The term lawyer is derived from Latin, advocare means calling for help, and advocatus is today’s lawyer. The work of an advocate is performed by a lawyer, and its subject is primarily legal advice, legal opinion, drafting legal acts and appearing on behalf of his client before courts and offices. In our country, this profession is regulated by an act introduced in 1982 as the Law on the Bar, as amended.
HOW CAN YOU BECOME AN ATTORNEY?
In order to work as an attorney, you must first graduate from a university degree in law, and then complete a four-year attorney apprenticeship, i.e. professional practice in the bar. Finally, you must pass the state bar exam in criminal law, civil law, administrative law and labor law. The advocate’s apprenticeship enables a prospective attorney to perform his duties under the supervision of experienced attorneys, but also judges, legal advisers, notaries and even bailiffs. If a candidate for an advocate already holds the academic title of professor or the academic title of habilitated doctor in the field of law, he or she does not have to undergo an advocate training or pass the final examination.
The right to practice the profession is acquired on the basis of an entry on the list of advocates, the entry is made by the district bar council. In our country, about 7,000 attorneys are entered on the list.
ADVOCATE AND LEGAL ADVISOR
A related profession for an advocate is legal advisor. Since in 2015 legal advisers were allowed to appear before courts also in criminal and fiscal cases, the only element that distinguishes these two professions is the possibility of employing a legal adviser on the basis of an employment relationship and prohibiting them from dealing with labor law. Why such a distinction? Well, a legal adviser employed under an employment contract should not appear before the court on behalf of his employer in criminal cases. There is a fear that he might lose his decisions independent of his employer. The advocate is not bound by an employment contract with the company, which means that he cannot be affected by any pressures of a professional nature. Legal counsels cannot deal with labor law, it is only the domain of attorneys.
COMPETITION IN THE LABOR MARKET
The advocate’s career path to success is long, difficult and complicated. Its multi-stage nature means that lawyers enter the labor market much later than graduates of other faculties. Probably only doctors have a similarly difficult start. However, in both of these professions, this extended path is also an investment in the future. The work of an attorney may, although it does not have to, bring considerable profits. However, one of the conditions for achieving material success is the demand and a place on the service market for the creation of another law firm. So far, there is a demand for lawyers, although some corners of our country are already saturated.
The largest number of lawyers currently operate in Warsaw, where there is an average of one lawyer per 500 people. In other large cities, this ratio is much more favorable from the point of view of the place to set up a law firm.
HOW TO BECOME A LAWYER IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
The issue of practicing the profession of a lawyer in the territory of the European Union is regulated by Directive 98/5 / EC of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. Its provisions are intended to facilitate the practice of a legal profession in a country other than the one in which the professional qualifications were obtained, but always within the EU.
The condition for conducting business activity is registration in the official registers of the state authorities in which you intend to perform your duties. All you need to do is submit a registration certificate to the applicable offices in your country of origin. The certificate must be obtained at least three months in advance, before the new registration is due.
The condition concerning the use of the professional title valid in a given EU country may become a certain limitation. A lawyer may use it only after he proves that he has been practicing regularly in the law of his host country for at least three years. Joking aside, in Italy every third resident of this country is appointed a lawyer, moreover, he does not even have to practice this profession to be called that. However, some EU countries have additional requirements.
Good news for all lawyers is certainly the exclusion of the obligation to know the national language of the host country. Luxembourg wanted to introduce such a requirement, but the Court of Justice of the EU found it contrary to Community law.
One of the lawyer’s duties, not obvious to a layman, is the necessity to have third party liability insurance. Every lawyer must participate in the insurance conditions drawn up by the bar association. The insurance is to protect the advocate against the client’s claims and the client against the advocate’s mistakes. The insurance also protects the lawyer in his private life by providing him with protection against third party claims. The insurance also provides a legal assistance service wherever necessary.