Sitting here in Court and listening (or fighting a losing battle of listening) to this witness go on and on about how much he bought his generator set and can’t just up and move it because his neighbor complained about the noise, I can’t help but wonder, ‘How the heck did I get here?!’
Don’t get me wrong, law really is a cool profession, even though we’ve been brainwashed since childhood into believing the extent of its nobility and coolness. During my last months as a student of the prestigious Nigerian Law School, I can’t help but feel a little cheated.
Where are my manners? I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back a bit. I remember watching series like, Boston Legal and suits and reading novels by Sidney Sheldon (I know your law minds would go to John Grisham but nah :D) and the way they would describe or act out law, #smh, you’ll feel like skipping ahead to the day you’ll finally appear in court. Especially the way Harvey Spectre would deal with matters without even letting them see the light of day in court. Or is it the determination of Louis Litt (You got Litt up!) or the coyness of Jessica Pearson. Mehn! They were goals! Imagine entering University with such enthusiasm and optimism only to get them deflated by the sadistic lecturers and their regulation focused ideals. #smh. Well, did I let them deter me? Heck no! I felt OK, it’s because I haven’t been in the arena yet! (we were taught that court is like a battlefield). I was so sure the practical would seduce my mind but mehn was I wronger!
My day at the arena finally came… and I’m not sorry to say I spent the first two days dozing… in front of the Magistrate… sitting with the clerks… while facing the lawyers. My saving grace was that my saliva decided to save me further embarrassment by staying put in my mouth and I’m not the type that snores. The incompetence of the police prosecutors was nothing short of amazing. I couldn’t help but think, ‘This wasn’t what happened in suits’.
Then a thought came, ‘Law School would definitely be different, I’ll be taught the procedures’. Hahaha, how wrongest I was! We were taught the procedures o! Very well, according to how it’s regulated by the law but at the same time, we were taught that those procedures we were made to read, memorize, cram, even sleep next to (as the saying goes, ‘the walls have ears’ in law school, they have mouths as well. Countless statutes have decorated the bedside wall of most law school students) whatever word you choose to use, cases, statutes, procedures, laws, CAC forms, probate forms etc were going to be almost meaningless in practice but we were to know them for examination purposes. I’m like, ‘what the… ?!’ talk about double standards!
The last hope of being a better Harvey Spectre and Jessica Pearson turned to dust before my minds eye, like Spider Man in Avengers Infinity War. Killed by the very law it sought to uphold, buried under broken expectations from numerous seasons of Suits. Sigh.
As I continue to sit here, forcibly tuning the entire court process back into the focus of my mind, I can’t help but think, ‘Is this for real?’