Tobenna Erojikwe Parleys with Ebonyi Bar, Urges Constant Capacity Building in an Increasingly Globalised and Complex World

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NBA-ICLE), Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe, recently met and spoke with lawyers of the Abakiliki, Onueke, and Afikpo Branches of the NBA in Ebonyi State on Friday, January 26, 2024.

During the engaging parley, Erojikwe and the lawyers had frank discussions about the future of legal practice in Nigeria and how to empower lawyers to become more prosperous, especially amid the current economic downturn and cost of living crisis.

While addressing the audience, Tobenna Erojikwe urged lawyers to broaden their horizons, position themselves to be competitive, and capitalise on opportunities in an increasingly borderless and globalised world. “We must look beyond our immediate surroundings and tap into new and evolving markets, domestically and globally,” he stated.

One of the focal points of Erojikwe’s address was the imperative for constant capacity building within the legal community. He stressed that continuous professional development is essential for lawyers to navigate the complexities of the modern legal landscape successfully. “The legal profession demands a commitment to lifelong learning. Lawyers must proactively seek opportunities for skill development to stay ahead,” he asserted. Erojikwe further emphasised the need for constant capacity building within the profession. “The legal sector is becoming very sophisticated, thanks to technology, globalisation, and shifting client demands. As lawyers, we must commit to continuous learning and acquisition of new skills to remain relevant,” he told the lawyers.

To enrich the discourse and to further share industry best practices, Erojikwe invited Kelechi Ibe, a fast-rising young commercial lawyer from a leading Nigerian law firm, to share his experiences and perspectives. “Learning from young trailblazers like Kelechi will give us fresh insights and ideas to reposition the profession,” Erojikwe noted.

In his remarks, Ibe urged lawyers not to be afraid of change and innovation. “We must leverage technology more, adopt more efficient processes, and find creative ways to add value for clients in this complex marketplace,” Ibe stated.

The event also shed light on the pressing issue of the cost of living crisis and the economic downturn affecting Nigerians with legal practitioners not spared from the biting effects of the Nigerian economy. Erojikwe addressed the concerns, urging lawyers to explore avenues beyond their traditional practice areas. “Diversification is key. Lawyers must explore different practice areas and embrace interdisciplinary collaboration to stay resilient in challenging times,” he emphasised.

The chairman of the NBA-ICLE also underscored the importance of fostering a sense of community among lawyers. “Collaboration is a powerful tool in our profession. Lawyers should support one another and share experiences to collectively overcome challenges and seize opportunities,” he remarked.

Furthermore, Erojikwe advocated for the enforcement of the 2023 approved scale of charges for legal practitioners. He argued that implementing these measures would provide much-needed relief to lawyers in Nigeria, guaranteeing a minimum earning capacity and opportunities for every legal professional. “We must work collectively to ensure that the approved scale of charges is upheld, fostering a fair and sustainable environment for legal practitioners in our country,” he urged.

Overall, Erojikwe’s parley presented a unique opportunity and forum for Nigerian lawyers to reflect, exchange ideas, learn from each other, and chart a way forward to empower themselves and reposition the legal profession.

“We face many challenges but also have immense opportunities if we take decisive action,” Erojikwe told the lawyers. “With vision, innovation, and collaboration, we can transform these difficulties into springboards for positive change.”

As the legal landscape in Nigeria grapples with economic uncertainties, Erojikwe’s engagement with the NBA Abakiliki, Onueke, and Afikpo Branches served as a rallying point for legal practitioners to proactively shape their future. The emphasis on global competitiveness, continuous learning, and the enforcement of fair compensation underscored the commitment to not only surviving but thriving in the face of challenges. There is a growing sense of urgency and a need to act now to safeguard the future of the profession. The time for talk is over; now is the time for action.