In line with our capacity building and growth enhancement initiative intelligently designed for our Interns to meet distinguished individuals who are reputed to be Trail Blazers and have contributed significantly to the growth of legal profession, we visited Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun, SAN, FCIArb. FCArb, Managing Partner, Afe Babalola, SAN & Co. on Wednesday, 8th September, 2021, with our Batch E-2021 Interns in tow.
It was a day that will remain etched in the memories of all of us at HARLEM. The Learned Silk graciously fielded questions from our Interns, sprouting words of wisdom and a broad spectrum of tried-and-true approaches that can assist every lawyer surmount the hurdles that lie subterraneanly along the path of successful legal practice, leaving everyone present highly motivated, thrilled and impassioned. All the pieces of advice offered by the Learned Silk reflected the ample benefits of perseverance, resilience and unimpaired value of mentorship in negotiating challenges. See pictures below:
It is recalled that Chief Folake Solanke, SAN, CON. was admitted into Gray’s Inn, London, in 1960 and returned to Nigeria in 1962 to practice law before becoming the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1981.
We appreciate the Learned Silk for her unflinching support for what we do at HARLEM. It is on record that Chief ‘Folake Solanke visited #harlemsolicitors in 2019. See report of her visit here: https://lnkd.in/dVxqntG
The fulcrum of the Learned Silk’s speech at the occasion was bottomed on tripodal points: integrity, punctuality and respect, as the desiderata for successful career in the legal profession. The HARLEM Team arrived the Learned Silk’s Redbricks Home at 11.45am. The Principal Partner, Babatunde Lawal, Esq., was accompanied by the entourage named below:
- Temitope Ekundayo, Esq. (Associate in the firm);
- The Batch E-2021 Interns:
Victor Bamikole from Bowen University, Victoria Adeosun from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Oluwaseye Olanrewaju from Bowen University, Foluso Oyekale from Joseph Ayo Babalola University and Adesola Ogunbanjo from Olabisi Onabanjo University.
All the guests received warmly and directed to be seated in the waiting room by the Learned Silk’s chaperon. At exactly 12pm, it was time to meet the Learned Silk as the chaperon led us into the large living room where the Learned Silk received us with a beaming smile.
- PRINCIPAL PARTNER’S OPENING REMARK-
The Principal Partner thanked the Learned Silk for accepting to receive the HARLEM Team and also expressed condolence over the demise of the Learned Silk’s elder Sister who had just passed on to glory. All the HARLEM Team members thereafter took turns in introducing themselves.
- HIGHLIGHTS OF THE INTERACTIVE SESSION-
The session commenced with the HARLEM Team taking turns to ask questions on a broad spectrum of issues. Noteworthy amongst the tips the Learned Silk shared during the interactive session are as follows:
Level of preparedness in every case:
The Learned Silk emphasized the need to always be prepared for every case or task, noting that it is important that one should not classify any case as either small or big as every case is important. The Learned Silk further stated that while preparing for a case, it is equally important to be ready to contest any situation by also preparing from the perspective of the opposing side.
Highest respect for the Judge:
The Learned Silk stressed that there is a need to have high regard and reverence for the Judges of courts as they have been placed in a position of authority.
Learned Seniors at the Bar:
The Learned Silk stated that Seniors at the Bar are to be good examples in appearance, words, actions and conduct themselves in a manner that will impact their junior colleagues positively. The Learned Seniors must also be ready to correct the juniors when they err and put them on the right track.
Lawyers without Borders:
The Learned Silk stressed that every lawyer should aim to be a Lawyer without Borders, in the sense a lawyer must always distinguish his or herself within and outside Nigeria. To be different, a lawyer must read from law books and other books as well. They must read more and widely because the more a lawyer reads, the better he or she writes and gets enlightened.
In response to the question on how the Learned Silk was able to successfully manage the role of a woman in the home and the Learned Silk’s role as the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the Learned Silk noted that time management is important. Since time is a precious commodity, it is advisable for lawyers to make judicious use of their time.
The Learned Silk noted that the need for time management alongside punctuality in the legal professional cannot be overemphasized. A lawyer should always be punctual, and not rely on ‘African time’ mentality.
Appearance is crucial:
The Learned Silk stated that appearance is sine qua non for success in the legal profession. Lawyers are to be always dressed in white and black to uplift the image of our noble profession.
Participation in NBA activities:
The Learned Silk commended the Principal Partner over his commitment to impacting knowledge and growth to the profession by way of internship and other CSR initiatives and enjoined him to always encourage his team members to support and participate in the Nigerian Bar Association activities, lend his voice and make time to meet with the Chairman of the NBA, Ibadan branch, in person of Olayinka Abiodun Esan, Esq. to relay his displeasure with respect to time management in the NBA Ibadan branch activities.
Respect at the Bar:
The Learned Silk registered her displeasure with the attitude of young lawyers who do not stand up for senior lawyers during court sittings. The Learned Silk enjoined us to always respect our seniors at the Bar to preserve the culture which has been passed down by those before us.
The Learned Silk advised that it is important for lawyers to uphold the rule of law and not engage in any act that will be dishonorable to the legal profession. The Learned Silk further encouraged everyone to be honest in all dealings with clients and colleagues.
At the end of the interactive session with the Learned Silk, Adesola Ogunbanjo sang some favorite songs of the Learned Silk by Alhaja Batuli Alake. She presented a basket of gift on behalf of HARLEM Solicitors and gave a note of thanks to the Learned Silk for welcoming us and for the time spent with us.
We are grateful to both Learned Silks for the time devoted in spite of their water-tight schedule, and feel humbled and honoured to have had the rare privilege of the sessions. Enormous gratitude goes to the Learned Silks for their gracious accommodation of our Interns and the entire HARLEM team, and for donating their time and recollections towards the growth of the future generation of lawyers.