The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, has cautioned newly enrolled lawyers not to perceive their venture as one characterised by monetary gains, but rather be committed to diligence and the ethics of the profession.
He said the legal profession is not a “gold mine”, adding “the moment the new lawyers see it that way, it truncates future fortunes and disadvantages societal impact”.
“A more enduring success is one that derives from professional values and work to impact positively on society as whole, particularly on the lives of the underprivileged, the poor and the voiceless,” he said.
He gave the advice during the enrollment of 95 lawyers (mini call) at the Law Complex in Accra. Out of the 95 lawyers, 30 were females.
According to the Chief Justice, some people have erroneous assumptions that a call to the bar is the end of legal education.
“It is false because even though the call is the ultimate, which initiates the practice of law, it is imperative that you avail yourselves of every available opportunity and continued legal education as this is the only way to keep abreast of the changes in law,” he stated.
The Chief Justice further indicated that, with years of practice, dedication and commitment, particularly under the tutelage and supervision of a senior legal practitioner, the newly enrolled lawyers would obtain good basis to the practice of law.
“…you will not only learn the procedures of court and the fine nuances of the law, but also you will receive a good foundation to the practice of law,” he told the new lawyers.
He told the new lawyers that the COVID-19 pandemic had also ushered in new ways of conducting business, and urged them to take advantage of joining training programmes so they could better present their cases before the courts.
He advised the lawyers to be mindful of the courtroom language and etiquette. “Avoid the use of indecent language, indecorous and intemperate language, show of arrogance, self-importance and other undesirable attitudes. Avoid the application of improper and unwholesome methods of procuring justice for your client,” he admonished.
He added: “The rules frown on touting, and so you must desist from that… You must respect client-lawyer confidentiality. Do not mislead the court in your advocacy by acting in a way that damages the reputation of the profession.”
According to the Chief Justice, the General Legal Council will not close its eyes on any infractions on their part if the Council’s attention is drawn.