NBA PRESIDENCY: MY COMMITMENT TO YOUNG LAWYERS IN NIGERIA
By Dr Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb
The philosophy underpinning my aspiration to lead the NBA is built on the need to unite the profession. A more united Bar under my watch, would carry all Lawyers along and give every segment within the profession a true sense of belonging. Henry Ford said, "Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working Together is success" Good Leadership is clear vision put into timely action for the benefit of all. Accordingly, my plans for Young Lawyers in Nigeria include, among others:
1. Work with relevant institutions to enlarge the employment space for Lawyers to reduce the pressure on Law Firms and keep Lawyers gainfully employed and happier.
2. Work with relevant agencies to ensure improved remuneration and treatment for Lawyers undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Program.
3. Not just initiating, but enacting concrete policies to ensure comparatively improved remuneration for young lawyers. It is an indictment on our profession that lawyers are paid the miserly wages we see in some Law Firms currently.
4. Enhanced attention, scrutiny and punishment in all cases of sexual harassment of female young Lawyers, under any guise.
5. Work with relevant agencies to prohibit and punish those involved in the harassment & brutalization of Young Lawyers in the course of carrying out their legitimate professional duties.
6. Ensure that Young Lawyers are treated with greater respect and courtesy by their older counterparts, within the context of the hierarchical system at the Bar but in line with basic notions of equality at the Bar.
7. Work with relevant institutions to stop lay (non-lawyer) policemen from undertaking criminal prosecution which should be the exclusive preserve of lawyers; thus, creating more work for young lawyers.
8. Fight off all aspects of external intrusion into the lawyer's work --- intrusions by/at the CAC, Land Registries, Probate Registries, fake lawyer's, Real Estate Agents, quack conveyancers, law enforcement agencies, touts and thugs, etc.
9. Work with relevant institutions to ensure an improved and standardized observation of the rules relating to scales of fees for the provision of legal services.
10. Increased appointment of Young Lawyers into positions of responsibility within and outside the NBA.
11. Partner with relevant educational institutions and regulators to ensure further improvements in the system of legal education to make Young Lawyers more practice-ready upon graduation.
12. Provide structured mentorship opportunities for young lawyers in lieu of pupilage.
13. Provide access to a wide variety of capacity building programs targeted especially at Young Lawyers.
14. Ensure that Young Lawyers' registration fees for NBA-organized conferences and workshops are considerably subsidized to ensure increased participation by young lawyers.
15. Ensure that Young Lawyers interests are given priority in all welfare policies and packages of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Dear Beloved Young Lawyer, please join hands with me to move our profession higher.