*Young Lawyers should not despise little beginnings – Hon. Justice J.O Oyewole
*SANs should be made to contribute money to build well-equipped libraries at Bar Centres – Keyamo, SAN
*Welfare of lawyers is not limited to remuneration only, it should cover annual leave and mobility among others – Tayo Oyetibo, SAN
*Young Lawyers should look into novel areas of practice – Dr. Hauwa Shekarau, Akangbe and Audu
*Welfare will enable young lawyers perform optimally – Adebowale
The need for an improved welfare system for young legal practitioners came to the forefront at a webinar marking the 35th anniversary of the Nigerian Weekly Law Report (NWLR).
The event was organized by the Nigerian Law Publication Ltd. in conjunction with the NBA Young Lawyers Forum, on the 26th of November, 2020, with the theme ‘YOUNG LAWYERS WELFARE AND CHALLENGES OF PUPILLAGE IN NIGERIA’.
Speakers at the event are Hon. Justice J.O.Oyewole JCA, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo SAN, Mr. Ebun-olu Adegboruwa SAN, Dr. Hauwa Shakerau, Messrs Mohammed Fawehinmi, Samson Audu, Yemi Akangbe, Oluwole Kehinde, Mojeed Ajao, Ayo Olarewaju amongst others.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Justice Joseph Oyewole, JCA, enumerated some challenges faced by lawyers before the emergence of the NWLR, and appreciated the wisdom behind the birth of the law report.
The honorable Justice also admonished young practitioners not to despise little beginnings, but rather see them as opportunities to grow and excel.
He called on the NBA to expand the rules of practice in other to accommodate recent realities and market opportunities that exist for legal professionals, thereby encouraging the profession to rediscover itself.
For Mr. Keyamo, SAN, the existence of an efficient law report serves as an arsenal to the young lawyer in practice, and as such the benefits of the NWLR should not be taken lightly.
Whilst acknowledging the challenges faced by of young lawyers, Keyamo observed that any attempt to implement a national remuneration for lawyers would face numerous challenges, especially given the private nature of the employment contract.
He, however, suggested that Senior lawyers, particularly the SANs should be made to contribute and fund law centers in the country, which would accommodate well-equipped libraries, office compartments and other essential facilities for young lawyers wishing to start up a private practice.
He enjoined the LPPC to consider the remuneration structures for young lawyer in offices of prospective SANs when considering their application for the rank.
On his part, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, stated that in discussing the remuneration/welfare of young lawyers, the well-being of the principal/senior lawyer should not be left out, as the welfare of the young lawyer is largely dependent on the well-being of the senior lawyer.
He considered that available data shows the lack of sufficient facilities to accommodate and absord young professionals with the needed welfare scheme. Lending his voice to ‘taxing’ SANs in other to develop law centers, the learned silk called for the inclusion of persons, who though are not members of the inner bar are nonetheless successful practitioners.
He noted that the discourse on welfare ought not to be only about remuneration, but should cover areas such as, continuous legal education, mobility, annual leave amongst other benefits necessary for young lawyers.
For the chairpersons of NBA branches of Abuja, Lagos, and Kaduna (Dr. Shakerau, Messrs Yemi Akangbe and Solomon Audu respectively) they noted the need for a national front in addressing the challenges faced by young practitioners, and also advocated the reconsideration of the A.B. Mahmoud SAN remuneration committee report of 2018.
They observed that any such policy or statutory instrument on welfare must take into cognizance the socio-economic divide that exist amongst states.
They also urged young practitioners to look into novel areas of practice and take relevant courses/certifications to boost their credentials, as well as give themselves up for mentorship.
Speaking on behalf of young Lawyers, Mr. Tobi Adebowale acknowledged and appreciated the numerous assistance from Senior Lawyers in time past and called for more synergy and engagement, especially in the area of mentorship.
He urged young lawyers to be more abreast with the law and give themselves to learning, whilst noting the need for better welfare structures for young practitioners so as to enable them to perform optimally.
In addition to the speeches, there was a visual demonstration on the use of the NWLR online by Mr Oluwole Kehinde, the Editor of NWLR.
NWLR at the event promised to gift special offer to Young Lawyer from 1-7 years post call. The young lawyers are to enjoy 66% discount on annual subscription to the NWLR ONLINE, which will only cost a the sum of N10,000 instead of the actual price of #30,000.
The special offer was made during the closing remarks and vote of thanks by the Managing Director of Nigerian Law Publications Ltd, publishers of NWLR, Mr. Mojeed Ajao, Esq
The Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR) was established by Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, GCON, in 1985, and has since pioneered modern law reporting in Nigeria.
For an unbroken period of 35 (thirty-five) years, the NWLR has been the most consistent and longest-running Law Reports in Nigeria and the African continent, and within that period has carved a niche in the propagation and advancement of the legal profession and practice in Nigeria.
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