We continue with the concluding part of Nelo’s Through the Eyes of a Female Lawyer. Enjoy and don’t forget to add your comments and subscribe for our newsletters!
When it comes to a society like ours where being a woman is not of much worth as being a man, or where women are considered subordinate to any man and where they are seen as incomplete or not of much value like the male folks, the demand for her professional service does not roll in easily. It takes her clear hard work, courage, determination, favour from God, consistency and years of experience for her to be recognized or be paid for her services, and be impacted financially.
While fighting to gain trust, to become relevant and successful in the profession, as a young female, the issue of getting passes and signals from the men in the same profession is a challenge to overcome, as even the older men are not left out. Where you are a new pretty face and you start to mix up, attending court everyday, attending your professional meetings, and other events, you tend to become noticeable.
Considering the inquisitive, relentless and adventurous nature of the male folks, when they spot a young single lady, requests will start flying from all corners. The problem with this is, most of them are not for real, and you then have to be smart to decipher the true ones, being careful, watchful, and wise to avoid getting hurt.
I had one of such bad experience, though mine could have been worst than it was, thankfully it ended before it began. I also had bold passes from older/married male colleagues, though it is not an option for me. From my experiences, I may just agree that male lawyers are special kind of promiscuous.
I have to talk about how stressful office work could get, drafting processes upon processes, and then, the whole moving around from morning till late evenings, from one court location to another, filing processes in different courts, to attend court sittings, for one administrative purpose to another, I usually tell whoever cares to listen that one needs physical strength to be into active practice, you even need to eat well before starting the day’s work, or you are soon likely to breakdown because of the mental and physical task the profession requires.
The legal profession does have its sweetness though, a lot of it. The admiration, respect and preferential treatment you get from other members of the society are some of it. You will be given special care and attention, especially for the same fact that you are a woman and have attained such height and being in a noble profession as this. You will have access to some government institution without the usual difficulty, people will want to hear what your opinion is in different matters, and respect same.
On a lighter note, the harassment by men of the police force may very much lessen on the road towards you, as you may get to know almost all of them on a less formal basis, as a result of the nature of a lawyer’s work. You will probably be less scared of them, but that may not stop them from wanting to intimidate you in their station when you come for a client in their custody, seeing that you are a female and still young in the profession. You just have to be smart and play along.
I will conclude by saying that the Legal profession is a place where the young shall grow. I take a look at the numerous female Judges I stand before, the females lawyers who have attained the height of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, some who are making significant contributions in their various local branches, states and also at the national level, and I am certain that a young woman who has chosen to take the road as a legal practitioner, has a laid down destination. With the right motivation, determination, perseverance, and focus, the sky is her starting point.
Law is an amazing profession to venture into, and with the right values, and proper planning, not leaving family aside, it is a good choice of profession, even a Nigerian Woman can make.
I am a young Nigerian woman and becoming a lawyer is one of the best thing that have ever happened to me!
Chinelo Oge Akorah is a Lawyer based in Asaba, Delta State Nigeria. She could be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org. She blogs on http://chineloakorah.blogspot.com.ng