Be a person of integrity - Deputy Attorney General tells law students

The induction ceremony held at KNUST was the first of such organized by the University's law faculty

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

The Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice, Ms Diana Asonaba Dapaah has urged law students to maintain standards of integrity in the practice of law.

Ms Dapaah noted that it is important for law students to be able to say no when the law requires, given their important status as guardians of the rule of law.

“A lawyer is a special person who is able to break complex problems into their components, to see their structure and to put them back together. That is how we are trained in this faculty – from generation to generation. It is your duty to carry out this powerful mandate with integrity. Be a person of integrity always!”

The Deputy Attorney-General made these remarks at the induction ceremony of new law students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on Thursday.

In a speech that fondly remembered her own time at the university’s then infant law faculty, Ms Dapaah observed the progress and development of the law faculty with pride and expressed her optimism on the future of the faculty.

“Again, I recall with nostalgia, when as the second group to be admitted into the then young law faculty in 2004, my class and the class before us (which had students such as Dr. Samuel Adarkwah, now a lecturer here) had our lectures in one of the old buildings just around where you will come to know as the commercial area. Encouraged daily by our lecturers, such as the present Dean and the then Vice Dean, Mr. Albert Amankwah of blessed memory, our minds were shut to our lack of resources but focused rather on the prospects of becoming lawyers with the little resources available”

The World Needs Lawyers

The Deputy Attorney-General further stressed on the importance of lawyers who serve humanity. 

According to her, the dynamism that shapes the world makes it all the more necessary for there to be lawyers who are in touch with their own brilliance, yet are humble enough to recognize that the essence of the practice of law is to serve humanity.

She described this as the “satisfaction of serving that high calling [which] is embedded in the pursuit of the highest ideals of law and justice”

Consequently, she urged the inducted students to consider ways in which they could support the law faculty in future to ensure it continues its mandate of training lawyers

“I hope that you will recognize your responsibility to do all you can throughout your stay here and beyond to make this Faculty an even better place for those who come after you,” she noted.

Five Nuggets

While acknowledging the daunting nature of law school, the Deputy Minister of Justice revealed that the newly inducted law students could cushion the process by committing to some five principles.

These include not worrying about what they do not know, learning how to think critically instead of just stuff, recognizing the importance of disagreeing intellectually, maintaining personal and professional integrity and pursuing the law with a mental image of the dreams that inspired the decision.

She further entreated the new law students to prioritize their mental health at all times.

"On a lighter note, do not be dismissive of the importance of the extra-curricular activities that abound on campus, particularly on your mental health. I encourage you to balance the stress of being a law student, expected to read volumes of cases each day with the need to take care of your health, particularly your mental health while you are here. While you queue at the Gaza waakye (as I did as a student) or the banku at Queens hall or the fufu behind Conti hall or engage in similar non-academic ventures, I do hope that you take a moment to strike healthy friendships that will generate into useful networks in your working world. Trust me, you will need it!"