Social media having positive impact on world of law, says Emirati lawyer Yousuf Al Bahar

Leader of Al Bahar Advocates believes social networking sites have given lawyers a platform to raise legal awareness
Social media having positive impact on world of law, says Emirati lawyer Yousuf Al Bahar
Emirati lawyer Yousuf Al Bahar leads Al Bahar Advocates.
By Jola Chudy
Thu 12 Sep 2019 08:04 AM

What is the biggest challenge facing your field right now?

Challenges persist in any work, whether from the nature of the cases, maintaining files, details, and writing notes to the need to keep pace with rapid changes. For us, we need keep abreast of the various laws that are issued. The law is witnessing growth because of technological development. For example, through Smart transactions in the courts and public prosecutions, which shortens the procedures of submitting papers and documents. On the other hand, under globalisation, we are now a small village, which requires laws to be subject to jurisdictions at both global and local levels. Dubai has been able to keep up with this trend through the establishment of DIFC Courts and this will contribute to the growth of law in the next five to ten years.

How did you choose your profession?

I studied law under the guidance of my father, Mohammed Al Bahar, who was a distinguished legal personality and passionate about the field. He was not just a parent but a teacher. He motivated me to study at Dubai Police Academy so I could combine learning law with discipline. In the Academy, an individual learns discipline and learns the law, which makes him aware of the importance of justice, rights, and growth of society. After the death of my father, may God have mercy on him, I took over the management of his law firm. I have practiced now for nearly 12 years, and plead before various courts nationwide.

Where do ideas come from in your business?

We brainstorm almost daily, discussing issues and seeking solutions. Creative thinking is a cornerstone of the legal profession. A creative lawyer can write an explanatory memorandum that includes complete legal details and rationales through which evidence and witnesses are based.

Do you think social networking sites affect the legal profession?

Social networking sites have a positive impact on the world of law. It has become a window for many lawyers to shed light on the legal dimensions of cases and has become a good space in which to clarify the law in a simple way. Today, the media initiates contact with lawyers and publishes their legal opinions on issues that are important for the public. I believe these are important platforms for raising legal awareness which all segments of society, especially young people, can access.

What do you enjoy most at work?

Helping people! I think this is a way to spread happiness, especially to those who are ignorant of the law. I always remember the hadeeth of Mohamed, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him who said:

“Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Resurrection. And whoever alleviates the need of a needy person, Allah will alleviate his needs in this world and the hereafter. Whoever shields [or hides the misdeeds of] a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the hereafter. And Allah will aid His slave so long as he aids his brother.”

There is also a saying I like in this context summarized by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai where he says “the summit of happiness is in the delight of others”.

Who has influenced you as a leader?

There are two inspiring leaders who have influenced us all as Emiratis: the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who laid the foundation stone of the Union and contributed to the institutional performance in strengthening its structure.

Behind them came our wise leadership, which followed their example in the concern for unity, federation, education and promotion of development.

How do you decide to hire an employee if candidates are equally qualified?

Qualifications are not the only factor in selection, the most important is potential. We also look at ability to interact and work harmoniously, ability to be influential, to accept the views of others and be sincere in work. I also look for the ability to be creative and ingenious and to step beyond the familiar.

What characteristics are important in a leader?

A successful leader takes responsibility and leads smartly and intuitively. He or she makes their workplace a fertile environment for innovation, development and change. A leader will not stand purely by his or her opinion, but allows each team to put forward ideas, honouring those who do so, whether morally or materially.

It is necessary for a leader to have a forward-looking vision, and to follow up on daily on decisions.  A leader must remain educated in political, social, sporting or cultural developments to be able to effectively innovate and foresee the future.

What advice would you give to someone who has a leadership position for the first time?

They have to be capable of taking responsibility, to be open to employees, to motivate them to innovate and think outside normal ideas. And most importantly, to contribute to their field and raise the level within it with a clear vision and goals.

What drives you to rise from your bed every day?

I am passionate about working and make sure to be in my office in the early morning hours to review files and attend meetings or court sessions. I see in work a way to happiness.

What do you do in your free time?

Priority is given to sports, and then reading, and keeping up with news in various media.

What is your usual day of work like?

My actual work day starts from the day before it. We prepare all the files that we will work on the next day. During the work day there is a small meeting to take note of acheivements, and then I attend court sessions and hold meetings with clients, write memos, and have a final meeting before the end of working hours to determine the progress of work. Our work in the law requires a great effort and accuracy so it is necessary to have continuous daily follow-up.

Complete with the following sentence: “The world would be a better place…”

If justice for all people was achieved through an independent judiciary and there was flexible legislation that takes into account the interests of the people. 

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