The primary objective of the NBA-YLF is to promote the welfare and professional development of Young Lawyers. Accordingly, the current Governing Council led by Samuel Tobi Adebowale, is focused on implementing the following agenda:
The advocacy for enhanced welfare particularly higher remuneration for Young Lawyers so far has been hindered with the lack of an objective articulation of welfare demands and failure to obtain the buy-in of relevant stakeholders. To address this, as a first step, the NBA-YLF in January 2020 initiated a data collection exercise, in collaboration with the YLF branches across the country, with the aim of identifying the following:
cost of living in each region of the NBA;
the current obtainable remuneration;
volume of legal briefs in each location; and
estimated revenue for law firms of varying capacity in each location.
Upon completion of the analysis of the data collected, the NBA-YLF will make recommendations to the National Officers and the National Executive Committee of the NBA (“NBA-NEC”). Some of the recommendations will include wage recommendations; amendment of the extant Rules of Professional Conduct in relation to the registration of law firms with the NBA; and enforcement mechanisms.
The NBA-YLF is continually playing a role in facilitating opportunities for capacity building for young lawyers. In this regard, the NBA-YLF collaborated with the Centre for Law and Business in January 2020 to host a training on the Fundamentals of Marketing for the 21st Century Lawyer.
Deliberations are currently ongoing to ensure similar trainings as the above are facilitated by the following organisations between February and March 2020:
Lagos Energy Academy;
the Nigerian Stock Exchange,
the Lagos Chambers of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC);
TechHive Advisory; and
the Africa Finance Corporation.
Further, the NBA-YLF plans to hold capacity building workshops in the three regions of the NBA as follows:
The NBA-YLF will be liaising with various organisations to facilitate Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) for Young Lawyers. The avenue for such trainings will include online courses and talks are presently in advanced stages to finalise a partnership with an online learning platform for this purpose. Whilst the platform provider will ensure accessibility of the courses to young lawyers across the country, the NBA-YLF will liaise with senior lawyers and law firms to provide the course content and also ensure that NBA’s CLE points are attached to the courses.
The NBA-YLF is well placed to support the initiatives of various branches of the NBA in organising mentorship arrangements for Young Lawyers across the country. The NBA-YLF has designed a Mentorship Programme to be launched in each region of the NBA at the corresponding Capacity Building Workshop for the regions.
The Mentorship Programme will be implemented in phases. In the first phase, Fifty (50) young lawyers in each region will be matched with Fifty (50) Senior Lawyers whose areas of expertise align with the desired areas of specialization of the Young Lawyers, to create an avenue for mentoring and grooming of the Young Lawyers. In this regard, the NBA-YLF is presently identifying senior lawyers across public service and private practice, to provide guidance to the NBA-YLF and Young Lawyers interested in different areas of endeavor.
To promote thought leadership among Young Lawyers for the benefit of the legal profession and the society at large, the NBA-YLF will be promoting intellectual endeavours such as research and writing. In January 2020, the NBA-YLF launched a nationwide essay competition for which submissions closed on February 18, 2020. Winners of the essay competition will receive up to Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) in prizes, among other gifts.
In addition, the NBA-YLF is presently in talks with LACIAC, the NBA Section on Legal Practice, the NBA Section on Business Law and a number of global law firms for the design and execution of a Business Advocacy Competition expected to take off in May 2020. The Business Advocacy Competition will feature a preliminary brief writing stage and an oratory contest at the grand finale expected to hold in the course of the 2020 NBA Annual General Conference.
The NBA-YLF will use best efforts to identify and facilitate sponsorship opportunities for young lawyers seeking to attend conferences of the NBA, International Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
The beneficiaries of such sponsorship opportunities will be selected through a merit-based shortlisting process such as the submission of Statements of Purpose and relevant documents confirming good standing within the NBA.