A Young Lawyer’s Recent Harrowing Job Interview


Getting a job as a legal practitioner has gone beyond being able to satisfy the interview that you have the mental intelligence to work as a lawyer. You now need, in addition to your sound legal knowledge, street sense and the “technical know-how” of Nigeria. The experience of this young counsel has become very common. Read and see if you can relate with.

(After the written and oral job interview, this counsel was picked by the panelist to face the ultimate interview with the Senior Lawyer who would pass the final verdict. The interview suddenly left the realm of knowledge and intelligence to something never envisaged)

Senior Lawyer:  Good afternoon Counsel.

Applicant:           Good afternoon sir.

Senior Lawyer:   We have seen your assessment score. Hmmm! 98%. That is quite                                      impressive.

Applicant:           Thank you sir

Senior Lawyer:   We have also seen your C.V. Nice!

Applicant:           I am very grateful sir. Thank you so much for the complements.

Senior Lawyer:   So what are you bringing to the firm if employed?

Applicant:           Sir, as you have rightly identified, I am very intelligent. I am able to                                  work with little or no supervision. I hope to deploy my intellectual                                      resources to the growth of the firm. In turn, I am certain that from the                               various tasks I would execute, I would also develop myself.

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Senior Lawyer:   Counsel, what we need in this firm is not intelligent lawyers. We need                                competent lawyers.

Applicant:           Okay, sir.

Senior Lawyer:   Let me ask you a few questions.

Applicant:           Go ahead sir.

Senior Lawyer:   Do you have a car?

Applicant:           No sir.

Senior Lawyer:   How do you intend to ensure you get to work early?

Applicant:           That would not be a problem sir. The transport system from my house to                           the office is very convenient. Besides, I have an older brother who also                              works not too far from here and he drives to work.

Senior Lawyer:   I also observed that you have worked for some time. Apart from your                                routine office works, were you also involved in the field work?

Applicant:          Sir, if you may please ask the question again sir, I am not too clear on                                the question.

Senior Lawyer:   Let me be straight forward. How many Judges do we have in Lagos                                    State judiciary?

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Applicant:           About 50 sirs. I am not certain.

Senor Lawyer:   Which of these Judges do you know closely? Like family ties, friendship,                              associate and the likes?

Applicant:           None sir

Senior Lawyer:   Let’s leave the court for now.

Applicant:           Okay sir.

Senior Lawyer:   How much of the working of the Department of Petroleum Resources do                             you know?

Applicant:            A few Sir.

Senior Lawyer:   Do you have a relationship with the Director or any of the Deputy                                      Directors or any key person there?

Applicant:           No Sir. I have never had cause to relate with them.

Senior Lawyer:   I am not sure you are going to be of any value to us.

Applicant:           Sir, I am open to learn Sir. I promise to adapt within the shortest time to                             whatever process may be on ground in the firm.

Senior Lawyer:   Unfortunately, this firm is not a learning theater. We solve real and life                              concerns here. What we need is not only lawyers who know the process                             of solving issues; we are looking for lawyers who know the people who                               are in charge of the solutions.

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The rest is left to your guess.

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