Lagos-based lawyer Tobi Adebowale called yesterday for continuing legal education for Nigerian lawyers to increase their productivity and financial strength.
Adebowale, chairman of the board of directors of the Young Lawyers Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said knowledge and skills are the best tools for lawyers.
He said these could be acquired and maintained through continuing legal education. According to him, a lack of knowledge on the part of some lawyers has led to a low earning capacity. He said the reverse would be the case where there is a continuous understanding of knowledge evolving from new ideas.
“The witty saying that ‘a good lawyer knows the law and a good lawyer knows the judge’ has some merit. But those who practice the profession know that technical depth, versatility, business sensibility and general professional skills remain the cornerstone of success within the legal profession.
“Often the knowledge and skills required to be successful as a lawyer are not taught in schools and may even escape some who choose to embark on the expedition on their own, without some initial guidance and coaching.” , did he declare.
According to Adebowale, “the lack of knowledge in various areas of the practice of law” has contributed greatly to the low income capacity of most lawyers in Nigeria. He said it had also resulted in the unemployment or underemployment of lawyers in many parts of the country.
“This lack has also shifted the income that should normally flow to Nigerian lawyers to their counterparts outside Nigeria, or to a few lawyers in some jurisdictions who dare to ‘do more’ by developing their skills and knowledge,” he said. declared.
Adebowale said the growing presence of foreign lawyers in Nigeria, traveling in and out, to advise on some of the most important transactions involving Nigerian companies is a testament to the fact that there is work to do.
He blamed this on the ability of Nigerian law firms and attorneys to deal with such issues effectively and efficiently.
He called on the NBA to bridge the gap by ensuring that the earning power of its lawyers, through continuing legal education, is not lost.
“This can be achieved in a number of ways, including by regulating lawyers’ professional fees, advocating for an increased role for lawyers in the public and private sectors, and initiatives that encourage lawyers to broaden the scope of their practice,” did he declare.