During the just ended Lawyers’ Call Day that took place from 29th August to 1st September, 2022 at the Supreme Court of Zambia, 290 Advocates were successfully called to the Zambian Bar.
Presenting her speech, ZIALE Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Ann Malata – Ononuju, reminded the new advocates that as they embark on their respective journeys of a Learned Counsel, to uphold high moral standards of the legal profession. “You, our newest counsel, endowed with the knowledge and skills you have acquired at ZIALE, must be the architects and guardians of the professional ethical laws and standards that protect the practice,” she advised.
The Director emphasised that for an Advocate to excel professionally, there is need to engage in continuous professional education and development training programmes. In line with the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) for the period 2022 – 2026, and the 2022 – 2026 ZIALE Strategic Plan, the ZIALE has updated the curriculum of its training courses making them current and relevant to the needs of all stakeholders, who are both legal and non-legal professionals, as well as to the needs of the country in achieving universal access to education as espoused by the Vision 2030, the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, other regional and international commitments.
The new and relevant training programmes that have been introduced speak to and actualise ZIALE’s underlying function and purpose to contribute towards improved rule of law, human rights and constitutionalism in and outside Zambia. ZIALE’s commitment as an institute is to participate fully in the acceleration of efforts towards vision 2030 of Zambia becoming a prosperous middle – income country.
She encouraged the new Advocates to take advantage of these continuous professional development courses being offered by ZIALE in order for them to play an effective role in the national development agenda as well as in the development of the profession as a whole.
Mrs. Ononuju, further advised the Advocates to find balance in every aspect of their profession, whether their work is to offer their service to a law firm, government or a private company, but to never lose sight of the needs of the community that surrounds them. She encouraged them to use their incredible gifts and skills which they now possess to give back to their respective communities and to also lend their time and talents to others in need especially their loved ones.
Mrs. Ononuju also encouraged the new Advocates to stay firmly on the rails of good professional standing, continue having an open mind that is receptive of new knowledge and ideas so that they can grow steadily and professionally in their careers. This will in turn help them to be good Mentors as they will one day take the responsibility of mentoring those that will come after them.
The new Advocates were advised to conduct their affairs with honesty, integrity, civility and decorum. These attributes must be coveted by all who desire to excel in the legal profession. Further, new Advocates must cultivate the virtues of true humanity, gentleness, decency, respect for all professional colleagues, particularly the seniors at the Bar and above all else, respect for the Court.
The new Advocates were encouraged to learn from their seniors who have gained a wealth of experience as they develop and sharpen their skills. Passing the legal practitioners qualifying examination course and getting admitted to the Bar was only the beginning. Learning and knowledge acquisition continues on a daily basis.