Who is Sophie Caïs, the first female chairman in the history of Toulon lawyers? - THECHOWANIECS.COM

Who is Sophie Caïs, the first female chairman in the history of Toulon lawyers?

Sophie Caïs is president of the Toulon Bar Association. Even if she is the first woman to hold this position, it is out of the question to call her president. It pisses her off. After all, would equality also mean using the same terms for both sexes? Maybe. In any case, it is she who has the heavy responsibility of organizing the bicentenary of the bar which saw her grow up: Toulon.

200 years right this year, it’s something to celebrate, right?
Yes and we will celebrate it with dignity. Several events will mark this bicentenary: a photo competition on the theme of “places and people of justice”, in partnership with the Chateauvallon-Liberté scene, as well as a literary prize with the Charlemagne bookstore and a big pétanque competition to have fun! I also hope to be able to organize with the faculty of law a day devoted to alternative methods of dispute resolution. It’s a new way of practicing the legal profession in which I strongly believe.

When will the event take place?
The appointment is fixed for November 24, during the solemn return to Toulon. This evening will also be an opportunity to distinguish and decide between the three finalists of the 2022 pleadings competition. Constance Brisou, Lola Luccioni and Aïckel Hachfi are this year’s brilliant winners. Everyone will be able to realize it that evening. And yes: from the height of its 200 years, it is a promising bar!

You have been president since the beginning of the year. First impressions?
It’s exciting. That said, I knew the workings of the bar well because I joined the bar association in 2009. I very quickly became passionate about “ordinariness”. I learned a lot from contact with the various presidents who succeeded one another. Several of them have also supported me and directed me towards this function. The term is two years. We must act quickly.

Toulon was one of the last bars in the region to elect a woman as its head…
It’s true and it may have given my candidacy something special even if I didn’t make it a campaign argument. But it’s true: my approach is different. It’s probably linked to my personality (smile).

A first assessment after a few months of exercise?
I took up my duties after two difficult years for lawyers since all the bars in France were on total strike at the beginning of 2020. The firms were strongly impacted by these long months of inactivity and I was keen to restore life in the bar and to support the most weakened during this period. Today, I want to continue the efforts of my predecessors to preserve the place of lawyers at the heart of the judicial system. Communication with the heads of jurisdiction is very fluid in Toulon. It is a chance.

How are you finding the bar in 2022? Has he changed?
Yes, it has evolved. When I arrived, I discovered a brotherhood that was sorely lacking at the Paris Bar. And I quickly had the feeling, here, of belonging to a family. At the end of the 1990s, the bar was very united and dynamic. We spent a lot of time in audiences and strong bonds were forged. Today, the face of the bar has changed. The palace is often deserted whereas before the arrival of digital technology, the coffee machine was taken by storm in the waiting room! The library of the order was very busy, sometimes more to chat than to work (laughs). But we had a real palace life.

Now, it is the judicial precinct that is announced?
Yes. And at a time when it is going to be built, the voice of the lawyers must be heard because we spend our entire career in this courthouse which is a bit like our second home. During the works, we will go through complicated times since the services will be installed on temporary sites. I will ensure that our conditions of practice remain dignified because it will last a few years… The delivery of the judicial city is scheduled for 2027.

Finally, being a lawyer in Toulon, what does it change?
All ! Before Toulon, I took the oath in Paris in 1998. I worked in the capital for two years before returning to the Var. I saw the difference! It was here that I was able to create the Kalliste firm which changed my life. Today, I am fulfilled and very helped by the personnel of the order, in particular Élisabeth, the general secretary. Precious people!


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