This is the second and final part of the interview of Muniretu Maiza is culled from THE NATION. Read the first part here. Given the Opportunity, I will get Married to a Lawyer
Most memorable day
My most memorable day in court was sometime in July 2016 when I appeared in a magistrate court to argue an application and my matter should be struck out for lack of diligent prosecution. The counsel on the other side, a senior, shook my hands and congratulated me and my principal poured encomiums on me. It was happening for the first time and that auspicious moment has reoccurred several times over.
Most embarrassing day
My most embarrassing day in court was the first day I ever appeared in court. My principal gave me the file and said “go and do your best”. Then it dawned on me that I need not embarrass myself but to ask myself: “What would my principal do?” After so much prayer, when my case was called, for a second I had forgotten my name and my case. Not until a colleague called my attention and I found myself saying things that I never knew I could. Then the judge asked if I was a new wig and I responded “yes ma” and she instructed that I learn the language of the court.
Advice to young lawyers
I would encourage young lawyers to be industrious, develop their legal skills, establish a reputation for professionalism and do not let the issues of poor remuneration to obscure their bright futures.
Payment will remain an issue as far as the legal profession is concerned. Young lawyers will not remain young forever. They should learn the whims so that when they become employers they will make the legal profession better.
Dream in the next decade
In ten years time, I should be able to have built a network of law firms which will set the standard practice of law in Nigeria.
Judges taking exception to bad dressing of lawyers
For a judge to chastise the lawyer for his/her dressing, it must have been a serious infraction. It is not proper for lawyer to assume facts, but it could be assumed that since a judge was involved it must have been a superior court where female lawyers are donned in the full complement of a wig, collaret and barristers gown. For the judge to notice impropriety in dressing despite all these, it must have been serious.
Secondly, the issue of improper dressing is not exclusive to young lawyers. I would however advise my colleagues especially the young ones at the bar to exhibit the highest values of bar in their conduct as that would earn them a god reputation in the eyes of the court. As they say “there is no second opportunity for a first impression. To some judges, impression and carriage means a lot. More so, proper, neat and sharp dressing will improve the estimation of a lawyer before his client and may as well win the lawyer more briefs.
I have no regrets. Regrets only come from failure to do what is right that you ought to do.