Twenty-three-year-old Jamaal Duff plans to be one of the lawyers Guyana needs at this time. The young man, who was admitted to the bar on Wednesday, believes that environmental lawyers are needed more than ever with Guyana’s newfound riches in oil and gas. As such he hopes to secure a job with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“With the new developments [of] Guyana getting oil, it would be an area of concern because as much as people specialise in oil and gas, the repercussions from the oil and gas exploration on the environment needs to be dealt with and a good legal profession in that area is important,” Duff told reporters on Wednesday.
He was admitted to the bar before Chief Justice, Roxane George at the High Court in Georgetown. The Chief Justice, in accepting his application to the bar, reminded Duff that the profession is a noble one and it requires continuous research and commitment, efficiency and hard work.
The Chief Justice urged Duff to remember at all times to uphold the integrity of the profession and always be honest with his clients. His petition to practice law was made out by attorneys Ronald Burch-Smith and Mark Waldron.
‘The Last Juror’ – a book by John Grisham – was the inspiration behind Duff’s move to pursue a career in the legal profession and he said that he is happy that the journey so far has been successful.
Duff, of Tucville, Georgetown, is a Bishop’s High School graduate and earned his first degree at the University of Guyana in 2018. In the same year, he began the journey to acquire his bachelor of laws from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago.
Duff is the second person in his family to become a lawyer; he said his father, who is the Sport Editor at the Stabroek News, and his mother, who works in the banking sector, are both overjoyed at his achievement.
The new lawyer stated that it was challenging to finish his studies during a pandemic but he credited his family’s tremendous support for his success. He is also advising others, who may want to join the profession, to put in the hard work and it will be worth it.
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