NY bar only recognises "full" LLB degrees, and not the GDL. That may or may not be true :)
worth having a look at the website of the Solicitor's Regulation Authority / one of the GDL providers such as the College of Law.
Aargh - typed a long reponse and my PC ate it. I'm not an expert but my gut feeling is that the shortest and easiest route would be
finish undergrad degree in US

do Graduate Diploma in Law in UK (one year, converts non law degree into a law degree, you would need to check you were eligible)

do LPC in England (professional qualification, sponsored by law firm if you are lucky enough to get a training contract)

two year training contract with English office of a firm

gets you in a position to practise English law, then try to get a job at a continental European office of an international firm, or an in house job on the continent, practising English law.


Civil law (as practised in most continental jurisdictions) is very different from common law (as in the US and UK), so I think you would have some fairly substantial studying to do to qualify in eg France. Also consider that it's likely to be easier to convert a UK qualification back into a US qualification if you want to move back at some future date, although I think someone once told me that eg the NY bar only recognises "full" LLB degrees, and not the GDL. That may or may not be true :)
worth having a look at the website of the Solicitor's Regulation Authority / one of the GDL providers such as the College of Law.
quote
You might investigate the program at Louisiana State, as Louisiana uses both civil and common law. I understand that their law school has a combined curriculum.
You might investigate the program at Louisiana State, as Louisiana uses both civil and common law. I understand that their law school has a combined curriculum.
quote
darky
Hi,

For France that is pretty simple.

You have two choices:

-Study at a French law school for 4 years and take the bar exam

-Take and pass the bar exam in the US (the best would be the NY bar as a lot of transactions are governed by NY law). then come to France with your attorney title and take a special bar exam (called Article 100). If you pass this exam (you can take it only 3 times and it is quite expensive) you will be admitted to the French bar as an "avocat au barreau de...". Thanks to this special exam, you won't have to study for a year and a half at a Bar school and can practice directly as an avocat.


Hope that this short summary will help you.
Hi,

For France that is pretty simple.

You have two choices:

-Study at a French law school for 4 years and take the bar exam

-Take and pass the bar exam in the US (the best would be the NY bar as a lot of transactions are governed by NY law). then come to France with your attorney title and take a special bar exam (called Article 100). If you pass this exam (you can take it only 3 times and it is quite expensive) you will be admitted to the French bar as an "avocat au barreau de...". Thanks to this special exam, you won't have to study for a year and a half at a Bar school and can practice directly as an avocat.


Hope that this short summary will help you.
quote
zachallan
I al preparing for the Article 100 Exam, though I find it very difficult to figure out exactly HOW to study for it. Is this link below the outline of what one needs to know? If so, does anyone know where I can find an outline like this completed with all the requisite information? Any tips on how or what to study?

http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexteArticle.do;jsessionid=31
98C0AC764440552FFBEA5EA3B09E70.tpdjo04v_1?
idArticle=LEGIARTI000006203705&cidTexte=
LEGITEXT000006080957&dateTexte=20130829
I al preparing for the Article 100 Exam, though I find it very difficult to figure out exactly HOW to study for it. Is this link below the outline of what one needs to know? If so, does anyone know where I can find an outline like this completed with all the requisite information? Any tips on how or what to study?

http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexteArticle.do;jsessionid=31
98C0AC764440552FFBEA5EA3B09E70.tpdjo04v_1?
idArticle=LEGIARTI000006203705&cidTexte=
LEGITEXT000006080957&dateTexte=20130829
quote
leinbabr
Zachallan,

I'm trying to find study materials to study for the article 100 exam, and I was wondering if you've had any luck in finding materials. How are you going about preparing for the exam?
Zachallan,

I'm trying to find study materials to study for the article 100 exam, and I was wondering if you've had any luck in finding materials. How are you going about preparing for the exam?
quote
barmenator
When you say "avocat au barreau de...",

Do you mean a specific Bar in France or a specific Bar abroad in a foreign jurisdiction, such as NY?

I'm asking this, because from what I've read, a foreign lawyer is not allowed to practice French law in France, but only his/her original jurisdiction's law.

Or would article 100 allow a foreign lawyer to practice French Law?

