The argument in certain quarters that Ghana has more than enough of practicing lawyers so training more legal brains would create a backlog has been rebuffed by First Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for Asante Bekwai, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu.
In his estimation the practicing lawyers population in the country is less than 50,000 and “this not alarming given Ghana’s population of about 30 million.”
Hon Osei-Owusu who was speaking to Oheneba Nana Asiedu on Wontumi Televison and Radio in Kumasi on Monday, held the view that what may have given cause for a section of the public to assume that the practicing lawyers’ list is bloated is the current scenario where more lawyers prefer to operate from the major cities instead of exploring the begging opportunities in the less populated communities.
“This over concentration creates a false impression there are too many lawyers but the reality is that the smaller communities are under-served. Indeed there are not more than enough lawyers in practice in Ghana, it’s only that the number of chambers found in the cities such as Accra, Kumasi,Takoradi, Koforidua is high.
The Bekwai MP who is himself a Lawyer advised his colleagues particularly the new lawyers to locate their chambers in some of the smaller towns which offer a lot of opportunities.
According to him a place like Obuasi offers a lot of opportunities because those with cases are compelled to travel all the way to Kumasi and even Accra to seek the services of a lawyer when they have a case and this can easily be exploited.
According to Hon. Osei-Owusu, before acquiring the skill to practice effectively, the fresh from-school-lawyer has to go through a long period of apprenticeship by serving under the experienced practitioners in their chambers to gain perfection.
“On the field as a practitioner, one would naturally find out that the theory taught in the classroom is quite different from what is experienced on the field. That’s why it’s essential to under-study the experienced lawyers. That is the best thing to do to gain perfection.” He said.
Lawyer Osei-Owusu recalled the long period of apprenticeship he had with the current Chief Justice,His Lordship Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, and from the late legal luminary, the late B. J. da Rocha, who taught him at the Law School and concluded that, “the legal profession goes with prestige and class so those in practice are obliged to live up to certain high standards.”