Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nigeria: First Set of Paralegals Graduate

The Proprietress, teachers and students of Daibo Paralegal Training Institute (DPTI), Lagos were last Friday in ecstatic jubilation. To them, it was a day of fulfillment, particularly for the first batch of 25 graduates of pioneer paralegals in Nigeria.

The well attended graduation ceremony of the paralegals took place at the Lagos High Court foyer with certificates and awards were presented to the students.

Speaking at the event which was chaired by the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Bola Baderinwa, the Principal and Proprietress of the institute, Mrs. Roli Hariman who could not hide her joy turning out the first set of paralegal graduates in Nigeria described the event as historic because according to her, prior to now, paralegals could only be trained abroad.

She said, "One of the recent innovations in Nigeria is the use of law office management experts to run the firms. These persons are called by various names. They are the support staff the profession needs. I am proud to note that paralegals are now being trained here in Nigeria."

Harriman called on legal practitioners to support their staff to take paralegal courses or in the alternative ensure that staff they employ as office assistants are qualified paralegals. She urged lawyers to recognise the need to introduce professionalism into the management of their law firms to enable them concentrate more on legal work.

According to her, paralegals are the life wire of any practice in foreign jurisdictions. She expressed hope that this would be the case in Nigeria in due course.

Hariman also advised the graduating students not to see their job as a stepping stone to other opportunities. "Paralegalism is a profession and occupation and the paralegal must make his presence felt wherever he works."


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