11 June 2012

Gambia: Lawyer Emmanuel Joof Inspires Law Students

Lawyer Emmanuel Joof, the project manager of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has advised students who are aspiring to take up a career in law to be law-abiding, and respectful. According to him, many have been denied admission to the legal profession later in their life because they have had a serious brush with the law in the past, especially crimes involving dishonesty.

Lawyer Joof said this on Friday at the third motivational lecture of Francis DeGaulle Njie Foundation (FDNF) at the Girls Guide hall in Kanifing, on the theme: 'Pursuing a career in law'. He said there are a number of students that opt to study law in order to pursue a career in law as a lawyer.

He said some see the profession as prestigious, noble and respectable, and others see it as a lucrative profession with the potential to make lots of money. Such, he said, is the nature of the legal profession. "This is especially so of court room lawyers, who are in the business of prosecuting, defending and representing their clients; they are usually not liked by the other or opposing side," he explained.

Lawyer Joofwent on: "To study law means that you must have an interest in law and related areas; such as current and international affairs, history, government and politics etc. These are usually the kind of students that are attracted to the legal profession. Many students who like to debate, discuss, argue and are of a curious mind end up wanting to study law".

He further said, " you cannot acquire good oral and written skills if you have not read widely. Law Joof added, is about reading and researching and expressing yourself fluently and confidently both orally and in writing, [and] you will have to be persuasive".

Further advising the satudents, Lawyer Joof said students will have to study hard to get the good grades which will allow them admission in an institution or university to study law and thatif they happen to get admission at the university, they must continue to study hard even after graduation. He noted that if they opt to be licensed lawyers (legal practitioners) they will have to enroll in a law school to undergo rigorous training both theory and mainly practice.

Furhter in his speach, the lawyer revealed that the training of a lawyer is so diverse and vast and prepares the person to be very versatile and adaptable. "By the time a lawyer finishes his/her training, they would have acquired analytical skills, well grounded in the law; they would also have acquired the ability to research, develop good writing skills and the ability to articulate their ideas both orally and in writing.

TheUNDP project manager went on to inform the students that many institutions and companies seek a person with a law degree and that most institutions and companies today have a legal department that employ people with law backgrounds.

The chairman of Francis DeGaulle Njie Foundation Education Committee, Hassan Touray said the purpose of the seminar was to raise awareness to the young people of this country about their educational environment and for them to be awakened to the opportunities around; for them to pursue a career in law; and to understand that it takes determination, discipline and hard work. He added that in some years to come Gambia would continue to develop and grow and become a country to be reckoned with.

For her part, Janet Sallah-Njie, said the reason for the motivational lecture is to motivate students to effectively pursue their career; hence noting the significance of the lecture. Madam Sallah-Njie said, also, the purpose of the lecture is to help create a new crop of professionals for nation building and to also provide contacts and mentors to students.

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