Audrey Sholeka Mwanamakondo is a Zambian Lawyer admitted to the bar in 2018 after passing the Bar exams at Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) and graduating from University of Lusaka in 2016 where she obtained her LLB. She has interest in International Law and Corporate law and works for the Local Government Service Commissioner in Chililabombwe, Zambia.
1. How long have you been practicing Law?
I have been practicing for 1 year 8 months.
2. What made you choose to be a lawyer?
Well, I remember when i was about 8 years old I witnessed a woman being beaten up by her spouse and she was so vulnerable and over powered. At that point I made a decision to become a voice for the voiceless, I hate seeing injustice prevail.
3. What realities did you meet in Practice that you did not contemplate in Law School?
They are quite a number of realities in practice that I never anticipated during law school. For example, the liquidation procedure; although, my lecturer did a great job teaching it and the law is quite sound regarding the guidance of the liquidation procedure. In reality the liquidation procedure is quite technical and it involves alot of calculations of liabilities and assets and Actuaries coming in and analysing the company that might be liquidated. It actually involves alot of mathematics if you are to truly be involved in the liquidation procedure step by step. And mathematics is a subject most lawyers try to run away from. (lol). Another reality that hit me on the head, was how to train myself from separating emotions from work especially when handling criminal matters. I had to learn on how to always have a sober mind especially when handling criminal matters this is something you don’t really learn in law school until you begin to practice, especially when you realise that justice is not always fair.
4. What changes do you desire the most in the Legal Profession?
Well my desire is to see more lawyers step up by becoming bold, bold in the sense that, more lawyers being able to use their voice not only in the legal fraternity but in all areas affecting humanity. By nature a lawyer has influential energy before they even speak, there is a way people feel in the presence of a lawyer, what more when that lawyer uses their voice the right way.
5. Do you think you will still be practicing Law in the next 10years
Yes. I see myself still practicing law in the next 10 years and investing in other projects too.
6. Malawi temporarily suspended the Wig and gown because of rise in temperature,however,there has been a conversation in some quarters to abolish it permanently,what is your take on it?
If I am to be honest, I see nothing wrong with the wig and gown it’s an ancient regalia that lawyers wore. The legal fraternity is a very ancient or historical noble career, as a result it has a lot of ancient traditions that are still followed, for example the way a lawyer should behave in the public eye should be in a manner that is prestigious and noble, the way lawyers bow before a judge and the legalistic terms we use when addressing a judge and the way we speak in court. All those make up a package of the ancient noble prestigious substance of the legal fraternity which distinguishes it from any other career.
7. What do you think the Law society or Bar association can do to improve the wellbeing of younger lawyers?
I think one of the many ways may be by strengthening mentorship between Senior Counsel and Junior Counsel, this can be done by creating platforms for interaction between Senior Counsels and Junior Counsels, so as to avoid watering down the ethics and ingredients that make up a lawyer. Certain skills can only be taught practically by showing someone rather than theory.
8. What area of Law do you think is the future for young lawyers?
In my own opinion, the world appears to be drifting to a more technological era, I would think the area of law would be corporate law and Information Communication and Technology law.
9. If you are to leave Law,what else will you be doing?
I would focus on farming or mineral engineering.
10. If you have $100,000 to donate to a cause,which cause will you donate to?
Well, they are three areas that seem to move my heart, I would divide the money into three parts. The first part I would give to an orphanage as that’s something I already do because the well being of orphans matters to me. The second part of the money, I would give to people who can’t afford school fees as education matters to me, even the Bible says my people parish because of lack of knowlege. Knowledge can sustain success. The last part of the money I would give in a cause that allows people to be empowered by giving people money to start a business that can help them generate money and make a profit from it.
A word of advice for law students
I know it’s tempting to go for law based on the money you might make especially when you win that $1, 000, 000.00 case. However, the’ s more to law than just the money. You have a great privilege of being a voice for the voiceless and creating a legacy that would change nations. You can choose to be just like any other lawyer or you can be a lawyer that steps up and advocates for things that will create legacies. A law was created by a human being and it affects nations, one person chose to step up. My advice would be, always remember the name or legacy you would want to create or live behind.