And how they are shattered
In every profession, individuals dream and endeavour to accomplish them. In the legal profession too young lawyers visualise some dreams. The conducive atmosphere of legal institutions helps them nourish and materialise their dreams. However, adverse environments shatter their dreams.
Before entering the legal profession, a young lawyer foresees that by becoming a lawyer, he would play a lead role in improving society. He envisions success and professional excellence in the field. He believes that hard work would be the only key to success in the profession. He considers the main role of a lawyer is to struggle for justice. He thinks reason and argument will prevail in every case. He perceives that lawyers would be torch bearers of the rule of law, justice, equity and fair play.
Moreover, they expect an equal space for professional growth. They hope that senior lawyers would provide them mentor support. There would be a fair return on their input either in the form of money or appreciation. They think that senior advocates would be role models of competence, professional honesty, integrity, and fair play.
As to the judiciary, a young lawyer thinks that the judges would uphold the rule of law through their reasoned decisions. They would deliver justice without considering face value of lawyers (a term used commonly in Pakistan). The judges would wear laws of the country on their sleeves, and would be willing to make indepth research of legal points. A young lawyer further believes that judges would hear with patience always welcome reason and logic. They would have the ability to write clear, coherent, and sound judgments. In addition, judges would act like mentors — training the lawyers and judges of the future.
Unfortunately, dreams of a young lawyer are broken when it is disclosed that things are not that rosy. The thoughts of young lawyers are scattered when they feel a huge difference between what the law says and what actually happens in the courts. When the initial perception of a young lawyer is shattered he feels disgruntled and confused. It makes him more disappointed when he sees that the champions of the rule of law consider themselves above the law. Sadly, most of the people who belong to this profession purportedly have an impaired understanding of law and inadequate legal skills. Those who are supposed to be very competent and dignified, seemingly miss this very peculiarity. Reason and arguments — the basic ornaments of a lawyer — are not traits of most of the lawyers in Pakistan.
On the contrary, the lawyers and judges in the developed countries are real jurists. They have penned down valuable masterpieces of law. Their work is quoted as authority. Their sayings are mentioned as legal maxims. Their integrity guides legal professionals around the world. Their conduct builds the confidence of citizens in the system of justice. However, members of the legal profession in our country rarely do any commendable job. A few exceptions notwithstanding, judgments rendered by our courts are rarely quoted as examples in other jurisdictions.
Senior lawyers seem reluctant to guide juniors, forgetting their professional and moral duty. Professional training empowers a person to perform effectively in the profession and fully contribute to the progress of the country. However, in Pakistan, juniors are exploited conveniently. They are supposed to escort the senior lawyers in bar politics or in courts. The bar associations are least interested in supporting young lawyers in their career building. On the contrary, energies of young lawyers are generally used for fuelling bar politics and attracting cliental for senior lawyers. In consequence, young, competent, and hard work lawyers feel suffocated and some even leave the profession. This intellectual drainage to other professions will certainly extirpate the whole system of administration of justice. The attributes of a good judge like integrity, patience, and willingness to deep research seem missing in our judiciary. The role of the judiciary is critical for the growth of any state. In Pakistan, however, the judiciary has failed to perform its due role. The poor state of fundamental rights speaks volumes about the performance of our institutions including the judiciary. In the end, to make true the dream of a young lawyer, sincere and radical steps are required. It would not be wrong to say that to get a law degree is much easier than any other professional degree in Pakistan. The bar councils must active their legal education committees to monitor law schools and start continuous legal education for the training of lawyers. Senior lawyers and judges must capacitate young lawyers to make them true leaders of the legal profession.
The writer has endeavored to cast light on unhealthy environment of our legal system. It is a pity to know that our courts discourage younger lawyers and snatch away their confidence from upholding of their dreams. This reveals that the stakeholders of the profession are themselves undermining the basis of their livelihood, esteem, and future. This is not a good sign.
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