Dayo: Ade, long time!!! You just forgot your friend. How have you been?
Ade: I am fine o. Na hustling things o. Where do you work?
Dayo: I am the Legal Officer in ABC Bank.
Ade: Eyaa. You are not in practice.
Dayo: I am not practicing jare. I am comfortable as in house counsel.
The above conversation was between two lawyers who met themselves in court. Dayo had come to court to represent his Bank as a Party. Ade had come to court as an Advocate representing a party in a suit. I didn’t hear the rest of their discussion. I guess I got irritated by the misconception of the two dudes.
I really don’t know where this started from but I think we have to begin to address it seriously. There appear to be some form of dichotomy between lawyers who go to court and those who chose to make good use of their legal knowledge in other areas.
I guess lawyers who go to court to appear as advocates have some misconceptions which unfortunately is becoming reality (I probably should say it has become a reality). Lawyers who appear in court believe that they are the only ones in practice. They believe that if as a lawyer you do not go to court as an advocate, no other lawyer knows the law as much as they do. They believe that their position of the law is final and cannot be controverted by any other lawyer who does not go to court to practice as an advocate. The misconceptions abound.
My fair assumption is that this conception dates back to the early days of legal practice in this county where the only thing you probably would be expected to do as a lawyer is to go to court. Hence, if you do not go to court, you are not in practice. This assumption is surely archaic. Law has transformed tremendously. The manner in which law is practiced in other climes has radically changed. It is not tied to the primitive concept of “court going”.
I would assume that lawyers who go to court do not know the volume of work “Commercial Lawyers” do. The various forms/volume of Agreements that are prepared and sometimes reviewed by Commercial Lawyers would send most Courtroom Practitioners messing up their pants.
The world has become much regulated. Lawyers are required in that field. Lawyers do great job as Regulatory Officers interfacing with Government agencies and ensuring legal and regulatory compliance by individual and corporate entities.
Let’s bring it home, Lawyers are now bloggers. They employ as much as law firms do and even pay more in certain instances.
Legal practice is surely not all about the courtroom.