When it comes to being successful, there is nothing sudden about it.
Dream realisation and goal actualisation come with deliberate decisions. But, most important of all is passion. It is this passion that has inspired David Bukola Esq, a principal partner of Paraclete Chambers who runs his practice in Akure, the capital and commercial centre of Ondo in south-western Nigeria.
Bukola has focused his legal work on real estate, probate matters, divorces, some civil and some criminal matters since during his three years of practice. He rents office space in the city, a busy centre of half a million people and the trade centre for the crop farming region.
Despite his passion for law, Bukola said there were many challenges faced by young lawyers starting out in Nigeria – the biggest being remuneration. “It is as bad as earning about N25,000 £ 54 and, below, monthly.”
“This is so discouraging, especially as it is accepted and encouraged by seniors in our profession – the very people who should be helping us.”
“It is always a ‘do-more-earn-less’ scenario with young lawyers doing all the legal research, drafting, filing and, sometimes, even going as far as undertaking personal services like keeping up with some paper work and services supposed to be the job of a court bailiff. To cut costs, young lawyers are used for virtually everything by their seniors,” he said.
Going forward, he suggests (and urges) the Nigerian Bar Association to introduce minimum pay for young lawyers and to enforce this is implemented. A minimum amount of N50,000 (£108) a month “would be good”.
“The current situation is humiliating,” he says.
Bukola says his passion for the law was inspired by a desire to help the oppressed and to create an ordered society.
As the principal partner of a growing firm, he is working earnestly on increasing his client base. Aside from phone and email conversations, he attends to two to three people on average every week. He shares his office with a colleague and they have a secretary coordinating their meetings.
He was happy to share his experience of a recent case he handled which was about a tenancy matter at the rent tribunal. The case was undefended making it a smooth ride for him and he won.
Bukola graduated with a law degree from Obafemi Awolowo University and he proceeded to Kano Law School in 2015 and 2016 respectively. He said he hoped life would improve for newly graduated lawyers in Nigeria and that the NBA would assist young lawyers in every possible way.
“Sometimes, when you are always being pushed to the wall, even passion can be frustrated.”