Most times, I get tagged on trending issues on social media where the tagger feels that my legal services will be needed either on paid or pro bono basis.
The last time I met my friend and brother Inibehe Effiong, in Abuja, we discussed about this. He also gets tagged a lot on social media on issues where they think his legal expertise is needed. I believe most lawyers get these tags too.
Sincerely, I appreciate these tags. I even take them as a huge compliment. However, this is not how to get a lawyer involved in a case. When you tag us like this, we can do little or nothing to help the victim or person you want us to help.
If you see a case where you want a lawyer to render legal services, what you should do is to reach out to the victim or relative of the victim to reach out to the lawyer immediately. If you are close enough to speak for the victim, then reach out to the lawyer privately and properly brief him to take up the case.
It is highly unprofessional and against the rules of our professional conduct for a lawyer to be the one to reach out to a person and offer to take up his case. There might be some exceptions to this but those exceptions do not include following up a tag on social media to reach out to a victim and offer to take up his case.
Your first job should be trying to get in touch with the victim or someone close to the victim, then convince them to talk to that lawyer you think can handle the case. Most times, while you are busy tagging your favourite lawyer, the victim and his people have gotten another lawyer who is on the case. So, imagine your favourite lawyer diving headfirst into a case just to find out there is a lawyer on it already. That is very embarrassing and unprofessional.
So, while tagging us is good; do more than tagging.
I’m writing this not to discourage you from tagging lawyers to such posts, but to understand when we just read and do nothing. We do nothing because we have not been properly briefed. The legal profession frowns at soliciting for cases. We can only act when we are properly briefed.
Chelsea won the Champions League.
Is Chelsea winning the Champions League related to this post in anyway? No! But I have said it.
Leave me alone, please, I’m not feeling fine.
Written by Firsts Baba Isa (FBI), a Legal Practitioner, based in Abuja.