Lawyer: Hamad Al-Yafei
Can we live in a society without laws? Of course not. Respecting and applying laws is the main guarantee to the rights and freedoms of citizens and institutions. Laws protect members of society and regulate their relations with one another, with institutions, and with the authorities.
Think in-depth, and you will discover that a branch of law regulates every aspect of our lives. For example, some laws regulate work, business transactions, and civil rights. There are also contracts and commitments that you need to fulfill and limits that you must respect.
These laws fall in one way or another under two main branches: public law and private law. The former regulates relations between entities and individuals, of whom one has sovereign power over the other, such as the case between a state and its citizens, with examples including administrative law and constitutional law. The second main branch is private law, such as civil law and commercial law, which regulates relations between individuals or entities that do not hold sovereign power over one another.
Given its significance, studying law offers you various career options in government and private institutions. You may find opportunities to work as an expert, consultant, or researcher at legal departments in public or private sector companies. Alternatively, you may choose to work in the government and contribute to legislation, or you may decide to pursue a career in public prosecution or the judiciary. In this issue, we will focus on a different path, namely the profession of a lawyer, due to its prominence in society.
The primary task of a lawyer is to assist the client, whether an individual or a company, in obtaining their rights as guaranteed by the law as well as in complying with the regulations. A lawyer may accomplish this through pleadings in courts, providing legal advice, drafting contracts, mediating, or representing people before government and private agencies. Other tasks are determined according to the case type, the court, and the clients’ requests.
Practicing law is a versatile, creative profession based on intellect, effective communication, and critical analysis skills. As a lawyer, it is not enough to learn at university; you also need to constantly research laws, legal updates, and previous rulings to obtain information that may benefit your clients.
The profession offers the possibility of enjoying independence, as lawyers may decide to have their own offices. Still, it remains a demanding job that requires a solid personality capable of dealing with pressures. The fate of people and companies may rely on your efforts, so you need to be organized, energetic, persistent, and effective in time management.
To become a lawyer, you need to obtain a Bachelor of Laws or an equivalent degree after studying for four years at a law school.
Each country has regulations that define the stipulations for practicing the legal profession. In Qatar, the Department of Legal Affairs under the Ministry of Justice is responsible for regulating the work of lawyers. A lawyer needs to first register as a trained lawyer, receive a two-year training at a law firm, and attend the lawyers’ course at the Ministry of Justice. The training enables the lawyer to become registered on the list of practicing lawyers.
Qatar University’s College of Law offers a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) program, accredited by the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education in France and the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education. It also offers two master’s programs in public and private law, with the possibility of preparing for a doctorate.
Founder and Managing Partner
Hamad Al-Yafei Law Firm
I graduated from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in law, but I did not decide to work in the field until six years later. At first, I worked as a trainee lawyer at the office of Professor Sultan AlAbdullah, for whom I paid utmost respect and appreciation and from whom I learned a lot. He gets a lot of credit for developing my career and helping me take my first steps in the legal profession.
I received training for two years, including six months attending a mandatory training course for lawyers at the Ministry of Justice. I was then registered as a practicing lawyer at the primary level, so I decided to open my own office.
I was somewhat apprehensive about this decision due to the blockade during that period, but thank God, everything went well. I formed a work team to keep pace with the increasing demand for office services. Five years later, the office significantly expanded, and it now holds an integrated work team capable of dealing with all issues.
I am now registered as a practicing lawyer in the Court of Appeal, and I am currently studying at Qatar University for my master’s degree in private law.
I decided to study law and change my career path at an older age than usual, and I was already at the head of my work in the military. I also worked for a while in commerce, but my passion was for law, an essential part of life’s affairs. After graduation, I had a chance to take a job, but I never felt comfortable working as an employee, and I was not too fond of routine. My family and friends pressured me not to take the risk of leaving the job, but it was a decision I made. Those pressures were a huge motivator for me to succeed. I did not consider becoming a judge or prosecutor, as my passion was to be a successful lawyer.
If you decide to work as an independent lawyer, you should first work in a legal position for several years to gain experience and save money for starting your legal career. Be patient and do not regard money as your primary target from the beginning. Focus on building your reputation, gaining experience, being patient, and working hard, and then the material gain will follow naturally.
One factor that helped me succeed in this field was my keenness to develop communication skills by attending training courses at Al Jazeera Media Institute. I refined skills such as eloquence, diction, and public speaking. To be a judge, you need to have prestige, which entails speaking confidently during arguments and stating thoughts and viewpoints clearly.
Young lawyers should also take advantage of social media to build their reputation and inform the community of their professional potential. For many years, I took an interest in marketing myself through social media, which contributed to my career development. Through social media, I focused on providing advice to serve the community in Qatar, which played an essential role in enhancing my reputation and introducing myself to people.
I would advise any student desiring to work in the legal field to acquire knowledge in various domains.
To succeed in this field, you must love to read and research information, unleash your mind, and listen to others.
Success as a lawyer does not necessarily result from owning an office. To be a successful lawyer, you need to work for long hours at unusual times and be constantly present in courts and prosecutors’ offices. You will need to know all about the clients’ issues and follow up on your team’s efforts. Lawyering is not an easy profession and requires hard work, attention, and focus. Still, when you help your client obtain his rights, you will have a beautiful, indescribable feeling.