Wednesday, 07 December 2022 05:15

[OPINION] An Open Letter to the New Wigs - Stan Alieke

For the brief period that I have been a lawyer, I have learnt some few things that have helped  me stand out as a young lawyer and I would love to share thirteen of them with the new wigs. 

1.Law practice is a noble profession and appearance matters a lot. Borrow some wisdom from Robbert Greene’s Laws of power that if you dress as royalty you will be treated like a king. If you dress well, big and high-profile individuals will approach you with briefs. Don’t look tattered, unless you want to be regarded as a charge and bail lawyer.

2. Let the new wigs know that practicing law and surviving in the practice is wild and takes a whole lot; therefore, being book smart is important but you need to also be street smart, have street credibility, and have a hustling spirit to survive in the practice. 

3. You need to be a voracious networker and a confident marketer to scale as a lawyer. Therefore, attend events (especially nonlawyers events), meet new people that are not lawyers and network, always introduce yourself as a lawyer and market yourself. These are proven ways of getting briefs. 

4. If you have the opportunity to work in another sector that offers better pay and better opportunities other than the law sector please grab it with both hands unless you are passionate about practicing this law. 

5. As you must have learned in law school that the lawyers’ rules of professional conduct (RPC) preaches against having a second hustle or a second job as another source of income joined to your law practice, but if there is any rule of the Rpc you ever plan to break, please break this rule and have a second hustle so you don’t die of hunger or turn into a charge and bail lawyer. 

6. Mentorship and learning under senior lawyers at the early stage of your career is good but if you can build your law practice by yourself and scale it immediately you get called please do that for it is better. 

7. I have found out that the amount you charge a client determines how the client will rate you. If you charge some clients low they will doubt your competence to handle the case. Therefore never charge outrageous low fees just because you want to survive, you will only earn the title of a charge and bail lawyer.

8. Don’t accept every brief, don’t be an all-weather lawyer, let people know what you stand for, and maintain a standard. 

9. Create an online profile, everything is now online. Clients now search for lawyers online. Google online profile is the best for now and it’s free. 

10. When you get a brief, handle that brief with a high level of competence because a pleased client will bring more briefs and will definitely refer more clients to you. 

11. Do not believe the fallacy that you have to be active in litigation or be a litigation lawyer to make money from the law practice. Corporate practice pays more than litigation. If you doubt me ask the likes of Messrs Olumide Akpata, Gbenga Oyebode, Asue Ighodalo, Adewale Tinubu, Ibrahim Jimoh, etc.

12. Build relationships and sustain relationships with clients and even with co-lawyers. 

13. Learn new skills and get more degrees; as much as you can afford to add to your law degree, that will make you the first choice for the employers of labor in the job market. 

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