“The challenge of a young lawyer anywhere should be a thing of concern to all”- Maximus Ugwuoke Lauds Afam Osigwe SAN, Mogbo SAN.Ikechukwu Maximus Ugwuoke , front line aspirant to the office of National Welfare Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has noted that the challenges that young lawyers face in legal practice are facts known to virtually all senior lawyers in Nigeria many of who passed through same challenges in their early days of practice.
He regretted that it is unfortunate that many successful senior lawyers tend to either forget to render assistance to young lawyers or concentrate only on the welfare of the young lawyers that are working under them. He surmised that this should not be so. He made this observation while reacting to the opening of application for Afam Osigwe SAN Courtroom Mail Prize For Young Lawyers. According to Ugwuoke, “The challenge of one young lawyer anywhere should be a thing of concern to all. The young lawyers of today are the Senior Lawyers of tomorrow and their welfare need to be taken care of so that they can realize their aspirations. Many young lawyers face situational challenges that make them vie off the track in a bid to survive.
The kind of foundations laid for young lawyers will determine the kind of Senior Lawyers they would grow to become. Senior Lawyers in Nigeria by the special privilege they enjoy in the bar are highly priced in the profession. By that privilege they handle most juicy briefs that make them financially viable. We know the legal profession is like a wine, it gets better as it gets older. It would not be a bad idea for Successful Senior lawyers and member of the inner bar to set up a trust fund for the welfare of young lawyers.
They could set out a specific sum of money that every successful senior is expected to be contributing to the trust fund annually as part of their support for the growth of the younger ones. Funds from such Trust funds could be used to pay monthly stipends to all young lawyers of less than 7 years post call irrespective of their place of practice. This gesture will go a long way in cushioning the effects of the hardship young lawyers are subjected to. Some professions like the medical profession have a system that rewards their new entrants during their houseman-ship programmes and internship programs.
No doubts some senior advocates and senior lawyers are doing their best for young lawyers and that is quite commendable. I was delighted to learn of the recent opening of application for Afam Osigwe SAN Courtroom Mail Prize for Young Lawyers.
I am also aware that earlier this year a member of the inner bar in Enugu, Mogbo SAN paid the practicing fees for all young lawyers from all the branches of NBA in Enugu State. Such gestures are highly encouraging to young lawyers.More of such gestures are expected from very senior members of the bar and more especially the Senior Advocates of Nigeria towards encouraging the young lawyers”, he said.