The man called Job was a devout biblical character in the Old Testament whose faith was put to test in a wager between God and man, he was a man who showed extreme perseverance through suffering and endured one infliction after another without ever cursing God. The book of Job teaches us that suffering occurs for reasons unknown to the understanding of man.
This writer knows that being patient is the last thing young lawyers want to hear at this point due to the travails and challenges of the legal profession, but research has shown that, the word “patience” comes from the Latin word for suffering meaning that one cannot accomplish anything worthwhile without first going through pain. Take for example, the late Nelson Mandela who after many years in prison re-emerged stronger than ever to fight racism.
To a young lawyer, the legal profession is a heavy cross to bear, hell on earth, a vicious circle with plenty of work load with nothing to show for it. A young lawyer is constantly under pressure to learn and master the trade of the profession without adequate welfare, his financial strength can hardly take care of his requisite needs thus making the young lawyer psychologically unbalanced to have the patience to wait for things to get better. The situation is so unbearable to the extent that a lawyer being a person of noble character finds himself in awkward situations not befitting of the profession, like eating breakfast in a road side bukka with suit and tie just because that’s all he can afford.
Putting aside all the obstacles along the way, the legal profession is a fruitful and rewarding profession to those who know their onions. It is a profession that requires patience and constant practice. By definition, patience emphasises calmness, self control and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay. In life one has to endure much in order to achieve the social and material status he desires, as James Allen rightly said, “the sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure.”
Every name has its story, most senior lawyers would tell you that the travails they encountered as young lawyers during their era were worse and more difficult than what we go through nowadays, that things were tougher during their days than it is nowadays but with perseverance and consistency we now admire some of them as role models. I know of a learned silk who as a young lawyer closed from office only when his principal closed for the day be it 10 p.m. or later. Some were not even paid monthly salary back then and had to cater for their well being all by themselves, and these are just few out of a lot of pitiable experiences.
A young lawyer who finds himself in a law firm where things don’t go as he wish, should take a step back and look out for things he can benefit from irrespective of the present situation, maybe your principal speaks to you in a manner you don’t like, just keep calm and understand that your principal only acts in ways he believes is good for the growth of the firm. A young lawyer who finds himself in this quagmire should learn to keep his cool and use the opportunity to improve his lawyering skills. Take solace in the fact that if you know what you are doing then you cannot be in the same level in two – three years of active practise in the profession.
As young lawyers we should not be obsessed by short term goals of acquiring fast cash, instead, we should be concerned about becoming a better lawyer as the society expect a lot from us. Set goals and strive for them.
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was solely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” Late Nelson Madiba Mandela.
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