By Alston C. Armah
The Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. Negbalee Warner has described the law school as a “fountain from where the Liberian Bar will be nourished” continuously. He has meanwhile called for concerted efforts that would fully capacitate the nation’s premier law training institution to prepare and train future lawyers who will be the guardians of the rule of law in Liberia.
Presenting complimentary greetings at the opening of the 2016 annual convention of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) in Ganta, Cllr. Warner urged various stakeholders to partner with the Law School for the training of “ethical and able lawyers” not only to serve the Judiciary but also to promote scholarship and academia in the Liberian society. Towards this end the Dean has called for the collaboration of the LNBA and the Judiciary mostly in support of three pillars that, according to him, will be of prime focus in rolling out quality education and training to students who are interested in pursuing careers in law.
Asserting a vision to make Louis Arthur Grimes a community of excellence, Dean Warner named the three pillars as tutorials, moot courts, and scholarship among law students and future lawyers.
To begin with, Dean Warner said the Law School will be seeking to organize tutorial programs for students currently enrolled and for candidates wishing to enrol at the law school. The dean indicated that the tutorials will be intended to strike a balance between competence, which is demanding of students, and adequate preparation, which is core to the mandate and curriculum of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
As a way of improving the learning outcomes of students, Dean Warner also suggested the need to organize and deliver moot court practices at the annual Bar Convention. When so organized, the moot courts, according to the Dean, will create a platform for students to be critiqued and evaluated by more experienced lawyers. This exercise, he said, will add a flare of excitement and enrichment to the experience and knowledge students acquire from attending the annual Bar Convention.
The third thing Dean Warner pointed out was scholarship. By scholarship, the Dean meant the involvement of faculty members, students and practicing lawyers in enhancing academic excellence at the nation’s flagship institution dedicated to the training of future lawyers. In the same vein, he commended Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor who teaches at the Law School, pro bono. He encouraged other members of the Supreme Court Bench and practicing lawyers in the country to consider the possibility of finding ways to strengthen the faculty at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
Dean Warner especially pleaded with the Supreme Court and other stakeholders to join efforts aimed at promoting academic excellence at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law because the Law School remains a prime source from where judicial employees can be recruited.
Cllr. Warner meanwhile acknowledged and commended his immediate predecessor, Cllr. David A.B. Jallah, who for more than a decade served as dean and has, nonetheless, accepted to remain on the faculty of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law. Recounting some of the challenges, Cllr. Warner admitted that it takes strong leadership, resolve and commitment to scholarship for one to serve as the dean of Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law. He extolled the work of faculty members and at the same time intimated his desire to see a system whereby he and other future deans can serve for five years or thereabout and then transition to other areas supportive of enhancing the noble practice of law in Liberia.