My dear Colleagues, As you know, learning is an endless process, and the continuous improvement of skill is a sine qua non for any professional. Apart from the traditional areas of legal practice, we now have emerging areas of law which require specialized knowledge and skills. Nigerian Lawyers must constantly improve their skills to be able to fit into these areas. In this regard, I believe the NBA has a primary role to play in encouraging human capital development and continuing legal education for all Nigerian lawyers. In fact, one of the Association’s principal objectives as stipulated in Section 3 (2) of the 2015 NBA Constitution as amended is the “Promotion and advancement of Legal Education, Continuing Legal Education, Advocacy and Jurisprudence”.
Legal practice is a very competitive venture amongst lawyers globally. Human capital development/continuing legal education is therefore necessary to advance the level of knowledge and skills of our lawyers so as to be able to compete with lawyers from other jurisdictions. When elected as the General Secretary of the NBA, I will work with the NBA President to make human capital development and continuing legal education our priority. I will ensure that a special committee on human capital development is created. The NBA committee on Continuing Legal Education will be strengthened. The NBA National Secretariat in collaboration with the NBA President and the Committee will, in addition to other programmes, sponsor training and education on various emerging areas of law. We will foster strategic partnerships with various local and foreign institutions (i.e. exchange programmes), resource persons who are part of the system and major corporate bodies (local and international) that offer specialized courses with a view to providing free or discounted courses for our members.
I believe that no amount of commitment and resources channeled into this will be too much. Our action plan is categorized into the offline and online education.
a. *Offline*: this will focus on actively revitalizing and ensuring optimal functioning of Institute of Continuing Legal Education by organizing workshop and seminars on a quarterly basis in all NBA zones. This will also focus on furnishing and updating the NBA library.
b. *Online*: a virtual continuing legal education platform will be created which will reposition the NBA secretariat for virtual continuing legal education programs and events. To achieve this, we will utilize various online channels like the NBA App which we will create and other virtual meeting platforms. This will ensure greater participation, cost effectiveness and frequency.
I therefore solicit your support, with the greatest humility, to serve as the NBA General Secretary in order to be able to actualize these plans. For more of my plans for the NBA, please view my Manifesto below or click this link: https://nigerianbar.org.ng/node/258
I thank you sincerely for your time in reading this message and look forward to receiving your feedback on my plans for the NBA. Do have a fruitful week ahead, and continue to stay safe.
Joyce Oduah, FICMC
Candidate for the Office of NBA General Secretary