Being a lawyer is a fine thing. You get to wear that robe you like, gain audience before any court in the land, and smile from ear to ear, when people call you ‘ the law, barrister! Or my lawyer’
Cool init? I like law too. It’s my second love.
But in some person’s mind, dabbling into litigation is the only proof you’re an actual lawyer. It doesn’t matter if your name is on the Supreme Court list, or you were called to bar on the same day, and your name was mentioned right after his to shake the CJN’s hand and collect your certificate. Real lawyers go to court.
They’re fully robed. They carry a gigantic load of documents, books, RPC’S, CPC’S ,CPA’s, evidence act and whatever law rule book we’ve, and you are all ‘My Lord! my Lord! bowing before his lordship.
No one takes seriously a person who doesn’t go to court regularly as a lawyer. If for example, you work with an Ngo, probably giving legal advice, writing petitions, articles etc., it’s fine work, but real lawyers go to court.
Well, for the most part I disagree. I do not see law as one branch and one ambition, and one road. In case you don’t know, even though being called to the bench or accorded the tittle of S.A.N is an admirable title, one most lawyers relish, not everyone who studies law has that ambition.
Some want to run an NGO’S. Some want to run media houses, own their own magazines or newspapers. Some are passionate about entertainment. Some people’s ambition is to run a company one day etc.
So what do they do? In case you don’t know being an entertainment lawyer is real lawyer’s job too. It is just as tasking. There are artist everywhere; the wannabes, the aspiring, those who have actual talent, grinding artist, hustling artiste and I’m not just talking about music here. I’m talking painters, writers, fashion designers, and instrumentalist. These are people who would sign contracts, need legal advice, legal representation, and they would need the expertise knowledge of a lawyer. So why cramp yourself in court when you can get much more outside?
Most of these artistes are new to the game. There are a lot of sharks out there who are ready to bounce on them, and dupe them out of everything they’re worth. It’s a good thing cooperate law is majorly accepted in this part of the world, and we are warming up to arbitration.
But we need to catch up on the times. We have media houses who need lawyers. We have academics who prefer to teach law. Lawyers who are authors. Lawyers who own legal based blogs. Lawyers who own magazines. Lawyers who run and work in media houses. Lawyers who work for Ngo’s etc
They are all lawyers too.
In my opinion, wearing a robe or wig does not define a lawyer alone. It is the ownership and use of that select knowledge of law that makes you a lawyer. And the fact if you checked, you’ll see your name called as a barrister and a solicitor of the supreme court of Nigeria.
It doesn’t start and end with litigation.
Amina Dauda is a writer and a lawyer. She loves reading, hanging out with friends and writing. You can reach her via Amynahdauda@Gmail.com
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