Africa Legal co-founder, Scott Cowan, reflects on another difficult year that has inspired him to aim higher with a clear focus into the future, and a renewed urgency for building skills in young lawyers.
As we fast approach the end of our second year of living with this pandemic, it is very easy to focus on the negatives. However, I have decided to end the year on a high, and plan to have a clear and focussed mind for when we start it all over again in 2022.
Looking back over the past 12 months, I smile with a sense of pride in what we have all achieved here at Africa Legal. We have had battles, that is for sure. We have seen highs and lows and we have had wins and losses, but what we have really cemented is our enviable position as the premier legal media and learning business across the WHOLE continent. We are incredibly humbled and grateful to you all for the continuous support you have shown.
I was recently reading an article about the winners in business and what industries have really benefited throughout this pandemic and, believe it or not, it has been the recruitment industry.
There have been many significant moves in the international legal markets and those have been highlighted recently in the UK legal media, but there have also been an incredible number of high level legal moves across Africa which we need to highlight more to the global audience.
We have seen numerous changes in management, London office openings, and teams and partners at African law firms moving to other African law firms. We have also seen a big migration to the international law firms, especially to Canada.
My personal view is that this is all a good sign that things are getting better and, more importantly, that the global law firms are seeing the incredible talent that is spread across the legal profession in Africa. There will be a slight gasp from many at my last sentences, but change is often good, and we will inevitably see a much more robust legal market with talent coming home to Africa with skills they have learnt internationally and can apply to local firms and clients.
We must also accept that there is a lot for us to do if we want to stem the flow of our brightest lawyers going to the bright lights across the globe. Therefore, our commitment to you all is that we will work with you to increase the practical skills of our lawyers across the continent.
We must furnish these young lawyers with skills that will enable them to have an international perspective on law and show them how to apply cutting edge techniques to their clients across Africa.
There has never been a more pressing time for us to work together to ensure training and pay for younger lawyers are both competitive and on par with our individual market salaries.
Africa Legal has the African legal community at its heart and we continue to push and disrupt the market to be both commercial and competitive. At the same time we must work harder to ensure our future lawyers are equipped with the necessary skills to ensure they are capable of dealing with the incredible amount of legal work that will be both heading to and generated in Africa in the not so distant future.
I look forward to working with you all in the exciting year ahead of us and I wish you and your families a happy and healthy New Year.
See you in 2022!
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