Aug 17, 2018

LEADERSHIP & CAPACITY BUILDING CONFERENCE: For Probono Lawyers and Legal Aid Service Providers in Nigeria

On the 15th of August, 2018, a network for pro bono lawyers was organized by the Prisoner’s Right Advocacy Initiative (P.R.A.I). The centerpiece of the event was basically to train and encourage Nigerian lawyers working in the legal aid unit or practicing some form of pro bono services on many ways to deliver quality services to their clients. Additionally, the conference also aimed at isolating the challenges faced by pro bono lawyers in discharging their duties.

The event was hosted by Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem and Katumi Oboirien. Present at the occasion were special guest speakers including Hannah McCrea and Nyasa Hickey from the Brooklyn Defenders Service, New York, U.S.A and a host of other panelist including Aderera Olayinka; Shakrat Ikotu; Olumide Babalola; Lawson Olanipekun; Mrs Mutiat, the Heads of the Prison service amongst others. A goodwill message was presented by Meghan Chapman of the Justice and empowerment initiative. The panel was chaired by Janet Gbam of Fortitude attorneys. The event was hosted at the LCCI conference center, Ikeja, Lagos.

Some of the thoughts shared involved the applications of world best strategizes and practices such as
1.       Specialization
2.       Work together within the profession
3.       Forming Partnerships with Non-Law Professionals
4.       Track Outcomes and Measure Quality
5.       Targeted & Strategic Political Advocacy

Here are some lesson to take home from the event -
a.     Experience + Creativity = Quality. Lawyers must seek experience first and above pecuniary gains. In the long run there is a better chance of offering better services to our clients.

b.     Lawyers  must have a large network of Lawyer friends and Non-Law professionals. As they can help facilitate handy solutions to many difficulties we might have in carrying our duties to the client.

c.     Lawyers must continually train others, in order to help the law profession.

d.     One major solution to solving prison congestion is enforcing community service for simple offences.

e.     Big and small Firms have a shared duty of funding probono works.