The externs in professional mode

Sunday, 22 July 2012

How the Externship is Changing my Ideas about the Law

By Wilbri John, Extern, LAWYERS

Before coming in contact with AdvocAid, I had decided that I will work more as a Solicitor and less as a Barrister.  I thought I was better-off in an office environment than in the court room.  Seeing women in conflict with the law; most of them without any legal representation, juvenile imprisoned with adult and the unfair and unjust treatment meted on people especially less privilege, I have decided that when I become a lawyer, I will put a lot of effort in advocating for such people.

When interviewing victims or listening to cases discussed by fellow paralegals I have come to realize that the theoretical and the practical part of the law have many differences in Sierra Leone.  I’ve been to a court sitting to see that the accused did not have a lawyer.  He did cross examination himself.  He was an illiterate and needed an interpreter to interpret everything to him; the questions asked by the lawyer of the plaintiff and by the magistrates.  According to the law, the accused must be provided with a lawyer if he cannot afford one but that is hardly done unless certain human rights lawyers come across such cases and decide to represent them.

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