Pearls for success in legal practice

The philosophy of law also known as legal jurisprudence usually concerns itself with the nature of law and its distinctions and differences inherent in its relationships, competitiveness and interplay with social and scientific theories of human values, attitudes and practices. Lawyers and governments and the courts are the main channels and actors through which legal jurisprudence is visibly manifested in Legal practice. Legal practice itself could be seen as the arena in which the rights of individuals, artificial persons, governments and society are litigated resulting in outcomes of success or failure for the parties in the case.  Since legal practice then is the main arena where legal disputes and issues are resolved, it therefore stands to reason that success in legal practice should be the number one goal and objective of every lawyer. That success in legal practice should be a primary objective of all lawyers means that every lawyer owe it to themselves to seek to excel in legal practice and do so in a way that enhances and uplifts the entire corpus of law in our society and generation.

Success then in legal practice is a multi faceted tapestry of many interwoven threads woven together to conglomerate into a living active changing plumbline to which society must match if society and governments must achieve one of its main function of acting justly and fairly in the resolution and enforcement of members of these society’s rights, privileges and authority.  In that, then, it is clear that the main arena for the prosecution and litigation of cases, disputes and issues are the courts and alternative dispute resolution venues where accuracy and relevancy of precedents, ratio decidendi’s, obiter dicta’s of decided cases used in support of the lawyer’s case, very often means the difference between winning or losing. Clearly, the objective of any lawyer is to try to win in a fair and ethical way and not lose your client’s case if you can help it. It is to this desire not to lose your case that legal research speaks so eloquently to.

What is legal research then? There are many definitions but I believe Legal research is the foundation of any strong, watertight case. I define it as an activity sourcing, identifying and gathering reliable and relevant facts and information from a variety of sources for the purpose of legally supporting or strengthening any client’s case, argument, brief, legal document or contract. I believe that a Lawyer’s strength does not just lie in their knowledge of law, but in their ability to find the relevant sections, facts and information through legal research and bring it through a process of appropriate interpretation to strengthen their clients case, arguments and briefs. For lawyers, it means being a student of cases, legal opinions and knowing where to find them and then digest them well enough to then present them legibly and clearly in a court or other venues. It means being alert to changes in the law, reading widely, engaging in law related discussions with colleagues and have a desire to actively seek this to better yourself and improve yourself.

If you do this, you will become more confident in court. You will be more confident dealing with your clients. Your clients confidence in your abilities will grow and with that will come a good reputation and which will translate  into greater briefs and better income for your practice. Truly, a win, win for all parties. There is more, if every lawyer imbibes this philosophy, the entire standard of lawyering in our country will go up at least three levels higher which will enhance the noble profession and help foster a high standard in the Bar. Therefore, be encouraged to major in legal research and you will surely gain greater professional reputation, experience greater success in your practice and win many more lucrative briefs and on the way, don’t forget to give back to society by doing more pro Bono cases and helping the less privileged.

  • Dr. Christopher, a senior member of the Enugu Bar, writes in via




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