Eight young lawyers have been added to the list at the Supreme Court Registry to ply their trade as qualified attorneys-at-law.
The new entrants were called to the bar on October 8 at a ceremony held at the No. 1 High Court on St John’s Street before presiding Judge, Paula Gilford.
Two of the lawyers are children of practicing attorneys -Joshua John, son of Attorney-at-Law Yvette John, and Celine Edwards, daughter of Queens Counsel, Celia Clyne-Edwards.
The others are Rena Banfield, Desiree Douglas, Sasha Courtney, son of Curriculum Officer in the Ministry of Education, Pamela Courtney and nephew of Magistrate, Teddy St Louis, Lorrine Griffith, Olabisi Clouden, daughter of Keith Clouden and niece of long-standing attorney-at-law, Anselm Clouden, and Jonathan Charles.
During the ceremony, senior resident high court judge, Justice Paula Gilford urged the eight new lawyers to do their utmost to uphold the honour and dignity of the court.
Justice Gilford admonished the young lawyers to remember that the bar is a profession and not a business.
“The community looks to lawyers and expects them to administer justice…”, she said, adding that a lawyer is one of the highest quality members in the society.
“…Set high goals and standards for yourself, that is the only way for you to succeed,” Madam Justice Gilford told the lawyers who were accompanied to the ceremony by their parents.
THE NEW TODAY newspaper spoke with Attorney-at-law, Anselm Clouden on the profession, which has over 100 lawyers on the list, welcoming another batch of lawyers into the profession.
He said there is a belief by many that the profession is too saturated but he holds a different position.
“What has to happen now is that lawyers must now be innovative and find other areas (to practise). They could be on Corporate boards, banks and don’t necessarily have to practice (in open courts), so there are opportunities and of course the good will always excel and reach the top,” he remarked.
When asked about the recent tendency to see more females than males being admitted to the bar, the seasoned barrister felt that men seem less motivated to become barristers these days.
“For the past decade we have seen an increase in female lawyers and that is because (of a ) multiplicity of problems with the young men, generally. They’re not as motivated for the most part as women. Women for the last 10-15 years have been more sturdy in the Caribbean society”, he said.
Clouden also touched on the drastic reduction in the number of persons engaged as defense lawyers in the court system.
He said it is not purely due to the fact that lawyers who concentrate on defense cases earn less money.
“It is not only (the) money aspect of it – the fact is that we have (a) pre-disposition in the Caribbean that once someone comes in on a criminal charge they should go to jail. So our prisons are overcrowded. You have all kinds of uprisings because we have not utilised the alternative vehicles available to the judges in sentencing, such as community service, suspended sentence, rehabilitation in certain juvenile institutions and the like,” he said.
Clouden added that the practice of criminal law is not attractive to new and upcoming lawyers.
This newspaper also spoke with Keith Clouden, father of Olabisi Clouden on his daughter being called to the bar.
“I am joyous that my daughter and her other fellow students have completed their course of study leading to becoming Attorneys-at-law and this ceremony is quite interesting but more importantly I think it provides an opportunity for them as young lawyers to be part of the process of the development of a Caribbean jurisprudence,” he said.