One of the commonest open secrets in the legal profession today 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. Register Now!
Whether it’s a civil dispute or a criminal matter, it is often the case that the subject matter or the facts that need to be argued or investigated contain financial information which lends itself to complicated interpretation – and that’s where your basic knowledge in financial and economic could swing the case in your favor.
Experience learned silks in Nigeria are all familiar with this dilemma:
· Every client worth having (corporate or otherwise) wants a lawyer who understands its business and speaks its language– is it in a negotiation or a dispute, as it makes his job – and theirs – easier when they are financially literate.
· Young lawyers do not have the luxury of learning business fundamentals on the job. More often than not, the “school of life” offers slow and patchy training.
· Very few law schools worldwide are getting the job done, so the Nigerian Law school is no exception, and the few that do not mandate courses in accounting and financial statements. But the “numbers and mathematics ”-wary students don’t enroll.
· Too few Nigerian Law firms prioritize business training, despite its demonstrable benefits.
But meanwhile, a modern-day Counsel should strive to understand basic financial and economic issues than they would have ten years ago, as financial instruments and financial products have become more complicated and more intricate in the last decade, so as a matter of necessity; lawyers have had to remain up-to-date with and keep up with the trends and the changing environment around financial products in Nigeria.
Also, the legal profession in Nigeria is fast advancing beyond the basic expectations of the Nigerian Law school, and a financially literate lawyer is a better lawyer and a better rainmaker. A financially literate Counsel has the best shot at achieving every lawyer’s holy grail; recognition as a “trusted advisor”.
Speaking recently in an interactive session with a group of lawyers, prominent lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Paul Usoro has this to say;
“Every lawyer needs 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, they have to build competencies in financial management to aid their professional performance.”
The Learned silk also added;
“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 commonplace that most Lawyers don’t have sound knowledge of finance, assets, and liabilities. This hampers practice in some 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.”
One can hardly fault Usoro’s (SAN) 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 want lawyers who understand their business and speak their language, whether in courtrooms or boardrooms. Usoro (SAN) himself sits in some 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 a 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.