The Chairman of the Lagos State Law Reform Commission, Prof. Gbolahan Elias, SAN, has urged young lawyers to explore their natural capabilities in order to excel in modern law practice.
Elias made the call while speaking during the 2017/2018 valedictory session of the Oba Erediauwa College of Law at the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
The senior advocate of Nigeria, who spoke on “Challenges and Prospects for Young Lawyers in a Law Firm in a Developing Society,” disclosed that over 4,000 new lawyers were called to the Nigerian bar every year as against a few hundreds recorded many years ago.
He noted that the increasing number produced by the Nigerian Law School had become a major challenge for young lawyers as only few jobs existed in the highly competitive profession.
He said, “There are more than 100,000 (lawyers), who have already been called to the bar. When I was called to the bar in 1981, there were only about 500 of us.
“Today, with 4,000 lawyers, that is eight times that number and all of you are competing in the market for jobs, recognition and everything.”
He further stated that the law profession in the 21st century required adequate research to overcome the challenge of ignorance.
Elias, therefore, called on young graduates of law to consider their areas of strength, in view of the options available to them, in order to stand out.
The professor added, “I think passion is important; your primary obligation is also important and your own capabilities are also very important. These are the three critical factors that you must put into consideration.
“You can practise law as an advocate or as a transaction lawyer or you work in a business organisation. It is important to understand that most lawyers do not appear in court every day.”
Also, a judge of the Akure Division of the Court of Appeal, Justice Muhammed Danjuma, challenged the graduating students of the university to continuously search for knowledge as a path to success.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, urged the graduands to distinguish themselves as products of the institution.
Osaghae also reminded them of the need for hardwork at the Nigerian Law School.
On his part, the Dean of the College of Law, Prof. Rasheed Ijaodola, emphasised the importance of discipline and admonished the graduates to prepare their minds for their academic programme at the law school.