Fate Of Young Lawyers

Fate Of Young Lawyers

The current election season for both Lahore High Court Bar Association and the Lahore Bar Association was recently concluded. Some celebrated their fateful victory, while the others have somehow accepted their defeat. A few days back, in consequence of the unfortunate conclusion of elections, I heard one junior lawyer saying, “I have been fired from the job. They say we cannot bear your (salary) expenses”. This is not the story of a single young lawyer who fell prey to the concept of ‘hiring for campaigning’, it would have happened to several others as well.

Although this profession of lawyering comes with its own perks, but traditionally, this is not an easy job to bear with. Either you become something, or you end up as nothing, but ultimately it takes up almost an entire lifetime to yield results. Or let us put it the other way, that it takes an entire lifetime for people to recognize that you can do something too.

The day I formally started appearing before the courts, I was told by one of my seniors, “kitaab kisi ke baap ki jageer nahi” (Urdu translation: the book is not owned by anyone’s father). This was their way of encouraging a young lawyer like me to muster the courage of appearing before a court of law. This was a way to put a hand on my shoulder, and reiterate that I could do something too. This was their way of channeling my deep-rooted belief ‘that the only thing that counts is experience’. This was their way of giving me the confidence to swim against the stream. Actually, this is the encouragement and appreciation that everyone needs before commencing his or her career.

From daily experience, it seems that new lawyers are being persuaded that this is not the place where they belong. This is the place, where being a junior lawyer is the most unfortunate thing that could happen to anyone. Be it your senior, any experienced lawyer, or a judge sitting at a level higher than you, you would find none of them to be on your side once you have committed even a minor mistake. Taking risks and ending up committing mistakes should be part of the learning process instead. Precisely, this should be the only way to move forward.

Very humbly, the members of bench, who are placed at a higher level than other lawyers in this profession, and are an integral part of this legal system, are not even doing any favor to encourage the youngsters. As an alternative, they consider these ‘juniors’ as people to whom they show their wrath. What is being done to them is heart piercing since as soon as one’s senior lawyer appears before a court, one is embarrassed for being completely unsuccessful in properly explaining the situation to the court. I wonder how easy it is for them to get away from such a situation.

At times, I have realized that the phenomenon of having experience and superiority in this profession has damaged the career of many young lawyers. Using experience or superiority as a tool to get away with any situation is not the way forward or attitude appropriate for members of bar and the bench.

But the seniors are not the only ones to be blamed. Another important role in this regard is of the law schools which often lack sufficient training for lawyers-in-the-making during their study period. Apart from a few schools, no proper training for working in the courts or handling novel situations is imparted to law students. As a result they lack the patience and courage to work in this ruthless environment and are therefore are unable to make ends meet.

Besides the important role of the members of the bar and bench, half of the responsibility still falls on the lawyers for them to show their commitment and hard work in this profession. The shortcuts these youngsters have started availing are not going to take them to a better place, instead, it is the courage and hard work that would be of some help. There is no denial of the fact that this profession (including its members) is a tough job to handle, but meanwhile focusing on who you are and who you want to be is an easy way to gain courage and confidence of battling the hardships.

We need to persuade the bar and the bench that we are not the ones who have smaller brains, we are not the ones who cannot explain the laws in more comprehensive ways, we are not the badges and banners of a potential candidate for bar, we are not the ones who would support confessional murderers, we are not the ones who would burn tyres on the roads – instead we are the ones who are clear in our thoughts, the ones who are aware of the integrity and respect of our uniform and the ones who are fascinated by our profession. Among us there are those who still believe in what Iqbal once said, “Jawanon ko peeron ka ustaad kar” (Urdu translation: youth to assume leadership).

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any organization with which he might be associated.

Haseeb Ahsan Javed

The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore. He has a degree in Law from Lahore University of Management Sciences. He can be reached at haseeb@hajlaw.com.pk or Twitter: @haseebajaved



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7 Comments

  1. ateeq soomro said:

    we are not the ones who would burn tires on the roads
    what does it mean, this is the way of protest and universally accepted and recognized right of every rational man, do you really believe that lawyers should only be professional though he is part of society. Being the part and partial of this society he has to do politics and in politics one must has the reservations and disappointments being rational. So it is not a good comment to say that lawyers must not be giving their input in the policy making and not initiating against the policies leading to wrong, Indeed always and irrelevant reason cause every fruitful thing useless.

    • Aamir Ali Rana said:

      Bottom line: Superiors should encourage young lawyers instead of bullying them. I think that is his point of focus in this article.

  2. Aamir Ali Rana said:

    Thanks for this wonderful article and I hope you will write more on these type of issues.

  3. waheed ishaq said:

    well narrated,impressive but to me though it is very correct that books are not a heritage but in your profession laws sleeps and awakens in.from the books……that is real fault of English law.I just quote an example……courts has categories 2 type of servants
    one can go for writ petition and honored a servant of state , others are marked as to be governed with a Master/servant rule……this is book…… but where lives the slave…..he is voter to elect a ruler of the state but you declare him servant ,May Allah bless these wisdoms !!!!!! In my experience I will say no law ,constitution or religion is a law ,a constitution or a religion if it does not provide relief to any of the human in its orbit or not save him from pain to perform

  4. Ghulam Shabir said:

    Response to Public queries noted slow,may be attended promptly,otherwise no difference between,”Courting the Law” & Professional Lawyers do not guide/express legal opinion without fee.My 03 queries launched by email dated yesterday are till un attended.

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