We have all talked plenty over Lawyers and their welfare in Nigeria. All remain in the realm of talk. No action howsoever. It is not very difficult to give an Oscar Award winning speech, in fact, I am aware that many are living large on preparing speeches for all occasion. I am beginning to get very very tired of all these elegant and eloquent speeches by Bar Men and Bar Leaders. Wetin self? Na who do una like this?
If your leaders are not ready to help you, why are you also not helping yourself? If it is village people that have gathered to place a curse on some of us, why can’t we also try to break this curse, abi na permanent curse them place? You wake up in the morning, dress up with suit and tie to go and make money without advising yourself. Then one trader from Alaba International or Trade Fair Complex will come with his short and pam slippers to use your head to play 10/10 and you think you are smart. You would rush out of your office to go and solve his problem and hear the story of how you did nothing later. Are we that dumb? I am really so vexed. And this thing has become so common.
How many times have you rushed out to go and bail a client without first agreeing your fee? What about meetings, dispute resolutions, etc.
This morning I was on my own, minding my business jeje when I got a call from a friend and colleague. I started teasing him immediately to declare the money he made the previous day. This is because I got to know that from around 9.am yesterday till I left the office, he was with a client at the police station trying to secure the bail of his client’s brother. Long story short, the brother was eventually released late in the night and the ‘client’ dipped his hand inside his pocket and gave him N10k to use for transport. When my friend protested, he asked him what exactly he did. In fact he told him a whole day was too much for him a non lawyer to have secured his brother’s bail. While my friend was ranting, I placed the phone on hands free and continued with what I was doing because he brought this upon himself. When he was done, I asked him just one question; “how much did you agree with him before accepting to go and meet him?” His response was that he is his client. Then asked again; “do you have a retainership with him?” He started blabbing.
As a lawyer, you get called by a client, you rush out of your office without first agreeing your fee; attend a meeting with them. You get there and turn to a parrot, quoting all the laws and giving all the residual knowledge in your head; with all your international certificate on negotiation you secure a deal for the client and he gives you transport fare with plenty of “am just helping you” attitude, feeling entitled and suggesting to you that you only talked as if talking is not what you do for a living.
You broker peace between two individuals using your best mediation endeavor as a chartered mediator and after you have finished mending the relationship they tell you thank you for your time. Are you the Umunna that resolve dispute for free? You get to the police station and spend a whole day, jumping from one desk to the other, looking for IPO and DPO and OC legal. After you secure the release, someone says to you, what exactly did you do that I could not have done? I could go on.
For pete’s sake, what would make a lawyer step out of his office without as little as discuss the fact that it is not a social outing with your so called clients. What many of us fail to internalize is the fact that nobody wants to pay lawyers. You are trained to talk and eat from talking. You are trained to write and eat from writing. Quit talking for free and quit writing those one paragraph letters for free. When the client call, please over the phone before you rush out of that office, discuss your fees, prepare your invoice and send it across as soon as you return from such outing. We are not soldiers who follow clients to go and shoot gun or arrest people. We talk, we write, we give advice. All these are done for money brethren not for free.
How do you even expect them to regard you when you have refused to add value to yourself? My people, quit running after clients like mumu joor. Respect yourself, respect the noble profession and think of the next generation. This one does not have anything to do with our leaders who are not even ready to do anything anyway.
Our mumu don do abeg!
Em, abeg una no weda area father Charlie boy don register this “Mumu don do”? I beg I make una help me tell am say na for him mouth I hear am first o!