While the legal profession and the practice of law like lady justice has been most welcoming to all its entrants, yielding both enviable perks and dividends to its bold. This has done little to change public perception of lawyers. It should come as no surprise then that only a few months back lawyers in Nigeria were described by a certain EFCC boss as “rogues and vultures who cannot play the roles of priests in the temple of justice”. Assertions like these (though grossly wide of the mark) serve to blue pencil an already growing text of negative public perception of a noble bench and bar. In times past, lawyers have been the very butt of risible quotes like those describing them as people “skilled in the circumvention of the law”.
I had barely ventured out of the university before I was served my first taste of this same jibe. Upon my graduation from the University of Benin, a family friend sent me a congratulatory message on Facebook that was more sarcastic than celebratory. He congratulated me on the successful completion of my LLB degree but added that he did hope I wouldn’t turn out to be a “charge and bail lawyer”. The statement stung me like wasp. I felt obligated to repay the kindness with something in kind. I simply retorted albeit jokingly that “the charge and bail” option had never crossed my mind but that since he had mentioned it, I would look into it only that I feared I might not possess the work ethic and discipline of a lawyer of the kind.
Lawyers have often been thought of as the beggarly and solicitous brood always at run-down street corners and tree shades in ambush for hapless clients with a quick-fix bail application matter. It is such that being a lawyer in Nigeria is almost by public definition, to be a “charge and bail”. That is understandable since the sight of lawyers running into police stations in the course of discharging client duties is commonplace. In actual fact however, the legal profession is a far cry from this hideous picture painted in people’s minds.
Law practice is challenging no doubt and the legal profession like every other profession enjoys no peculiar immunity from the torpedinous forces of demand and supply that have ravaged the millennial job market often living unemployed casualties in its wake. Still, the legal profession remains a real noble and rewarding profession by any other name it is called. To date, it remains the only profession that attracts both the young, middle aged and well advanced. In law classrooms the world over, it’s common to see both the young and old, father-son figures exchange banters as classroom equals oblivious of wide age differences. The many who come to study law do so because they see an LLB degree as a catalyst in forging a self-fulfilling career or building upon an already existing one. A degree in law roundly prepares students for much bigger role-playing in society. It is for the same reason doctors, accountants, engineers, entrepreneurs and what have you seek law degrees even after being schooled in other disciplines. To them at least, an LLB degree represents the missing icing on their career cakes.
With that said already here are 5 reasons why a law degree still guarantees career fulfillment.
(1) A law degree comes with a measure of prestige
(2) It will aid your analytical reasoning and help you distinguish between what is fact and assumption in the rumor mill of society.
(3) Monetary reward
Hey, don’t forget the monetary rewards. We know you are passionate enough to give legal advice for free, but still it can provide you more than enough mint to tide you up. You can ask for a fee sometimes.
(4) A variety of career openings.
The sweet thing about a career in law is that it will afford you so many career options that you will be so spoilt for choice. You could even wake up any day and decide you done with transactional or criminal law and immediately head for someplace else in law. It’s all open seasons you know!
(5) Mental stimulation
All law studies are both engaging and intellectually stimulating. Result is you stand to lose nothing on the intellectual side of things.
Patrick Herbert is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Law Student Hub. He is an LL.B. Law graduate from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He’s a life enthusiast, a budding writer and internet entrepreneur. Patrick is deeply passionate about law and research and has inspired many with his thought-provoking articles. To get in touch, follow him on social media.