Nigeria’s first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), Mrs. Folanke Solanke, has cautioned lawyers against indulging in corruption.
She gave the warning at the weekend at a lecture, “The vocation and the capacity of a lawyer,” to the law students of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.
She said the corruption at the bar and bench was a betrayed of the legal profession, adding that it was even catastrophic to find a judge being accused of corruption.
Solanke advised lawyers, against poor use of the English Language while addressing the courts or arguing cases, as well as poor dressing and lateness to courts.
She advised female lawyers against wearing dangling earrings to court, but smaller ones that could fit a moderate hairstyle.
She said the concept of African time was an aberration, saying that one was either punctual or late. “African time is a national malaise that must be jettisoned.”
The 85-year old legal icon, said lawyers’ lazy attitude to work was capable of eroding their intelligence quotient, adding that those who were addicted to the internet as replacement for books were likely to be unsuccessful.
According to her, internet is just an additional educational facility that should not be seen as a substitute for reading physical books.
Solanke urged lawyers not to rely on ‘cut and paste’ mentality and methodology because they amounted to copying another person’s work, which was a form of plagiarism that was unlawful.
“A good command of the English Language is a sine-qua-non for success at the bar. To succeed in the law profession therefore, you must seek to cultivate a good command of language, which is the lawyers’ tool of trade.
“When you are called upon to address a judge, it is with your use of words that you could persuade the judge of the rightness of your case. Lawyers who do not read books would not succeed.
“This is not a curse, but an undisputable professional fact tested with my 54 years advocacy at the bar, with 36 years of them as the first female SAN in Nigeria,” she said.