Martin Beck Nworah Thursday, December 06, 2018 4
Today, Thursday, the 6th day of December 2018, I appeared for the first time as a Counsel in court. I handled 2 cases in a Magistrate court. For Magistrate courts in Lagos State, you don't need to be in your wig and gown. A plain suit and tie is okay.
Boy was my heart skipping. The Managing Associate at our Firm drilled me into the late hours of yesterday and when I was about to leave, I told him it didn't really matter since he will appear with me.
"Martin you are appearing alone."
My heart skipped.
When I got home, I ate real fast and went over the notes I made. I did some mock practice on how I will address the court. I wanted to make sure I was really prepared for this. I kept telling myself; "Martin Beck Nworah", you got this!"
When I got to the Chief Magistrate Court today, I discovered the 2 cases will be coming up almost at the same time. I had a cold feet. I called the Managing Associate supervising me and he requested I sent a text. He was in the High Court handling another matter.
I didn't even know what to type and send.
One of the courts started sitting so I figured it was only reasonable to wait for my case to be called up. Luckily, mine was amongst the first 5 on the cause list.
My case was called and I entered appearance. Happily, my prayers in court were granted after the proceedings.
I smiled with plenty sweat on my face and palms. LOL. The Magistrate asked if it was my first time in court.
"Yes Your Honour; my wig is new like a month's old bride."
I raced out to the next courtroom across the building for the 2nd case. Luckily for me, the case was called up immediately I got in. It was more of a process confirmation and we picked a date.
On my way to the car park to meet up with our client, a female lawyer stopped me.
"Yes. Martin Nworah."
She shook my hand firmly and encouraged me. Her hands were so soft and looking at the name tag on her file, I knew she was in one of the big league firms.
She told me on her first appearance some 10 years ago, she called the Magistrate "Mummy." LOL. It wasn't funny and she wanted the ground to swallow her. But the Magistrate and other senior counsel cheered her up. She found her voice.
Her story lighted me up.
She offered to buy me lunch if we see in any court and I promised to hold her to her words.
I left to join our client in their car and we left the court premises.
Back to the Firm, the Principal Partner was around and he invited me to brief him. He laughed as I shared my experience with him. He said it has started, so I should brace myself to learn and grow.
I am happy to have had my first experience today. I am aware this is a long path and I am grateful for these little steps. I don't know what the future holds, but whatever happens, I want to always remember today.
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.