Technology is now an ubiquitous influence that pervades all that we do and is relevant to every aspect of this manifesto. There is so much that can be achieved with technology in terms of increased efficiency and extended reach. The current NBA administration has taken positive steps with regard to integrating the use of technology in advancing the cause of the legal profession. If elected, I will leverage and build on this good work by ensuring that the NBA makes maximum use of available technology to achieve its various objectives. I will explore various platforms that can be used to improve on the NBA’s data gathering, information dissemination and management. I will also explore various means of providing digital learning and training to members.
As evidence of my commitment in this regard, I have already made a personal investment in supporting one technology-based initiative that will benefit the legal professional in Nigeria, and particularly the young lawyer. This is an online platform launched on 2nd May 2020 with the title “Opportunities for Lawyers”. It is the first ever, global lawyers’ specific online platform that will connect legal practitioners and law students to opportunities such as Scholarships, Jobs, Internships, Fellowships, Contests and applications for Funding among others. It is available on Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opportunitiesforlawyers&hl=en) and Apple Stores (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/opportunities-forlawyers/id1510602360?ls=1). Non-smart phone users can visit www.opportunitiesforlawyers.com from their browsers on laptops, ipad, computer desktop and any other system with internet connection and access the site.
I am also in discussions with service providers for the development of a pilot scheme for online digital training, to provide a sample of the comprehensive induction training for New Wigs that I referred to elsewhere, aimed at introducing them to the various career options that exist in the legal profession and sensitizing them to the benefits and satisfaction that can be derived from these various options. This digital training will also be employed in addressing the NBA’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) obligations to its members. In addition, I will get the NBA to institute a series of regular educational webinars for members.
Another area in which I will get the NBA to employ the use of technology is with the stamp and seal requirement under the RPC. This scheme was put in place in an attempt to eliminate the scourge of fake lawyers and has been a source of constant complaints since its inception. The complaints range from the logistics of receiving the stamp and seal to the fact that the stamps and seals have an expiry date. I have entered into discussions with technology service providers who assure me that the stamp and seal scheme can be digitalized and dispensed electronically. I will pursue the implementation of this innovation as it will not only address the complaints concerning the stamp and seal scheme as presently implemented but will dovetail seamlessly into the developments that are now being explored in the administration of justice with electronic filing of court processes and virtual hearings.
If elected, I will ensure that the NBA builds and expands on all these initiatives and maximizes the use of available technology to achieve its various objectives.
Dr. Babatune Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb