Legal Nigeria

Young Lawyers are not just the Future of Legal Practice; They are the NOW – Joyce Oduah Inspires Young Lawyers at NBA-YLF Summit: Advocates for Adaptability in a Changing Legal Landscape

Joyce Oduah FICMC, a prominent figure in the legal community, delivered an inspiring address to young lawyers at the Young Leaders Summit of the NBA-YLF on January 17, 2024. Her engaging presentation addressed the summit’s theme, “Breaking the Old Order of Governance and Advocacy,” applauding the organisers for its timeliness.

In her goodwill message, Oduah emphasised that young lawyers are not just the future of legal practice but an integral part of the present. She expressed confidence that the summit would provide a crucial platform for them to engage in high-level discussions, sharing insights on pressing issues facing the legal profession and society at large.

Oduah, represented by Francis Ifesi Nwodo Esq, on day 2 of the conference, actively participated in the technical session titled “Future of Legal Practice in Nigeria: The Plight of a Young Lawyer.” Her presentation focused on three key questions: “What is the future of Legal Practice in Nigeria? How can young lawyers adapt to this future? and How do we prepare young lawyers for the future of legal practice in Nigeria?”

She highlighted the rapid evolution of the legal profession in Nigeria, citing technology integration, specialisation, globalisation, and remote work as significant changes. However, Oduah underscored the plight of the young lawyers in adapting to these changes due to a lack of technical skills, non-specialized legal education, and limited international exposure.

To address this, she emphasised the importance of developing the adaptability quotient among young lawyers, enabling them to thrive in Nigeria’s more specialised, globalised, and technologised legal landscape.

Furthermore, Oduah stressed the pivotal role of the NBA in preparing young lawyers for the present and future of legal practice. She proposed initiatives such as improving legal education, regulatory reform in Nigeria, and leveraging the NBA’s influence and membership in other legal and regulatory bodies.

Oduah recommended introducing practical skills training, technology proficiency, and business acumen into legal education programs to equip young lawyers with the necessary skills for success in their careers. Additionally, she emphasised the need for strengthened regulatory measures to prevent non-lawyers from taking jobs away from qualified practitioners.

In a forward-looking approach, Oduah suggested collaboration with professionals from diverse industries to create interdisciplinary opportunities for young lawyers. She concluded by proposing the creation of virtual collaboration platforms facilitated by the NBA to connect experienced lawyers with young professionals, fostering mentorship and knowledge exchange.

Joyce Oduah’s insights underscored the urgency for adaptability and reform in the legal profession, positioning young lawyers as key players in shaping the future of legal practice in Nigeria.

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