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Experiences in the legal world!

Commentary

WARNING TO ROOKIES; NAIJA POLICE BAIL IS NOT FREE (PART 2)

photo credits npf.gov.ng

photo credits npf.gov.ng

Where do I begin! Been off for a whole two months! Many things have come and gone yet the defeaning silence from my end. My sincere apologies. I am set to get things rolling! Please enjoy the concluding part of the last article we put up before the long hiatus. Shalom!

By 6 pm, I was already at the Police Station with my entourage. The Orile Police Station is located at the famous but chaotic Orile Bus Stop I had described in an earlier piece “The Naija Lawyers’ Hustle”. The building housing the station was rebuilt a few years ago by the Fashola administration. It looked neat but the offices were cramped and overcrowded.

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Commentary Workshop

WARNING TO ROOKIES; NAIJA POLICE BAIL IS NOT FREE (PART 1)

photo credits npf.gov.ng

photo credits npf.gov.ng

The curtains were slowly falling on the 2nd year of my call to the bar when it dawned on me that I had never handled a police case. So when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands.
A neighbour had come on a Saturday afternoon to complain that his brother was being detained by the police (for guess what ridiculous offence? Nah! Ain’t telling ya! Read further down for the full gist) and needed a lawyer to get him out as the police was demanding for N15, 000. 00 ($84.01) for his bail. I had made my plans for the day and going to the police station was not part of it. I was about to apologise for my inability to help, when he told me he was directed by the lawyer in the next compound to meet me as the lawyer was out of Lagos on a business trip.

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Commentary

THE 21ST CENTURY NAIJA LAWYER

photo credit http://cyberlawsinindia.blogspot.com

photo credit cyberlawsinindia.blogspot.com

The advent of the 21st Century and the changes it brought about has virtually affected all facets of human existence including the practice of law. The world is now a global village, accessible via the click of a button. No innovation has affected human existence after the creation of nuclear technology like Information and Communication Technology (IT).
All professions and professionals have taken advantage of the many benefits of the IT boom. Although known for its conservatism and slow response to change, legal practice has not been left behind by the fast moving IT train.

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Commentary Workshop

“PRACTICE IS HELL”, FEELING THE PULSE OF NEW WIGS

Cross section of new wigs photo credit www.nigerianmonitor.com

Cross section of new wigs photo credit www.nigerianmonitor.com

“Practice is hell” Ikem (not real name) answered with a straight gaze. “You won’t believe I earn just N30, 000. 00 monthly”, he continued as sweat formed on his brow. Dabbing his brow with a white handkerchief, he announced “my uncle is helping me out with one civil service job sha and once that clicks, am off this hell called practice, you diehards can continue with it”.

“How is practice”, is the usual question amongst new wigs who were mates at the University or the Law School. Save for the lucky few who work in well paying firms, majority have tales of woes over poor pay and working conditions.
Ikem was my classmate in the Law School and had been so enthusiastic about practicing law that he bought his wig and gown before the release of the Bar Finals result.

“Can you believe that of all my siblings, am the only one who is still being supported by my parents despite the fact that I spent the longest period of time in school and my training was the most expensive?”
“I work from 8 am till whenever my Boss leaves the office which is usually at 9 pm on weekdays and from 1 pm to 6 pm on weekends. The cost of transporting myself to the office everyday takes half of my pay and we are just two lawyers besides my principal and his secretary who doubles as the receptionist. We have no litigation officers so we prepare, file and serve court processes and letters ourselves. At the end of every day, am so overworked and stressed out that all I do is to eat and sleep off after I get home and wake up early the next working day for another stressful day. I only have a little reprieve on weekends and during the period of court vacations.”Continue reading

Commentary Fun

THE NAIJA LAWYERS’ HUSTLE

photocredit: www.sgglit.com

photocredit: www.sgglit.com

My steps were confident as I stepped out of the gate for the day’s lawyer’s hustle. Dressed in black suit over my lawyer’s collarless white shirt and in my two hands were my work bag containing my case file, books and stationeries and in the other bag my wig and gown. It had rained all night so I had to navigate through muddy stagnant puddles that dotted the road that led out to the junction where I entered a Keke Marwa to Orile Bus Stop, a famous Lagos suburb from where I could get a bus to Lagos Island.Continue reading

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