Firms urged to attract, retain young lawyers
Law firms and employers of young lawyers have been told to think of how to attract and keep new wigs. This view was generally expressed by participants and the panel of discussants, who attended and spoke at the 15th yearly SPA Ajibade Business Luncheon.
The hybrid event, which held in Lagos, with the theme: “Talent Retention, challenges and the future of legal practices in Nigeria” had participants lament issue of lawyers leaving the country or leaving the practice of law all together for something else.
Leading the panel of discussion, Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu (SAN) traced the issue of movement of Nigerians to other countries of the world to as far back as early 90s, military president, Ibrahim Babangida, was in power.
Prof Ernest Ojukwu (SAN), in his submission, stated that most of the young lawyers coming out of law school do not have an idea of what to do, and that out of the 700 newly graduated lawyers, only about 500 will end up as lawyers and after about five years, the number of those still in law practice will go down to about 250.
Other discussants such as, Aderinsola Fagbure, Yimika Adesola and Mr. Godwin Amadi, all placed the problem of recruiting talented young lawyers and retaining them to factors like mismatch in some skill set, salaries, the challenging nature of the work environment, flexible working environment, relationship with senior partners and the structure of the firm.
Other factors they pointed out are workplace abuse, sexual abuse, health (mental health) and the culture of work place. They also noted that among other things, most talented lawyers look out for certain conditions in an ideal work place. Those factors, they said, “are usually considered when it comes to decision as to either stay in a firm or walk away.”
At the event, two polls were conducted for online viewers where over 90 per cent agreed that there are challenges with retaining talents in the legal profession.
The second poll sought to know whether the Nigerian Law School (NLS) prepares law students for self-employment, to which 83 per cent of the respondents said it does not.
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