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‘Why young lawyers need proper grooming’

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Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Wole Olanipekun (SAN)


Worried by the declining infrastructure at the Nigerian Law School and the future of legal practice in Nigeria, senior lawyers have urged their colleagues to properly groom younger ones.
   
Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) said grooming the young lawyers is a job that must be done. “They need to know what the profession stands for, what we do and how to elevate the profession. For the young lawyers, let us take a step at a go and uphold the value of our profession. Law is the most honourable, ideal and noblest of all professions. I’m most proud of being a lawyer,” he said. 
   
Also, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) said senior lawyers must recreate the future by thinking differently for the purpose of sustaining the ideals of the profession. “Legal education is an investment, which should produce beneficial results for the legal profession and nation at large. It should accelerate the pace of development. The role of a lawyer in a common social system is more than a skilled legal mechanics; he acts as a harmonizer and reconciler.

“The legal education granted at the law schools should be streamlined from the conventional to the contemporary needs of the legal profession. The quality of legal education has a direct impact on the prestige of the legal profession. We must, therefore make intentional efforts to expand the frontier of our legal training in order to make Nigerian budding lawyers relevant beyond the continent of Africa and beyond,” he said.
   
Ajogwu maintained that the need for the emergence of an idealistic legal educational system tailored to preempt and respond effectively to the 21st century trends is incontrovertible.Both lawyers and few others spoke at a dinner organised by friends of Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) in honour of his appointment as the Chairman, Council of Legal Education (CLE) in Lagos.
   
While Olanipekun spoke as the chairman of the event, Ajogwu delivered the dinner lecture titled, “Rethinking the future”.Explaining the rationale behind the occasion, chairman of the event organisers, Chijioke Okoli (SAN) said Chief Ngige is a lawyers’ lawyer. 
   
“It has been my greatest privilege to fight on the other side with him. I can tell you that he is a tiger. He is one person that anyone who comes in contact with, agrees that he is as constant as the Northern star. “He is not comfortable with politicians. He is a man who is so contented with what he has. He has had to turn down several board appointments when he is not sure of those promoting those companies. We want to encourage the younger ones in the profession and the larger society that it is not always true that the honest ones come last,” he stated. 
   
The Director General (DG) of the NLS, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma pledged his commitment to move the law school forward and by implication the profession. “We also want to review the curriculum of the school and we have started something already. We are on the same page with the chairman and we are very optimistic that the school would be better for it,” he enthused.Other speakers included the former president of Igbo lawyers, Chief Guy Ikokwu, who extolled the virtues of Chief Ngige.  


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Wole Olanipekun
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