For all my gripe; dramatic grumbling and ranting, I like being a lawyer. Everyone assumes you do something really important and like a true Nigerian, I like the implied ‘do you know you I am?’ when I strut in the banking hall on my way from court, with my collarette ‘accidentally’, peeping under my sharp black suit. I like the new looks of awe and respect on the faces of family friends, who knew me when a handkerchief was the size of all the clothes I needed, and the bullying big aunties who terrorised me at children’s church years ago. Now, I get to play pretty big stuff and they have to listen! I like it most when people call me to ask for free legal advice and the glee I feel when I say ‘the law does not allow it’.
No matter how much we complain and whinge about the law and long hours; the illusions of self importance that comes with passing Law School sometimes makes up for it. Better still, few people have any idea about what first-year associates really do – take minutes until fingers ache, write letters to clients informing them that the court did not sit again, get harassed for mistakes no one wants to take the blame for, carry out annoying research for a brief you’ll probably never see, review agreements with the sole aim of spotting typos and nothing else. That is close to state secret. Of course, I don’t intend to tell anyone either.