Young Lawyers Forum Symposium – Enugu
Keynote Speaker: Ikeazor ‘kizor’ Akaraiwe, SAN.
Topic: Where There is No Vision, the Young Lawyer Perishes.
Date: Friday, 2nd December, 2022 at 3pm
Venue: Hon. Justice Umezulike Auditorium,
High Court if Justice, Enugu.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29 vs18.
1.1. The Definition of Vision:
The faculty or state of being able to see. For example; “She had defective vision.”
The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. For example;
“The organization had lost its vision and direction.”
Thus, vision is direction. The vision we are speaking about here is envisioning where you see yourself in the next ten or twenty years, and working assiduously towards it.
As a young lawyer, you need to ask yourself this question, “What do I want to become in this profession?” It is pertinent that you have a goal and begin to build towards that goal. A goal disciplines your practice as a young lawyer.
For example, looking at the analogy of the builder; he needs architectural, electrical, mechanical, structural drawings, and then he begins to build according to design. There are houses that were built without following architectural design or the making of one. Such houses have lots of defects.
Therefore, a vision is the same as a road map or an architectural design.
If a ship is going to sail, there is a clear map and plan of navigation, same with an airplane. This clear map and plan of navigation keeps the ship on course despite the storms or the vastness of the sea until it reaches its destination. If there is no goal, any wind will blow the ship astray.
What you see is what you achieve.
How did some lawyers take silk at ten, twelve years post call? How did lawyers become judges between the ages of 35 and 40 years of age?
In a great many cases, they had a goal of what they wanted to become immediately after they were called to the bar and began to work assiduously towards it.
2.0. Practical Steps for the Young Lawyer to Take in the Pathway of Vision:
a. Get a notebook and write out your vision. Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years? Note that when you set goal, you begin to find out what you need to attain the goal you set. For example,
SAN REQUIREMENTS: you start working towards obtaining the requirements bit by bit; how many cases do I need at High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court? You start working towards them. At this point, you would need to take up cases Pro bono. This also applies to the magistracy, Judgeship and becoming a University lecturer.
b. Make use of everyday to achieve something and always remember that anytime lost cannot be gained again.
c. You can also take up law reports and read, at least, one case a day. This is the essence of law reports. You must not cram the principles embodied in them but you can write out striking principles of law you discover during your study of the case.
d. Always remember to pray too because a man plans his steps but it is the Lord that directs his steps (Proverbs 16 vs. 9).
3.0. Conclusion –
“You must set forth at dawn”
As a young lawyer, you need to set your sights early. You must set forth at dawn as the title of a book written by Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka states. Your vision/goal disciplines you. Because you are working towards your goal, you tend to drop off all things that do not complement your vision. That is discipline. Without a goal, you perish. The word “perish” does not refer to death but failure.
Not all goals get achieved. Something else which may be as great as your goal may get achieved as by-product of your efforts. Perhaps, you wanted to be a judge but did not get appointed but due to your vision, you had gathered all the judgments and proceedings you needed. You now add to them and become a SAN.
This talk is not about becoming SAN. It is about filling 60minutes into each hour, sixty seconds into each minute. It is about setting goals. Your goal may be to become a Magistrate by the time you are 30 years old, or a Judge by the time you are 35, or a Professor by the time you are 40 or a Senior Advocate by the time you are 45 or become a Senator or Local Government Chairman or whatever.
Set goals, write the vision down (Habbakuk 2 vs 1-3), daily look at it, and write out and follow the practical steps you need to attain those goals.
-Ikeazor ‘Kizor’ Akaraiwe, SAN
However, after impressive lecture by the learned silk Akaraiwe Ikeazor, SAN on the important of setting a goal and pursue it afterwards our very Senior J.O. ONYEABOR ESQ. the Principal Counsel J. O. ONYEABOR & ASSOCIATES and the Publicity Secretary of Enugu Bar further impact in us the chamber expectations of a young lawyer, as is summarized hereunder;
Chamber Expectations of a Younger Lawyer
Sequel to NBA Bye Law a young lawyer starts from 0-7 years post call, irrespective of your year of birth, it’s no more news that Young Lawyers, from the point of call to Bar are faced with so many challenges, which often times forced some of the impatient ones to abandon this Noble Profession,
However this brief topic is narrowed down on the Chamber’s expectations of a young Lawyer who finds him/herself under the above category. Few of the expectations can be summarized as follows:
- Patient. A Young Lawyer needs patient to learn and understand the fact that theory is totally different from practice and also to observe all the intricacies on how to handle cases and clients.
- Team player, A young Lawyer must be a good team player, developing the spirit to work with every body, as in the course of pupilage, a Younger Lawyer might build a contact that could change his/her life for good, because one contact might be all you need to succeed in life, but you must always keep the right attitude to attract such contact which might be walking into your Chambers on daily basis without you knowing.
- Passion for your Job, This includes absolute love for your office and your assignments, doing every given assignment as if your life depends on it, by so doing you will unknowingly win the love of your boss and clients.
- Integrity. This should be the watchword of every Young Lawyer, as hardly any of the big chambers you see today without good dose of integrity.
- Prayer. this is also important to be able to patiently manage office pressure, but you must remember to pray as if your life depends on prayers and equally work as if your life depends on your works, because there is always dignity in one’s labour.
The list of Chamber’s expectations are inexhustive. but however I am yet to see any person who had religiously applied the above princples and still had nothing to show for his labour, in all, the beginning might always seem turbulent and uncertain but surely the dedicated and committed ones will definitely get there.
J.O. Onyeabor, Esq.
After the insightful and eye opening lecture from J.O. Onyeabor, Esq., and the learned silk we also enjoyed an insight from Barr. Uchenna Enoch another senior lawyer from Enugu Bar. He took us on the relationship with law enforcement agents – Practical and workable procedures to bailing a client from the Police custody etc.
Thereafter, the ENBAR Chairman, Chief Barr. C.N.N. Nwagbara who under his umbrella of leadership we operate, capped all the lectures up with remuneration of young lawyers and charges by lawyers. In summary a lot of questions keep coming and all the speakers join hands together to attend to these questions coming from young lawyers. At the end we all went home happy and fulfilled.
On behalf of the Enugu Bar Young Lawyers Forum (YLF), I thank all our supporters both financially and otherwise. In a special way we thank the speakers and our ENBAR Chairman Barr. C.N.N. Nwagbara who rounded up the law week with wonderful, life inspiring and tasteful dinner night. God bless us as we grow in learning and Practice. Thanks.
E.O. Nwafor Esq.
Chairman ENBAR YLF