“If the mountain didn’t meet Muhammad, Muhammed will meet the mountain.” So, therefore, I’m writing this letter from the inner mind of my mind to you, because every one of us is aiming to excel in the legal profession. Yes, it’s a good thought. Because there are no limitations to what we can achieve in this life. When there is life, there is hope. have you ever seat to brainstorm about these questions:
Why do you choose to study law?
This is a question we need to ask ourselves because most of us have chosen law for one or two reasons, these are reasons which are known to us. According to the scientists” for every reaction, there must be a positive reaction”. That is to say, your reason must have motivated you to study law as your future ambition whether the reason is black or white, it’s immaterial for us to know as far as you are on the journey of becoming a barrister, and solicitor of the Supreme court of the federal republic of Nigeria.
How can you achieve your motive?
This is very sacrosanct to the journey you about to embark on because it’s from there you get to understand the kind of plan you need to draw to achieve your motive. It’s stated that ” the way you lay your bed, it’s the way you lay on it.” And also, you can’t put something on a thing and expect it to stand. That is to say, you need to build a solid foundation for the beautiful mansion you are about to build. There is a need for you to carve a niche in the legal profession because every day by day the profession is getting competitive. You need to create a space for yourself.
How do you carve a niche for yourselves in today’s legal profession?
Today, the reality is that Nigeria has more than 197,000 persons that have been called to the Nigerian Bar and licensed to practice law as Barristers and Solicitors. The profession is highly saturated. Every year, more people – in thousands I mean – are called to the Bar and this automatically adds to the number. There is competition.
How then do you carve a niche for yourself and become a successful lawyer in an environment as saturated as the picture painted above? A few points will help you in this direction:
Take your studies seriously
To be a successful legal practitioner, you must be serious with your studies as a student of law. What you learn in the classroom today will present itself to you one way or the other in your practice life. When you are grounded in the theoretical aspects of law, it becomes easy for you to identify the issues of law in both simple and complicated cases whenever you are briefed by a client. Good knowledge of the theoretical aspects of law will also assist you in the preparation of legal documents for clients during your practice years and will also assist you in the drafting of processes for filing in courts of law where you will be expected to advocate for your clients. There is a position out there that ‘’it doesn’t matter what you graduate with.’’ Do not follow the proponents of this theory. Strive to graduate with good grades and above all, graduate with good knowledge of the law. The foundation of successful legal practice is first rooted in your understanding of the principles of law taught to you in the classroom. Do not joke with your studies. Be serious about it.
Develop the culture of reading
Reading makes the man. Reading makes the lawyer. To be a successful practicing lawyer in the 21st Century world, you must develop a culture of reading. As someone who has practiced law for many years from the trial courts up to the Supreme Court, I can rightly tell you that there is so much to read in the course of practice.
You must be at home with ICT
To be a successful legal practitioner and carve a niche for yourself in the 21st Century, you must arm yourself with knowledge of ICT. This will make your job easy and better organised. Law practice has gone digital with several applications developed to assist the 21st Century legal practitioner. Today, you can carry a whole law library in an ICT enhanced application such as the Law Pavilion, Appy Law amongst others.
Identify your strength and passion and build your expertise early enough
Law as a discipline is quite vast. Identify your strength and passion for the practice area you desire to specialise in. Develop your passion for such areas. Read up more and attend conferences and seminars for practical knowledge and possible certifications. In Lagos State, Nigeria, for instance, there are some lawyers whose practice area is commercial law. They are the practitioners who handle briefs for financial institutions, hi-tech companies, etc. Most of these lawyers are very successful and worthy of emulation. Others specialise in mediations, maritime law, aviation law, immigration, etc.
Develop and keep good practice skills
To carve a niche for yourself you need to develop and keep good practice skills such as advocacy skills, writing skills, cross-examination skills, etc. These skills will surely stand you out and many people will need your services and timely interventions in critical legal issues.
The future of the legal profession in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large is in the hands of all of us reading this letter. Among us, there are Judges. Among us, there are the Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Among us, there are Professors of Law. Let’s keep the candle burning, keep the flag flying, believe in your ability to make the difference, and prepare yourselves to become successful lawyers. History is replete with successful lawyers and you too can join the league of successful lawyers. Stay resolute and never lose your focus. I wish us the best in our endeavours and pray that in no time we shall have every reason to be grateful that we studied Law. Thank you and may God bless you. I rest my case.
I have read most of your article .this one is inspiring and motivatioal.More grease to your elbow,More ink to your pen.