If so, then knowing about French law shall be required for successfully passing such exam. And chances of a pass, having studied at a common law jurisdiction, are close to none.

This is pretty similar to NY o California Bars. They may allow you to sit the exam with a foreign law degree (such as an LLB). But "sitting" does not equal "passing". Such a feat is nowhere close to being easy, ignoring all of American Law by such foreign lawyer. Considering such tests are not even passed by many US JD/LLM students coming from ABA approved universities.

Pretty much the same happens when US lawyers sit the French bar, without knowledge of French law.

I would suggest honing your French language skills, while at home, and searching for an M1 & M2 (LLM equivalent) in French Law (which are only taught in French).

That way you will substantially increase your chances of passing the French Bar test. BTW, having an M1 will probably qualify you to sit such test.
When you say "avocat au barreau de...",

Do you mean a specific Bar in France or a specific Bar abroad in a foreign jurisdiction, such as NY?

I'm asking this, because from what I've read, a foreign lawyer is not allowed to practice French law in France, but only his/her original jurisdiction's law.

Or would article 100 allow a foreign lawyer to practice French Law?

If so, then knowing about French law shall be required for successfully passing such exam. And chances of a pass, having studied at a common law jurisdiction, are close to none.

This is pretty similar to NY o California Bars. They may allow you to sit the exam with a foreign law degree (such as an LLB). But "sitting" does not equal "passing". Such a feat is nowhere close to being easy, ignoring all of American Law by such foreign lawyer. Considering such tests are not even passed by many US JD/LLM students coming from ABA approved universities.

Pretty much the same happens when US lawyers sit the French bar, without knowledge of French law.

I would suggest honing your French language skills, while at home, and searching for an M1 & M2 (LLM equivalent) in French Law (which are only taught in French).

That way you will substantially increase your chances of passing the French Bar test. BTW, having an M1 will probably qualify you to sit such test.
quote
kpburke
Another option you might want to consider is to go to law school at McGill or elsewhere in Québec. Not only will it be cheaper than most law schools in the US, but at McGill you have the option to study both the common law and the civil law.
Another option you might want to consider is to go to law school at McGill or elsewhere in Québec. Not only will it be cheaper than most law schools in the US, but at McGill you have the option to study both the common law and the civil law.
quote
barmenator
Another option you might want to consider is to go to law school at McGill or elsewhere in Québec. Not only will it be cheaper than most law schools in the US, but at McGill you have the option to study both the common law and the civil law.


KPBurke is right. You could study at Quebec, and practice law in France, through their mutual recognition agreement.

Quebec studies would be cheaper than the US, but not than in France, though.

If you already hold a Bachelor's degree, you would have to study another Bachelor's all over again. Since, in both France and Quebec an LLB or LLL or BCL is the degree that entitles to practice, after Bar admission.

Neither jurisdiction requires a JD nor an LLM, as opposed to Common Law jurisdictions, such as the US.

Law is not a field designed to study in one place and practice in another. Wherever you decide to read such degree, you will practically stay there forever.

Therefore, take a good time to make up your mind. You can't be thinking US, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands... and such.

Unless, you throw your law degree into the attic, and decide to practice your original bachelor's degree. But, then, it would be a large waste of your time and money.

Good luck!
<blockquote>Another option you might want to consider is to go to law school at McGill or elsewhere in Québec. Not only will it be cheaper than most law schools in the US, but at McGill you have the option to study both the common law and the civil law.</blockquote>

KPBurke is right. You could study at Quebec, and practice law in France, through their mutual recognition agreement.

Quebec studies would be cheaper than the US, but not than in France, though.

If you already hold a Bachelor's degree, you would have to study another Bachelor's all over again. Since, in both France and Quebec an LLB or LLL or BCL is the degree that entitles to practice, after Bar admission.

Neither jurisdiction requires a JD nor an LLM, as opposed to Common Law jurisdictions, such as the US.

Law is not a field designed to study in one place and practice in another. Wherever you decide to read such degree, you will practically stay there forever.

Therefore, take a good time to make up your mind. You can't be thinking US, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands... and such.

Unless, you throw your law degree into the attic, and decide to practice your original bachelor's degree. But, then, it would be a large waste of your time and money.

Good luck!
quote

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