Liberia’s Chief Justice Mr. Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. has told an acquaintance meeting with law school graduates that “we” want a strong legal community in Liberia, admonishing a graduating class of 58 members to be fair and honest in the practice of law.
He said Monday, 28 March at the Banquet Hall of the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia that when admitted into their local bars as attorneys – at – law, the graduates should not take advantage of the ignorance of other people who may have rights but do not know how to pursue their cases.
Out of 72 law students, 58 successfully passed the exams and will be admitted into the local bars in their respective counties, after the Chief Justice shall have given mandates to circuit courts in the various counties.
The Chief Justice admonished the graduates to be very active in the local bar and ensure that other lawyers who are working there get to know them.
To be better equipped with the law practice, Chief Justice Korkpor urged the graduates to practice with older lawyers before going on to stand on their own as lawyers, rather than creating law firms without acquiring any prior experience.
He suggested that all the laws are not learned in the law school, although he acknowleged the smartness of some people in the practice.
Chief Justice Korkpor made a particular call on the graduates to identify with the local bars in their various counties and make them very strong, on grounds that when the local bar is strong, the national bar will also be strong.
In welcoming the graduates to the legal community, Chief Justice Korkpor also indicated that the oath they will take will inform them that they should not be involved with shady deeds.
He informed the graduates of how in recent times, the Judiciary has had painful occasions of taking decisions against lawyers and judicial actors that went contrary to their ethics and conduct.
Under the Judiciary, Chief Justice Korkpor said two organs to include the Judicial Inquiry Commission and the Grievance and Ethics Committee do exist purposely to clean the judicial system whenever there is misstep, ethical misconduct and unprofessional practice by actors.
On behalf of the graduates, class president Benjamin B. Stewart, Jr. pledged the class’ commitment to the chief justice’s charge that they should not compromise the law practice and to work along with their local bars.
He pleaded with the chief justice to allow those who did not succeed to be allowed to retake the exams. In response, the chief justice said he would contact the chair of the exams committee to see what can be done.
By Winston W. Parley