Seven Misconceptions about Lawyers that must change
Every day Lawyers encounter stereotypes on the street, on social media, in main street media and in fact everywhere including homes. There are so many of them, the good, the bad and the ugly. The good like all Lawyers are intelligent, the bad like all lawyers are troublesome and the ugly like all lawyers belong to secret societies or are buried upside down when they die. While Lawyers take unfair advantage of some stereotypes that tend to add value, there are others that manifest hardship. I am particularly interested in those that tend to manifest hardship. Remember, I write as I like.
That Lawyers are members of the Judiciary: Lawyers wish to inform you that they are not members of the Judiciary. When people blame the Judiciary for being corrupt or archaic most times they ignorantly include Lawyers as part of the Judiciary. Each time the courts deliver controversial Judgments, Lawyers are usually confronted with ignorant statements from the public like “See what you people are doing in the Judiciary” “Why are you guys so corrupt in the Judiciary?” The only Lawyers who are in the Judiciary are Lawyers who are in paid employment in the Ministry of Justice. Aduke wants you to know this. Please don’t count us in whenever you are blaming the Judiciary. We are not part of them.
That it is the primary duty of Lawyers to get you out of trouble: When I was called to the Nigerian Bar, the most popular statement I heard from my friends and relations who are not Lawyers is “So I can now get into trouble since I have a Lawyer now” See, let me tell you, we feel better when you brief us to advice you on how not to get into trouble than when you brief us to advice you on how to get out of trouble. Aduke wants you to know that before you begin that business talk, that transaction, sign that contract etc, find a lawyer to advice you. It is our primary duty to guide you from trouble. However, if you play smart and avoid a lawyer in the beginning and get into trouble, we will still be willing to get you out. Either way, we win.
That Practicing Lawyers are actually the ones that attend court: No. You are wrong. There are Lawyers who are practicing Law but they don’t go to court. There are transactional Lawyers who practice law giving legal advice and preparing legal documents for a living. You won’t find them in court but they are in active practice. In fact for example there is a growing area of practice for Lawyers now that involve strictly contract reviewing for startups. Click here to find them. Aduke wants you to know that lawyers who are in the business of renting out and managing houses on behalf of landlords are not included here. They are not practicing Law. I can’t shout.
That Lawyers are Liars: I know so many non-lawyers will disagree with what I am about to say. Lawyers are not Liars. They only challenge you to prove your claims. That is all.