Candidates for the entrance examination to the lawyers School should hold a Master's degree in law or an equivalent title or diploma accepted under the 25 November 1998 decree or the LMD (Licence-Master-Doctorat [Degree-Master's-Doctorate]) framework and have passed the first year of a Master's law degree.
Registration with the IEJ (Institut d'Etudes Judiciaires [Institute of legal Studies]) is compulsory in order to sit the entrance examination: www.univ-lille2.fr/droit/iej. No one can sit this examination more than three times or be registered in several universities. This is an examination, not a competition, hence there is no numerus clausus.
In practice, most lawyers hold one or more post-graduate diplomas (BAC + 5 [Baccalaureate plus five years' study]) even before taking the CFPA (Centre de Formation Professionnelle d’Avocats [Centre for Professional Training for lawyers’School]) entrance examination. In addition to sound legal knowledge, success in the CFPA entrance examination requires reasonably wide-ranging general knowledge, which the examination board, consisting of lawyers, magistrates and professors of law, will examine in detail during the oral presentation and discussion. Equally important is a mastery of the test methodology, which should enable candidates to effectively demonstrate that they possess a capacity for analysis and synthesis, write confidently and are at ease when speaking, all of which is indispensable to exercising the legal profession.
After two years' training in the CFPA, lawyers must pass a final examination to receive the CAPA (Certificat d'Aptitude à la Profession d'Avocat [Certificate of Aptitude for the Legal Profession]).
In the North-West region of France, this training takes place at the IXAD training centre, located on the premises of the law faculty: www.cfpa-online.com
Furthermore, during their professional life, lawyers are under the obligation to ensure their continuing professional development and maintain their knowledge through attending courses, presentations, seminars, etc.