The Chief Justice (CJ) of Ghana, Georgina Theodora Wood has told newly enrolled Lawyers that the ‘legal profession is not a gold mine and therefore requires that they hasten slowly and shun greed and avarice.’
Her Ladyship said this yesterday at the Call-To-The-Bar ceremony in Accra, where a total of 250 (two hundred and fifty) men and women were called to the Ghana Bar.
Mrs Wood also informed the fresh Lawyers that the ‘legal profession is one that will exact of them a firm commitment to scholarship, a zeal for integrity, honest hard work and professional excellence.’
‘Indeed, measuring professional success in purely monetary and material terms only, or allowing the allurement or the trappings of wealth and power, position and fame, to blind you into throwing overboard the core values and skills that engender true professionalism, will only lead to your doom’, Her Ladyship warned.
The CJ showed the new Lawyers the more excellent road to travel by assuring them that a commitment to ethical lawyering and hard work would earn them the rewards of a good financial harvest, and all the other advantages annexed to it, including the people’s trust, respect and honour. She added that the ‘more enduring success is one that derives from professional values and work that brings satisfaction to clients and impacts positively on society as a whole.’
‘In so saying, I would urge you to take your time to study and hone your craft to perfection. It will take years of practice, dedication, commitment and patience to learn the procedures of court and the fine nuances of the law. You must start this by pursuing the mandatory six months pupillage programme under the tutelage and supervision of senior legal practitioner with utmost seriousness. Do away with arrogance and self-importance, so that you would receive a good foundation on which to build the practice of law. Quite apart from your pupil masters, I have no doubt that there are other experienced senior Lawyers who are more than willing to mentor you and help you to build your craft, provided of course that you are willing to learn from them’, the Honourable Ladyship advised.
Mrs Wood also said that the fresh Lawyers’ knowledge of the law alone was not enough, adding that for them to play a useful role in society, they ‘need to understand the political, socio-economic, cultural, as well as the international contexts within which they will function effectively as good lawyers, stating that this is because the law does not function in a vacuum.’
‘I implore you, as fresh Lawyers, in your practise of the law, to resolve not to become mere additions to the legal profession, but rather to be counted as positive contributors, shaping the frontiers of the law and making it relevant to our times. Wherever you choose to practise your trade, in all you do, spare a little thought for this nation (Ghana). Have the interest of this nation and the welfare of the people at heart. You must hunger and thirst for integrity, the capstone on which other virtues hang’, the Chief Justice charged them.