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The "House of Lawyers".


The "House of Lawyers".


"Man's achievements require a location worthy of them. What was lacking in the eighties, for the Bar to shelter its services and perform its activities, was a house. A roof is needed for the lawyers, who until now were lodged in a part of the Law Courts as far-winged tenants since 1978. A nearby location is needed, not only to the Law Courts, but also to the future judicial city, for which the repeatedly announced plans for construction continued to be delayed.

So, this common house must be large enough to develop the activities of the various disciplines of the law society that have multiplied during the years : the services of assistance in management of a firm in the regional centre of professional training within the competence of the Court. An amphitheatre is needed to house the meetings and the conferences of lawyers.

In 1984, the long sought location was found. And the Conseil de l'Ordre gave the mandate to the Batonnier to purchase the location of the former legal bookstore Ulysse Peigne, located in front of the Law Courts (Marechal Joffre Street). An ambitious plan for a young and determined Bar was implemented. It consisted of renovation or reconstruction not of one but of three buildings- of which one was to be resurfaced- facing Ha Street. In total close to two thousand square meters.

From 1985, under the direction of Claude-Henri Aubert, a significant work plan began, financed through the accumulated reserves of ten years of the stingy law society and the taking of a loan of six million francs. In July 1985 the foundations were raised from the ground. In September, the Batonnier of the time was able to write in the Batonnier's Bulletin: "The crane is so high that one would not notice it. The hole is filled and is already rising. The lawyers pay in and build. As such we build up Marechal Joffre Street." And he added: "With realism. With will to manage the future, in spite of the rigours or the constraints of choices that are involved."

The big masterpiece included an amphitheatre of one hundred places that would be finished in 1986. But the Bar was loath to leave the Law Courts. It required seven years for the construction to become that for which it had been planned.

In 1992, the Bar of Bordeaux reached 603 members. Twenty years after the Avoués of the Tribunals, the legal and tax advisors by order of the law of December 31 of 1991, became lawyers in their turn. The population of the Bar has almost doubled in seven years, less from the contributions of legal advisor, than due to the arrival of the young. The Bar never ceases to fill out and become youthful. Every year henceforth approximately forty young lawyers are admitted to the Bar.

With this new merger, the Bar celebrates the "new profession". After seven years in the new hour of the Bar, the Batonnier, whose powers today are slightly reduced by the new national organ, the National Bar Counsel, decided finally to leave its old office that adjoined the flies of the Assize Court during almost one hundred and fifty years in the Law Courts and took its turn in crossing Marechal Joffre Street. Thus, this symbolically sealed in a new and neutral location, the wedding of the judicial and judiciary, of pleading and advising. The Conseil de l'Ordre, as foreseen since 1985, can only follow to a brand new room of deliberation deprived of portraits of its great ancestors but more suited for the modern choice.

The "House" is indeed the House of all the lawyers, on the scale of a Bar of 800 members in the year two thousand. Always evolving, it did not cease to increase during the course of the years. In 1996 the acquisition of a forth building, adjacent to the predecessors, widened its holdings. The progressive renovation, in 1997 to 2000 is only a new stage, undoubtedly temporary. From Marechal Joffre Street to Ha Street other walls beg to be felled and offer themselves to the spirit of conquest.

The XXI century took upon itself to conclude the work that had been initiated, and completed the unity of the buildings from whose bay windows can be seen, since 1985, the continuing improvement of its next most and prestigious opposite, the National School of the Judiciary." B.F.

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Copyright ©1999-2000 Bertrand Favreau and L.P.O. Editions. Copying prohibited. All rights reserved.



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