topic ” The Place of Pupillage and Mentorship in the Future of Legal
Practice in Nigeria” is very hot because the standard appears to be
falling and most people equates pupillage  with housemanship.

Pupillage is not exactly the same
as Mentorship. Pupillage simply means understudying a person in order to better
your knowledge and understanding of legal practice. Mentorship on the other
hand is a platform for junior lawyers  to look up  to the senior lawyers
to guide them. Mentorship is not formal like pupillage. A mentor shows you the
pothole to avoid and the things to know so as to have a successful practice.

Pupillage is a mandatory
programme for the training  of barristers in the UK. In Nigeria we have a
fused practice. Our pupillage must be able to accommodate the transaction and
litigation aspect of our legal practice. Mentorship is voluntary and does not
form part of the qualifying process. It has no formal arrangement like

The essence of both Pupillage and
Mentorship is to improve the standard and quality of lawyers in legal practice.

If our Pupillage programme is
going to be part of the qualifying process, then it should be regulated by the
Council of Legal Education.

The firms that the young lawyers
will be attached must be firms with a certain standard. Standard must be set
and maintained for our firms.

The issue of minimum wage during
pupillage is an issue that must be factored elaborately.
I support mentorship as
well as pupillage because it helps you to build a successful and sustainable
practice as mine. I served here in Makurdi at the Law Firm of George Uloko
& Co. I was not paid big money but the foundation of what I am today
was built here in Makurdi.

The basis of our profession is
seniority/respect. Our Juniors must learn how to respect the senior lawyers and
should not see all of them as unworthy of emulation. The bar we should build
must be an inclusive bar that has a place for the junior lawyers to grow with
respect for the senior lawyers “