The Young Lawyers’ Forum (YLF) of the NBA Ikeja Branch, held its annual seminar on Thursday 13th November, 2014 at the Ikeja Bar Centre. This year’s event which was based on the theme “Surmounting Professional Challenges for Young Lawyers in Legal Practice: the Way Forward” witnessed a huge turnout of young lawyers and many legal heavy weights.
The roll call of guests were the Hon. Justice Safari who represented the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice I. N. Buba of the Federal High Court Lagos, The DG of the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, Mr. Nourison Quakers SAN, Mrs. Funmi Falana and a hosts of others.
After the introductory niceties, the 1st session began with the keynote speaker Prof. Fagbohun delivering a paper presentation on challenges facing young lawyers and the way forward. He identified the changing landscape in legal practice as the major challenge to new wigs. He identified the drivers of change as increasing workload, liberalization and the advent of the ICT. He opined that the proper response to these challenges must be hinged on modern strategies based on core values of integrity, confidentiality and hardwork.
The next speaker was the Deputy Director of the Lagos Multi Door Court House (MDCH) Mrs. Adeyinka Ayorewun, whose paper was based on the topic “Windows at Trial and Appellate Court, ADR Prospects and Challenges”. She identified the advantages of incorporating ADR into the court system but highlighted the challenges faced in that regard. She also regretted that many lawyers were frustrating the MDCH. She however stressed that ADR has come stay and lawyers especially the young lawyers should embrace it.
Mrs. Funmi Falana presented a paper on “the Challenges of Women in the Practice of Law”. She electrified the audience by first giving a brief history of how women won the right to practice as lawyers and paid homage to the female trail blazers in the profession. She identified the challenges faced by women as juggling motherhood and marriage with the practice of law and discrimination. She advised female lawyers to explore mentorship, hard work and being relevant as possible solutions.
The last paper presentation was by Mr. Nourison Quakers SAN on the topic “Prospect and Challenges in the Maritime Sector: Wither the Role of Young Lawyers”. He identified the numerous opportunities in the maritime sector for lawyers and the challenges as well. He recommended diligence and further trainings for lawyers who wish to partake in any area of service in the maritime sector.
Hon. Justice Buba took the floor for his goodwill message which he rendered emotionally. There was pin drop silence as he recalled his days as a new wig and the challenges he faced. He talked about days he trekked from his residence at Allen Avenue to Ikeja to get molue buses to the Island both as a student in the law school and as a new wig.
He charged the new wigs to surmount all challenges and take their rightful place in the legal profession. He admitted that the challenges they faced in their days was minimal compared to what new wigs of today face but however hailed the YLF for its ingenuity in organising the parley to chart a new course for lawyers.
The curtain fell on the seminar sessions after the questions and answer session. The event sponsors Legalpedia and Law Pavillion were given the floor to advertise and give short talks on their services. Both sponsors gave free subscriptions to all participants who registered for the seminar. Legalpedia offered a month free subscription, while law pavilion offered 3 months free subscription to all participants.