1,097 people have been enlisted as new lawyers, the biggest number at a go since Ghana began training legal counselors in 1958, with the first enrolment happening in 1963 with nine attorneys.
At the new 60th ‘Call to the Bar’ ceremony, many individuals including a few notable and outstanding personalities were part of the 1,097 new legal counselors. They include: Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and the Director-General of National Lotteries Authority (NLA), Samuel Awuku and some other media personalities.
Two people with disability — one visually impaired and the other hearing impaired — were also part of the newly qualified lawyers.
Dignitaries, who were present at the historic event, included President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo; the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame; the President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Yaw Acheampong Boafo, and the Director of Legal Education and the Ghana School of Law (GSL), Barima Nana Yaw Kodie Oppong.
Ebenezer Addai Osei was decreed the overall best student in the two-year Professional Law Course at the GSL, walking away with the John Mensah Sarbah Memorial Prize, which comes with a cash prize of GH¢50,000, a laptop with a soft copy of the Law Reports, and a full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Law.
In her speech during the ushering in ceremony, the Chief Justice said without law and order, there would be complete anarchy in socially, and, in this manner, lawyers, as professionals of the law, should guarantee that the law outweighed everything else, regardless of status and class.
Lawyers should not consider Justice to be a concept, but rather a functional reality which formed an essential part of any flourishing society. Lawyers must, subsequently, become the means or conductor through which justice was accomplished to improve humanity.
Again, the Chief Justice added that a lawyer’s reputation was their trump card, and, therefore, any act that tarnished the reputation could spell doom for such a lawyer and further erode the confidence in the legal profession.
“The way you speak, the way you listen, the way you handle information, the way you handle relationship and the work entrusted to you will determine the legacy you carry along in every space you occupy, however short or long a time,” she said.
In the mean time, in an interview with the media, Ghana’s Foreign Minister said she had thought about becoming a legal counselor for more than 35 years, and had forever been propelled to be one.
“I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but somehow my path went different ways. I did marketing, communication, MBA and all that, but finally, I came to my first love, which is the law,” she said.