The general perception is that lawyers are “Learned Gentlemen”. Lawyers pride themselves as “knowing something about everything” or is it “knowing everything about something”. Whichever way you prefer to consider the status of Lawyers in the contest of the wide opinion poll, you can safely arrogate some element of pride to the general conduct of Lawyers. Due to this unconscious state of the mind of Lawyers, you find majority of lawyers expressing on initial repulsion to further learning after being call to Bar. It is worse if such learning is programmed to be acquired through a fellow colleague.
Recently, I was having a discussion with a Senior Advocate. I told him I have been very busy in the past few weeks because I was concluding my LLM thesis. He was rather shocked at the “news” that I am a postgraduate student. He exclaimed “what more teaching are you looking for as a lawyer, a learned man”. I was confused as to the response I could give to such confusing query.
That yesterday, I witnessed a discussion (I think it was more of an argument) between two colleagues. The subject of the debate was whether or not it was appropriate for lawyers to attend the Institutes of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Nigeria (ICSAN) for the purpose of becoming a “Chartered Secretary”. They argued on opposite sides that the moment you are called to the Nigerian Bar, you are a “Chartered Secretary”. They argued on the needlessness of lawyers subjecting themselves to training by non-lawyers for them (as lawyers) to perform a role (Company Secretary) that is primarily their (lawyer) core. These encounters clearly illustrate the minding of lawyers to any form of teaching or schooling after he has been called to the Bar.
Now to the real issue. It would appear that the forthcoming NBA 2018 Election would feature a “Teacher”. From the shallow history of NBA politics that I know, this is the first time that a “Teacher” would dare the politicians and call them out to a contest. My only worry for “Teacher” is whether the generally perceived attitude of lawyers to further education/schooling after being called to the Bar would not affect his chances at the poll? Would lawyers not consider that they would be schooled on all aspects of the profession if “Teacher” takes over the leadership of the Bar.
Presently, the highest number of publications on the “Future of the Bar” from all the prospective contenders has been from “Teacher”. I am really not surprised and I am certain he would write more. Would the writings alone afford him the required chance of the poll? Some people have even alleged that Teachers are poor and “Teacher” would not have the requisite financial muscle to poll through in his contest (if he eventually decides to join the race).
Whether or not money would be a factor in the forthcoming election is an issue I do not want to look into now. Time!!!
Editor’s Note: Writer is reviewing the strong point of each prospective Presidential contestants just for your reading pleasure!