The 7 Takeaways from the last Business Law Weekly Series 18: A Fireside Chat with Mfon Usoro.
1. The importance of business development: Lawyers should take advantage of speaking engagements to enhance their expertise, visibility, and potential for new business prospects.
From these speaking engagements, lawyers have the opportunity to network and bring in business for the firm. A lawyer’s ability to bring in business for the firm put them on track for consideration to join the partnership.
2. Globalization of legal services: Calling for reform, another lesson learnt is the need for Nigeria to develop and incorporate rules and institutions charged with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing the collaboration of local law firms with foreign law firms.
3. Priorities for the incoming government in the areas of shipping practice. Some highlighted priorities include:
– Development of more ports in different areas of Nigeria.
– Development of new policy structures.
– In the Merchant shipping Act 2007, new sections should be incorporated to provide for the vacuum of the law relating to bills of lading.
4. Benefits of active involvement in NBA-SBL activities and in the law career generally:
– Active membership offers opportunities for growth in the legal career. Young lawyers should join committees of interest and volunteer within those committees. This allows one to carve a name in that practice area.
– Specialization in a practice area with business prospects is key. It’s not too early to carve a niche for yourself and fasttrack your career to your desired practice area and career goals.
5. How to propose new practice areas within the firm: It is possible to submit a business case to the partnership for a practice area with prospects. In the alternative, you can also continue to grow your skills and knowledge until a time when you can pitch the practice area to the partnership. With dedication and hard work, you can turn your passion into a profitable and fulfilling career.
6. Managing leadership roles in male dominated areas of the legal career: As a woman, understanding yourself and what you want out of any legal venture is important. Although it is not easy to manage leadership roles in the legal space as a woman, it is not impossible. While undertaking these leadership roles:
– Be firm but not disrespectful.
– Be polite but let followers understand their expectations.
– Lead by example and avoid making excuses because of your gender. This may involve stretching yourself.
– Be flexible.
7. Law is a noble profession for gentlemen. Distinguish yourself in your dressing, be ethical and faithful to the legal profession.