Attorney to work in bar, against bar association’s wishes

An attorney bar in which a lawyer serves alcoholic drinks and chats with customers about legal affairs is set to open in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on April 12.

The bar, Legal Bar Roppo, is to be operated by lawyer Jun Sotooka, 29, who belongs to the Daini Tokyo Bar Association, together with the president of a consulting company. Sotooka will work as a bartender without pay. But upon the request of customers, he will provide legal consultations at his office on a later date for a fee, the two said.

Meanwhile, the Daini Tokyo Bar Association requested them to withdraw the plan when it was announced in December.

“The bar will effectively act as a go-between for the attorney’s practice, which may violate the Lawyers Law,” an official of the bar association said.

“After looking into the situation, we may pursue disciplinary action (against Sotooka),” said Takaaki Nakajo, vice chairman of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association.