The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) both National and branches are in dare need of techy leadership who are enthusiastic enough to maximize the advantages presented by technology for the overall benefit of its members. If I begin to stress on all that I observed before arriving at this conclusion, I may not finish in ten different write ups. I would get round to identifying all of them hopefully. Any lawyer that participated in the recently concluded 2018 NBA Lagos Law Week would agree with me that as lawyers we no longer have a choice over wanting to be techy or not. Lawyers were shown with practical demonstration, how ours have become an endangered profession with disruptive technological advancement. Where does this leave a bar association without a functional website. I wonder!
Without digressing, this morning, I was going through a court process brought to the office on Friday. The language of the lawyer, the font of the process, the structure of the written address, the legal arguments contained therein, all suggests that the person who put the process together is far from being a legal practitioner. Was there a Legal Practitioner’s stamp attached to it? Yes. But by my nature, I suspect everything. I assumed that the affixed stamp might have been produced either in Mushin or Aba since there isn’t any form of security in the original stamp. If there is any security, I am not aware of it.
I wanted to satisfy my curiosity and opened the NBA website to see if the Legal Practitioner is listed as a member (at least all lawyers are compelled to be members of the NBA). The reality of where we are in terms of technological advancement as an Association struck me. The first thing that hit me was a realization that the names of all legal practitioners are not on the NBA Website. What this means is that the membership of the NBA cannot be confirmed from his website. I am sure I do not need to begin to spare some lines on what a website stands for and the kind of details that should be contained therein.
With the rude shock of not seeing a list of lawyers on the NBA website, I decided to do a survey of the site to see if there may be any reason for any member to visit the site. The findings are mind-boggling. Several links on the site do not have content. According to the information in the “About Us” link on the site, there are 125 branches of the NBA. Surprisingly, none of the branch has any information whatsoever on the site. This omission would have been excused if all other branches have their respective websites, unfortunately, they don’t. Many of them rely on the sole website designed by the National body, same which is not a good representation of our awareness of the importance of technology.
The elections into various offices of the NBA at the national level is on the way. Various aspirants have unofficially indicated interests in the leadership and are desperately campaigning for votes. I can only wish that the people who would take over the affairs of the Bar would begin to make good use of the cheapest and most effective asset in the world presently, TECHNOLOGY!
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