By Ikeugonna Eleke
Lawyers have been advised to embrace the use of technology in their practice, as the world is fast changing.
Justice J.I. Nweze gave the advice on Saturday, December 10, during the third Ozo Amanke Okafor Memorial Lecture and Launch of Ozo Amanke Okafor Bar Centre in Awka, Anambra State.
Justice Nweze, the Admin Judge of Onitsha Judicial Division, urged lawyers to equip themselves for change, saying that state judiciaries had long adopted the electronic filing of court processes, virtual hearing and electronic recording of proceedings, adding that Anambra would begin soon.
He said: ‘The lawyer who will excel must be ready to learn, un-learn and re-learn the law. He must be devoted to continuous legal education. The law report must be his regular companion.
‘The world is going digital, the resource materials are all online, those who refuse to upgrade will be left behind. Some state judiciaries have already adopted the electronic filing processes, virtual hearing and electronic recording of proceedings.
‘We must therefore ensure that not only do we acquire the necessary skills, we must also acquire the necessary tools. The lawyer of the future is one who must be committed to continuous personal development. He must understand that he is a student of life, because the law keeps changing.’
Nweze, while speaking on the life and times of Ozo Amanke Okafor, a foremost and celebrated Anambra indigenous lawyer, also advised young lawyers to be focused on their practice, saying that the use of improper words in court was a product of lack of self discipline.
‘We have heard of several allegations of use of improper words in courtrooms. Often times, it is a product of lack of self discipline. Both the bar and the bench are enjoined by the respective codes and rules to be courteous.
‘Amanke Okafor was known for treating both the bench and his colleagues with courtesy. He thereby avoided unnecessary distractions and battles.
‘If you are to excel the way he did, you need to be meek and humble. You need to be dedicated to the practice. If financial considerations are your motivation for studying law, you may be heading for a frustrated career.’
The event which attracted several eminent lawyers and jurists from Anambra State was chaired by foremost election petition lawyer, Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN). The chairman of NBA in Anambra State, Barr Ken Nwanna, also extolled the virtues of Ozo Amanke Okafor, describing him as a shining light in the legal profession.