It is no longer news that ESQ Practical Academy organized a virtual conference on the 28th April 2020 and Deacon Dele Adesina SAN who believes the future of the Nigerian Bar lies in Young Lawyers, sponsored several old and young lawyers out of his magnanimity to benefit from this conference, particularly the interesting segment of how lawyers can become virtual and embrace ce the e-lawyering skills in view of the arrival of web-based technologies and the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ravaging the world economy.
COVID-19 has a ravaging effect on the world economy and its intense and rapid spread forced most countries of the world to enforce a lockdown of every aspect of their economy including the legal profession.
The legal profession is not free from the lockdown and this made it very difficult for many lawyers to operate because the legal practice has been confined to the four walls of the firm (with files and research majorly conducted in the law library filled with avalanche copies of books and law reports) and the court (which obviously has no method of e-filing system).

As a young lawyer who benefitted from this sponsorship by Dele Adesina SAN, the conference was facilitated by senior legal practitioners across the world that are well exposed to the practice of law in Nigeria and other countries, from whom I learnt and understood the following lessons:

E-lawyering method should also developed: lawyers should take the opportunity of the lessons from the Conference and the Covid-19 lockdown not to be confined any longer to the firm’s walls but practice anywhere irrespective of time and distance with the use of web-based databases and software system to interact with clients and prepare required processes.

Another important lesson is that law Libraries should embrace a virtual practice and take a new dimension. It is no longer a case where legal practice depends heavily on library printed information resources but e-lawyering approach that depends on electronic information resources such as e-portals, web-based computing devices, online databases and social media. Virtual libraries, that is, online libraries should be adopted where you practice law without necessary flipping through the pages of physical law reports before a well-researched brief can be written.

*Online clientele*: During this lockdown lawyers have been able to render little or no service at all, there are many clients who are seriously in need of the services of lawyers but due to distance and the lockdown there is no way to get the service required as the four wall lawyer cannot access his bricks. This is where E-lawyering becomes useful. E-lawyering involves rendering legal services online through web based technologies and with this the problems of clients are solved without physical contacts.

The Court is not left out, the E-filing system should also be adopted by the courts so that the courts will not be put on unnecessary hold in times like this. The court finds it uneasy to sit because of the large human resources and the physical contact required put into it for effective running of the judiciary. This calls for E-filling system in our judiciary. I must however acknowledge the fact that we have now began to hear the echo of introduction of e-filing system from the judiciary in the last few days. My hope and prayer is that the Judiciary makes this a permanent feature in our judicial process nationwide.

Deacon has the future of the Bar at heart, the future of the Bar are the Young Lawyers, virtual legal practice is needed more by the young lawyers, this is why DASAN sponsored us to benefit and implement it. This is one of the ways DASAN is coming to secure the future of the Bar.

Do you as a lawyer still doubt if DASAN is truly coming to secure the future of the NIGERIAN BAR? I have pitched my tent with DASAN in order to secure the future of the Bar. Please join me on this noble cause.

Saheed  Abiola
Writes from the Ilorin Bar.