It speaks for itself that most of the lawyers who claim we are a highly educated profession and therefore not a business were either very successful in a specialty field or were professors of law. More Power to them. But as for the rest of us, we are operating businesses. And if we don’t begin paying attention to how well we manage and promote our legal enterprises, we are in danger of going out of business as a profession.
The above is part of the arguments put forth by Bellas and Wachowski, when emphasizing the fact that the legal profession is a business. Not every lawyer agrees to that assertion; no, especially in Nigeria. But the fact is that whether we call it a business or not, we’ve got to maintain some clients who will throw in some rubies into our purses at the end of the day. So, men must wise-up. There must surely be some form of packaging. Yes, it is necessary, else you may wake up to find out that you’ve got no good clientele-base.
The success of a good lawyer also depends on how well he or she packages himself or herself. This, to a large extent deals with the location of his or her law office, the structure itself, and of course how equipped it is. When a client walks into a law office, what does he see? First impression matters, you know! How does the secretary look? What’s her command of English and how smartly dressed is she? Does the chamber have a fine smell, or what emits out of it is that fragrance of a sewage-tank? Some lawyers just do not care, in that even the wall of their chamber begs for a paint, not to talk of the broken floor that needs some repairs.
The reception given to a client and the condition of a law office speaks so much for a lawyer when charges are given. Every smart lawyer should know that. Apart from that, the appearance of the lawyer also matters a lot.
Good dressing skill is very important in the legal profession. Is your suit alluring or some kind of ancient rag that needs to cleave to some flesh before death?
How mouldy is your wig and gown? Must a gown be hag-tagged to make a lawyer announce without stress his post-call years? Or is it just a kind of conventional practice that some senior lawyers do not wish to let go?
In the legal profession, dressing neat is also very important. In fact, it is one of those things a business minded lawyer must consider in his practice of the law. A well fitted-tie, sweet bees’ fabric suit, and a pair of Italian Shoes won’t be a bad combination; and c’mon, a raiment less of such class but neat and nimble will also present an advocate with a super smart look, right? It doesn’t cost so much to look that good. But to be at the top of your game, going the extra mile will surely not be out of place.
When a lawyer leaves the black cover-shoe for some old snickers; wears a ragged robin-wood-kind, and a cotton, and then rests his legal buttocks on some outdated wooden-stool to draft some processes, you can be pretty sure that the gods of self-inflicted punishment have paid such one a visit.
But as the Bellas said: We are operating businesses. And if we don’t begin paying attention to how well we manage and promote our legal enterprises, we are in danger of going out of business as a profession.
Like Afam Osigwe said when he quoted Jay Z, in his paper, “The Challenges of Managing A Law Office In Modern Day Nigeria”, ‘You are not a businessman, you are a business, man’! So stick to the code as Business. It doesn’t cost much to look good. Besides, archaic or ragged appearance doesn’t spell out one’s expertise of the law. Does it?
Ebi Robert writes For: TheNigerialawyer