By Dipo Olowookere
A total of 4,294 new lawyers have been graduated by the Nigerian Law School and called to bar by the Body of Benchers.
The fresh lawyers have also been urged to adhere strictly to the ethics of the legal profession and to avoid engaging in practices capable of undermining their integrity.
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, who gave the charge at the ceremony in Abuja, called on legal practitioners in the country to always resort to other alternatives to dispute resolution if pursuing a case in court will not be in the best interest of the society.
According to him, the ultimate goal of litigation is to reach a just conclusion in a matter, which he said can be amicably achieved through alternative dispute resolution.
The CJN also charged the new lawyers to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 as well other relevant laws for effective administration of justice in the country.
“You are advised to be of good behaviour and abide by the ethics and tradition of the profession to avoid being brought before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).
“The privilege of being called a Barrister and Solicitor comes with many benefits as well as responsibilities, which include the duty to serve the public ethically, diligently and competently.
“Therefore, you are expected to put in your best at all times in order not to let yourself and the profession down.
“You must imbibe the principles of integrity and diligence in order to succeed as lawyers,” Mr Onnoghen said.
He commended the Director General of the Nigerian Law School and his staff for their commitment in training the students and equipping them with the essential knowledge and expertise required by every lawyer to pursue a successful career.
In his speech, the Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Mr Olanrewaju Onadeko (SAN), said the school has made some remarkable progress in the provision of infrastructures and cited the establishment of “classroom solution”, which is a video conferencing platform to link all the campuses of the school as example of one.
He said the facility was for the purpose of a holistic provision of special lectures from any campuses, with students in other campuses participating simultaneously.
According to the Law School DG, the continuing violation of admission quotas by some law faculties was giving the law school serious concerns.
He said the allocated figures are empirically determined and failure to keep to them will impact negatively on the products of the offending faculties.
Mr Onadeko said out of the 4,294 candidates that were successful at the August 2017 Bar final examinations and some previous examinations, 29 attained first class grade, 211 obtained second class upper grade and 1,046 were classified in the second class lower division.
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