…says lecturers must be of high standardBy Shemuel FanfairA young law school graduate who has recently been admitted to the local bar says that while she supports the establishment of a local law school, the standard of any lecturer placed there would have to be in keeping with that of international counterparts.Shivani Lalaram moments after her admittance to the bar at the Supreme Court in GeorgetownSpeaking to Guyana Times last week, twenty-three-year-old Shivani Lalaram expressed much elation at being part of what she said is a prestigious profession, having been admitted in a ceremony presided over by Justice Sandil Kissoon in the presence of her family, friends and well-wishers.The former Queen’s College student and graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad has set her eyes on a Master’s degree focusing on Environmental and Energy issues, given Guyana’s impending oil & gas sector.However, for the foreseeable future, she will gather experience in criminal law first, having gained some experience as an intern in that area.Lalaram told this publication that she has also been exposed to civil law. While noting her rewarding experience studying overseas, she told Guyana Times that any institution established in this country must be of a high standard comparable to what obtains overseas.“If they were to establish a law school over here, they would definitely need to ensure that the tutelage that you receive at Hugh Wooding and at the other law schools in the Caribbean is received here. Additionally, in order to do that, we need to be able to compensate the lecturers and the tutors. Aside from that, I think it would be a good initiative for us to have,” Lalaram noted.She outlined that she is not the first legal practitioner in her family, as her extended relatives Kamini and Sonia Parag are already into law practice. The new attorney credited her success to the sustained support of her family members, who continue to play an integral role in her success, even after her father had passed away. This occurred during the time she undertook studies pertaining to her Legal Education Certificate (LEC) in Trinidad.“My major difficulty was losing my father while I was at Hugh Wooding, but it kind of encouraged me and pushed me a little further, because my dad was the voice I heard every single time I felt that I couldn’t do it anymore,” she stressed.She has encouraging words for current University of Guyana students pursuing their Bachelor of Laws qualification, saying that much focus should be placed on being well-rounded individuals.“It is a very prestigious profession, and you do have to give to it to get out of it; and you need to have the passion for it. I would also say to them that whilst it is a jealous mistress, you have to remember to balance it. You cannot be just in your books. Ensure that whether you do a sport or whatever else, ensure you tie that into your study, because studying alone will not allow you to come out as rounded, as it’s a rounded profession,” Lalaram, who is the sibling of a doctor stressed.Many local observers believe that Guyana should have its own law school, since only the top 25 Guyanese students gain automatic places at the Hugh Wooding Law School, while the others enter via a written entrance exam. However, the Caribbean-based Council of Legal Education has not approved the establishment of a local law school in Guyana owing to the wording of a treaty that governs its functions.