Turning the Legal Profession into Business will Destroy Its Essence – J. S Okutepa SAN

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Senior lawyer and Social Commentator, J.S Okutepa, SAN has said the desire to turn the legal profession into business rather than practice the law as a profession has destroyed the essence of the profession.

The learned silk made the above observation in a recent comment on his social media handle. According to him, all the rules a lawyers needs to follow to carry out his public service role to the society are already inbuilt in the profession and running the practice as business or as trader will turn legal practitioners to traders with all manner of outmanoeuvring antics  which would destroy the fabrics and essence of the profession.

He wrote:

I think it is the desire to turn the legal profession into business venture rather than practice it as profession that has destroyed the very fabrics and essence of the legal profession.

 For me one may make money from the practice of law within the ambit of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the legal profession. But to practice law as business or as trader will certainly turned legal practitioners to traders with all manner of outmanoeuvring antics and tactics that destroyed the very fabrics and essence of the profession. As one of my learned friends put it on the platform of legal discourse:

 ” I tell us, all the ideas, strategies, rules and regulations a lawyer needs to make money from the practice of the PROFESSION (not business) of Law are already inbuilt in the profession. All the rules a lawyer needs to follow in order to serve the best of his “public service” role to society are already inbuilt in the profession. Follow the rules, ethics and regulations of the LEGAL/LAW PROFESSION (not “legal/law business) and you’d make the best out it. You don’t need any “business experts” in order to be a very successful lawyer, unless the business expert is coming to be groomed by the lawyer on how to be a professional in his business”.

Certainly, lawyers cannot afford to engage in business competitions. It is not ethical. To engage in practice as business and engaging in trading competitions will undermine the essence of law as instrument of social engineering.

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