Young lawyers can be often found bemoaning a dearth of proper guidance and mentorship in the legal profession. Consequently, it’s not uncommon to see quite a substantial number of talented youngsters give up their dreams of practicing. Quite tragic.
You see, the challenge is not desire. There is a swelling throng of these raw talents wishing for more, but in the absence of firm but benevolent hands to help with some form of sound counsel, other options are considered then adopted.
Unfortunately, young lawyers scan the horizon for some form of hope, only to get rebuffed. This daunting nature of affairs triggers disillusionment and in due course, some begin to liken the profession to a wasteland to scavenge. This is where older legal luminaries ought to step in but alas, far too few of them harbour such progressive and mentoring interests.
In this regard, Paul Usoro, SAN, remains a leading light. His conduct here is not scorching. They are not feeble attempts on the precipice of death like cold embers either. It is the simple but compelling glow of his passion to provide proper guidance for the untested, the diamonds in the rough.
The significance of youth empowerment and proper mentorship as a young lawyer is not lost on a man like Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN. He has often gone on record to express how dear the development of his younger learned colleagues is to his heart. His reputation as a man drawn to people is actually rivaled by his gravitation towards sharing his wealth of experience and knowledge with younger colleagues.
What are the facts that prove this about the esteemed Senior Advocate of Nigeria? Is there some tangible strand of evidence to prove that his legacy to the youth is not an urban legend? Unsurprisingly, you do not need to look too far to find proof.
At his firm, Paul Usoro & Co (PUC), it’s the law firm policy to ensure that post-NYSC young lawyers enjoy six (6) figures start salaries (minimum of N150,000.00) and are encouraged to tap into the sustainable growth scheme of the firm. In addition to the salary, young lawyers also benefit from the Firm`s annual profit sharing and bonus schemes. The idea is not to use money as a sole incentive but to ensure that employees get the right start in the profession.
Furthermore, at least half of the other partners at PUC are products of the mentorship blueprint woven into Paul Usoro’s DNA. Mrs. Adetola Bucknor Taiwo, who is a Transaction Partner at the firm, rose from an entry-level position post call and progressed rapidly to her position today in roughly half a decade. Mr. Muniru Liadi, the Litigation Partner, is also an immense success story as he began at the firm just after completing his National Youth Service scheme and is a partner today.
Mr. Usoro, not one to rest on his oars, initiated the “Paul Usoro Challenge Programme” to ensure that young lawyers can get hands-on experience in advocacy and pro-bono work. The programme engages younger legal professionals in a way that sees them have their skills harnessed, put to the test and perfected while arming them with a sense of the ethical implications of real-world applications of the law.
These instances illustrate Mr. Usoro’s commitment to ensuring that the careers of young lawyers progress meaningfully.
He is currently on the Faculty of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, underlining his passion for younger lawyers. Paul Usoro also focuses on young lawyers with so much gusto that it’s not difficult to come across him doling out advice anytime he can. Much more formally he has written quite a number of papers and scholarly texts. These papers undoubtedly leave a trail of invaluable knowledge leading all the way to the dizzying heights of the profession.
It is worthy of note that all the activities mentioned in this article predate Mr. Usoro`s ambition to contest for the Presidency of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Ultimately, the best legacies are there for all to see, with empirical evidence to naysay any detractors. In Paul Usoro’s case, it’s quite overwhelming, especially for the young lawyer at the start of a potentially long career, seeking motivation and meaningful guidance.
I stand with Paul Usoro who is putting you first.