Legal Nigeria

JOYCE ODUAH, FICMC: A Leader that supports Young Lawyers – By Samuel Obot

We can write about Mrs. Joyce Oduah being a quintessential bar man vis-a-vis her proven track record in the NBA, we can talk about her unending humanitarian services to the society at large, we can discuss her achievements in legal practice; all these and many more will culminate in numerous chapters. Interestingly and most importantly, Joyce Oduah possesses overwhelming love, passion and interest in young lawyers.

In Nigeria, a young lawyer is a lawyer who is between 0 to 7 years post call. It is no longer news that many young lawyer in Nigeria encounter stern challenges in their career. The major challenge young lawyers face is poor and inadequate remuneration. The practical implications of this is that young lawyers find it difficult to pay their Bar practicing fees and branch dues, pay and attend conferences and seminars, procure fashionable court regalia, pay for groceries, transport fare and even house rent. To obviate this, senior lawyers have been consistently enjoined by the NBA to support and properly remunerate young lawyers.

One of the senior lawyers that has unswervingly supported young lawyers in Nigeria is Joyce Oduah, FICMC, who is the Managing Partner of Joyce Oduah & Co, a full-service commercial law firm headquartered in Lagos. For many decades now, she has mentored many young lawyers who are successful and independent legal practitioners today. She has consistently sponsored many young lawyers to NBA Annual General Conferences, NBA-SPIDEL Conferences; NBA-SBL Conferences; and NBA-SLP Conferences. In order to reduce the financial burden on young lawyers, she pays Bar Practicing Fees and Branch Dues for all the lawyers at Joyce Oduah & Co. and other young lawyers who contact her for assistance. In her nature as a humanitarian, she has, during this trying time, provided palliatives to young lawyers across Nigeria in order to alleviate the hardship occasioned by the outbreak of the contagious Covid-19.

She believes young lawyers are the future of the legal profession and as such the NBA should prioritize the welfare of young lawyers. According to her, there should be a mentorship programme to prepare young lawyers for the future. This is why at Joyce Oduah & Co. young lawyers are not only properly remunerated, but also supported to pursue their postgraduate studies (LLM) and other professional programmes.

Indeed, Joyce Oduah, who was once a young lawyer in the early 90s, understands the plight of young lawyers, and has developed unwavering interest in the development of young lawyers, be it in continuous legal education or their social welfare. Her passion in grooming and teaching the new generation of lawyers the essence of love, oneness, humility, hard-work and collective development cannot be overemphasized. Her vast knowledge in the practice of law cum her services to the NBA strategically places her above her contemporaries. It is for this reason and many more that she is greatly endeared to many lawyers. I therefore choose to support her for the office of the NBA General Secretary.

My name is Samuel Obot. I am a legal practitioner writing from Abuja.