At an interactive session with Members of the NBA Sagamu Branch on Tuesday, the Learned Silk, Paul Usoro dealt with a myriad of issues revolving around the welfare of young lawyers, protection/promotion of the rule of law and many more.
During the session, Paul Usoro SAN compartmentalized and summarized the challenges that bedeviled the optimal provision of welfare for the young Nigerian lawyer into three factors; Greed, Economics and Lifestyle, which combined together culminate in the overreaching prevalence of the seeming lack of financial orientation.
“We talk about Continuing Legal Education without talking about law office management and financial education for lawyers to help our understanding of the law practice business. I see no reason why senior lawyers should be greedy. Having practiced what I preach since 1984, I believe I have the moral right to address my colleagues. I assure you that all I have spoken about, I have the capacity to do, because at some point in my career, I have had to practice them,” Usoro said.
Having said that, he also explained the need for the NBA to regulate the practice of law by protecting the business of law for lawyers to avoid proliferation of briefs by unskilled non-profesdional entities who had begun to encroach into the Nigerian legal services industry.
Usoro stated that “There are many non- lawyers taking over our businesses. Companies in Nigeria have non-Lawyers in their legal departments. Nigerian lawyers are excluded from major transactions under the lame excuse that “we have no experience”. I have been there before and I proved a point with the auction of our GSM Spectrum. The same goes for the NCC Act. I believe we can all do well as I did if given the opportunity.”
Speaking on the issue of public interest and protection/promotion of the rule of law, Usoro explained that there are so many things the government characterize as unlawful activities which are in reality not unlawful. He used the BVN as a case study.
“I could talk about the BVN suit where the government says accounts without BVN contain proceeds of unlawful activities. That is not howsoever true”.
This cumulatively goes to buttress the fact that the Nigerian lawyer especially the young lawyer has a lot to learn and do in order to push forward the bar of excellence and carve out a space of relevance for them selves in the present legal services industry in Nigeria.
The interactive session was quite enlightening with the participation of several key members from the association led by the branch Chairman, Prince Deborah Oduguwa, to proffer solutions for the benefit of the Nigerian Bar.