Commentary Workshop

“PRACTICE IS HELL”, FEELING THE PULSE OF YOUNG LAWYERS

“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