It is true that there were various reasons or factors that influenced various persons to decide to study law. Nevertheless, some lawyers regardless of their years of practice are (up till this moment) without any specific path in the legal profession/practice as they are nowhere to be found and they have continued to live their lives as such for quite a number of years. Thousands of lawyers are getting enrolled into the legal profession yearly yet, there seems all hopes are dashed as it takes a great efforts to surmount all economic pressures. So, some lawyers actually are confused and miss their aspirations for proficiency and greatness. This paper considers the legal practice and the aspiration for proficiency and greatness, offering better approaches.
The legal practice is the entirety of the practice of the law as lawyers. The word‘aspiration’ according to the Webster online dictionary, means a: a strong desire to achieve something high or great. Examples: An aspiration to become famous- usually plural. A young man with political/literary aspirations. B: an object of such desire. Example: An acting career is her desire. Synonyms: ambitiousness, ambition, go-getting. The word ‘proficiency’ on the other hand, according to the same dictionary, means: advancement in knowledge or skill: PROGRESS. 2. The quality or state of being PROFICIENT. From the above definitions, in my humble view, where any lawyer or person desires the two: ‘proficiency’ and ‘greatness’, he is actually asking for much! Therefore, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected!’. Therefore, achieving the two is not just a joke rather, it takes a great efforts and sacrifices.
Furthermore, the following are factors that I view as those that could assist in the attainment of the two ‘proficiency’ and ‘greatness’:
- Passion for the aspirations;
- Determination to attain the aspirations;
- Positive conscience to achieve the aspirations;
PASSION FOR THE ASPIRATIONS
In order to succeed in attaining the aspirations, you must create passion in them, because the mind always attaches importance to anything we attach emotion to. You must always try to consider all the goodness in them and not the evils. As some people around you may try to distract your attention from attaining them by telling you many myths (untrue stories) about them. If you listen to all these, you might be disturbed and get discouraged if you did not have passion in the aspirations at first.
After all, there are many that had the same aspirations like yours in the past and had attained them. Some of these lawyers are around you! So, look up to them! You have to create love for the aspirations and love to achieve them not that you are forced. It must come right from your own conscience or interest. As someone say ‘I will rather buy from a passionate salesman than to buy from a man that does not love what he is doing’.
Henceforth, let the love for attaining the aspirations increase in you if you vowed to face their challenges and do not display any inferiority complex!
DETERMINATION TO ATTAIN THE ASPIRATIONS
Determination is simply your firmness of purpose and is what differentiates winners from losers. It is one of the ingredients you have to possess to get you from where you are to where you ought to be. In the course of pursuing your aspirations, many challenges or difficulties might come your way e.g. from reading to excel day and night, attempting to solve clients’ problems, finance, long time for researching, etc. but you must be determined!
You need to be committed to your goals no matter what the circumstances might be! Therefore, be resolute in what you are doing; approach it with an unusual commitment. That is what determination is made of. Remember the saying that ‘when the going gets tough, only the tough get going’. That is, achieving greatness is not a 100 meter dash. It takes a lot of push and energy to really get to where you must go.
It is strange but true, life will want to see how resolved you are to get to your goal. It will try you with difficulties and most times, it will want to present short cuts to your goals but you must not be subjugated (defeated) and perturbed (confused) and move in the direction of your dreams avoiding the short cuts because they are longer on scrutiny (careful and thorough examination) and within professional ethical rules. So, do not allow anything to discourage you from your aspirations. Be resolute (determined)!
POSITIVE CONSCIENCE TO ACHIEVE THE ASPIRATIONS
In planning to achieve your aspirations, you need to change your conscience from the negative information that you are supplied with to positive. For example, some negative sides of your aspirations might be narrated to you, then, you start thinking you cannot make it with the aspirations. This is indeed a fallacy (error in reasoning)!
The fact that some did not make it does not mean that you cannot make it or the fact that some were not successful in the past in their aspirations does not mean you will not be successful in it.
Nevertheless, you need to renew your intention and conscience to positive that no matter how terrifying (frightened) the circumstance is, I must make it! After all, ‘to be a man is not a day’s job.
Prayer is your weapon to cut away any difficulty that comes your way. Man has to recognize his Lord as the Supreme and the Most Powerful to do all things. Therefore, whenever he faces any difficulty in the course of the pursuit of his aspirations, he calls on his Lord who is The: All Seeing, Omniscience, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. So, call your Lord always in time of need and in time of relief, verify, easily will all your difficulties be surmounted (overcome)!
Therefore, seeing some lawyers aspiring proficiency and greatness in few years to come but work aimlessly daily all in the name of no client or submitting CVs to different offices (for some years) is with due respect a waste of time and delay in the attainment of the aspirations of proficiency and greatness in the legal profession, if not doing something small towards the fulfillment of the aspirations in the legal practice. If a lawyer aspires to be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for instance, then, his first ten years in the legal practice ought to be dedicated to rigorous legal practice, especially litigation. Consider how long to conclude a case up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria! He may desire to ask any of those who have been conferred the privilege of Senior Advocate of Nigeria how the circumstance was fair with them! So, whatever you as a lawyer aspires to become in future, you really need to start pursuing it today. Of recent, I read a word on the marble which was broadcast on the Independent Television News Channel (itv News) which attracted my attention as follows: ‘If you dream of moving mountains tomorrow, start moving small stones today’. Therefore, ‘dream big but start small!’ So,you need not be told that if your attitude which determines your altitude as a lawyer is to be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the next ten to fifteen years or to be a judge but you sleep around without making any contribution to the legal profession or desire enjoyment, clubbing, social and merry-making all the time and with little or no continuous legal research, you need not be told that you are likely far from the reality!
Therefore, it is a better approach to sit down and plan what you desire to achieve or attain in few years to come in the legal profession/practice as both short and long term goals. Also, in the legal profession, start making a great impact and be relevant. Participate actively in the bar affairs and the Nigerian Bar Association’s programmes. Dominate and do not give room or chance to be dominated! Conquer and not be conquered! If you need to specialise in your desired area of practice, please do but on time without any delay and get famous in that area. The future is brighter in a very few years to come!
Finally, it is my desire to encourage lawyers of all status to consider my recommended approaches as suggested in the interest of a better future and the fulfillment of aspirations! I wish myself and you a fulfilled aspiration in the very near future! See you at the top!