Friday, 29 May 2020


By Chinecherem Ubaka

Fresh from law school, you are a very young professional bustling with so much energy and dreams. Each lawyer now to his/her path. Just in case you have chosen the path of floating a private legal practice, it is very much possible and should be encouraged. This also suggests that you have the  wherewithal to do so. However, let me warn you IT IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY. I mean it isn't easy for any young professional just starting out his/her career. Nevertheless, the path to Independence and a rewarding career is a journey filled with roses and bullets.

Firstly, be competent. You need to know your onion. Regardless of the sector you seek to specialize on, you must demonstrate a high knowledge of the way and manner the sector operates and develops. This is to ensure optimum service delivery to your clients.

Secondly, you have to be brave. You need to be courageous and firm. Sinenhlanhla Passcara Mthembu, the 25-yr old lawyer who recently floated her private legal practice; Passcara and Partners Incorporated, noted that " I had to be brave. I took it as a challenge upon myself to do it. No matter what people say, I'm going to do this". Deciding to start your own law firm is a bold decision. Therefore, you have to remain true to the goal and be intentional towards achieving it.

Thirdly, personal branding. Whether or not you are floating a law firm, your personal brand is very important. There are avenues people go to in order to have an inkling into your personality. One of them is social media. Please, be careful of what you like and post on such platforms especially LinkedIn. As a professional, people look up to you as an authority. Hence,  you need to increase your  professional visibility. The truth is that nobody wants to do business with someone that doesn't not  have an online presence in today's world. Furthermore, you have to learn how to leverage on the networking tool. This is very important otherwise, where will your clients come from? To network properly and effectively, your personal brand matters a lot. Please do not neglect your horizontal network i.e. your call mates, classmates etc. They can make or mar you in future. 
When marketing your brand and legal practice, be careful so you don't run foul of the Rules of Professional Conduct (2007).

Fourth, understand the business environment, for instance, legal practice today is not the same with legal practice two or three years before. Prominent amongst the new Norm is digital law practice. You need to be proactive and churn out practice modes that make you stand out amongst many of your competitors. Think about your business plan, ask questions where confused. 

Lastly, respect. Respect is one of the foundation of the legal profession. Respect the senior colleagues, respect your colleagues, respect the court, respect yourself and respect your junior colleagues as well.

May your endeavors be successful.

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