“Lawyers dey come market, wetin them dey find?”

That was the caption for Market Circuit 1.0 and we are here to answer that question.

Like an apprehensive event planner with a Bridezilla client who knows nothing less than a successful wedding was acceptable, on 25 April 2018, we knew nothing less than a successful first Market Circuit outing was acceptable. 

The journey to Market Circuit 1.0

We knew it was a first, so the plan was to take baby steps and choose a market that was not too rowdy.

This was our pilot, our MVP, so we needed an environment where we could capture our observations conveniently. We eventually settled for the New Alade Market, a gated market with a friendly and cooperative market association.  

 

Then the call for lawyers. As a first outing, we were not expecting too many volunteers, so we were pleasantly surprised when about 30 lawyers signed up. Not all of them showed up on the day of the event but we are grateful to have a list of lawyers we can call on for subsequent editions. 

A week before the event, we went out to distribute flyers and tell the traders about the event. Some found the caption funny,  some wanted to know more and engaged us, some were too busy selling, some took our fliers so we could stop “harassing” them, some were sceptical and some showed their outright disdain for lawyers (BACKSTORY – The Lagos State government relocated the Alade Market traders from their former location to this new location, hence the name NEW ALADE MARKET, the market women had engaged the services of lawyers to prevent the relocation, the lawyers had made promises they could not keep, the rest is history

 

In spite of the mixed signals received during the flyer distribution, we were not discouraged but naturally as the day approached, we were slightly apprehensive

 

The D-Day

 

Tables arranged ✔

Chars arranged ✔

Canopy up ✔

Generator on ✔

Mic working.✔

 

Lawyer 1, Lawyer 2 – Trader 0. DIYlaw Team members distributing flyers and frantically knocking on each shop door

Lawyer 3, Lawyer 4 – Trader 0. DIYlaw Team members distributing flyers and frantically knocking on each shop door

 

You can imagine our anxiety.

 

Then our “aha”moment – One of the market women told us the market bell had to be rung so people could know the event had started.

As we got this information, the Iyaoloja (President) and secretary of the market women association showed up to the venue, they instructed the bell-ringer to ring the bell (yes there is a bell-ringer), then the traders trooped in!.

 

The light showers of rain did not stop these traders (97% women) from coming to get solutions to their legal problems.

 

They got one on one private consultation with the lawyers and were very excited. Some even got follow-on appointments with some of the lawyers, whilst some lawyers offered to write legal letters for some of them.

 

It really was a day of joy – the market traders were happy to have received valuable legal help some of them didn’t even know they needed. The lawyers were happy to have had an opportunity to give and make an impact. We were ecstatic because our experiment was a success and we had validated another platform to create access to justice. 

 

As with every MVP, we are currently analysing the data and results with plans to tweak to improve our “product”.  

 

We plan on releasing a report of our data analysis, so if you would like a copy, sign up here

 

And if you would like to be a part of our next Market Circuit

Lawyers, sign up here

Non-lawyers, sign up here

Sponsors, send an email here

 

The Circuit train keeps moving, wanna guess the next stop?