One of the commonest open secrets in the legal profession is that many lawyers read law because they badly needed to avoid mathematics. You are probably one of them. Well, we got news for you. Today, whether you’re a corporate lawyer or a litigator, the numbers will increasingly matter. So whether you are in general practice or specialized practice, how do you improve the way you run your law business? How do you provide sound legal advice to a client in today’s complex and dynamic business and financial industry? How do you even translate complex financial terms into contracts for your clients? There is only one answer—imbibe financial literacy for your law business. Imbibing financial literacy in today’s law business is the answer that has been provided to lawyers by the prominent lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Paul Usoro. The Learned Silk enjoined lawyers across the country to build competencies in financial management in order to aid their professional performance.
Usoro SAN enjoined lawyers to imbibe this in a recent interactive session he had with a group of lawyers at The Colonades Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos. According to him, lawyers need to go beyond the primary legal knowledge and skills they have to acquire relevant financial skills. This will help them significantly improve their legal practice, says the Learned Silk.
In Usoro SAN’s words, “A Law firm should be operated as a business concern. In the course of my practice over the years, I have come to understand the importance of financial literacy and it is common place that most Lawyers don’t have sound knowledge of finance, assets and liabilities. This hampers practice in a number of ways. With a vibrant knowledge of finance, you’re able to improve your law firm management skills, manage your practice very well, and also offer advisory services on issues relating to finance to clients, where such is required.”
Fo young wigs who are looking for new opportunities in the legal industry, Usoro SAN enjoined them to take advantage of the various courses that are available to non-finance graduates and also open themselves up to mentoring opportunities from senior lawyers. According to the Learned Silk, “[i]t’s important that lawyers, particularly young Lawyers open themselves up to mentoring from senior lawyers. This is critical to knowledge transfer and will help institutionalize sound professional ethics in the practice. Groups and forums within the NBA such as the Young Lawyers Forum and even outside it can play a major role here. Another option is to equip oneself via financial courses available to students outside the field.”
One can hardly fault Usoro SAN’s position on this. Reputed for his contributions to the development of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, the Learned Silk is adequately qualified to share insights on why imbibing financial literacy is critical to lawyers’ continuing professional development. Today’s clients wants lawyers who understand their business and speak their language, whether in courtrooms or boardrooms. Usoro SAN himself sits in a number of boardrooms in Nigeria, offering his legal expertise as Chairman of the Board Audit Committees Airtel, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, and Premium Pensions Limited. He is also member of Access Bank’s Board Audit Committee and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Marina Securities Ltd.
So if you are a lawyer and you don’t imbibe financial literacy for your law business today, your competitors will. This will make you lose professional grounds in a competitive and dynamic legal industry. And you will have yourself to blame. Listen to Usoro SAN.