Cane Hall youth called to the Bar
December 28, 2012

Cane Hall youth called to the Bar

It was all a family affair December 14 at the High Court when Jadric Cummings, son of Queen’s Counsel Andrew Cummings, was admitted to the Bar to practise as a barrister and solicitor.{{more}}

The 23-year-old Cane Hall resident had his application presented to the court by Senior Counsel Ronald Jack and seconded by his sister, attorney Annique Cummings.

Witnessing the young counsel’s call was also his mother Jacqueline Cummings, brother Jarand, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, along with other close relatives and friends.

Cummings, a past student of the Kingstown Preparatory School and the St Vincent Grammar School, obtained his law degree from the University of Coventry in 2011.

On October 15, he was awarded a post-graduate diploma from the University of West England, having successfully completed the Bar Professional course.

After being robed by Jack and counsel Zhinga Horne, the former GECCU scholar and ‘A’ level college student, in his first address to the court, said his story was not like others who always wanted to become a lawyer from a tender age.

“… but what I did have was that little craving we all have to do something that could help others and impact their lives positively.

“I would observe my father in his fight for others, but really it was not until I decided to step into the law myself at ‘A’ level that the craving was nurtured into a full appetite and I realised that I would be able to achieve my objective through this profession, just as he had done and is still doing…” Cummings said.

Making his intentions clear for his new sojourn, Cummings said he plans “to take every opportunity to read and understand the law and to reach out and ask questions of my seniors … and even my sister Annique, as I strive to serve my clients, community and country and not only become a better lawyer, but a better person.”

Cummings thanked his father for being “a beacon of resilience, hope and inspiration”.

His father, he said, has taught him “much throughout my life, about integrity, striving for excellence and the will and desire to never give up but to push on through the adversity …

“He hasn’t stopped and continues to push and somehow remain ‘fired up and ready to go’ each day. No doubt he will also be the best mentor any junior could hope for.”

In thanking his mother, Cummings said she has been one of the main pillars of strength, support and encouragement throughout his journey.

He also thanked his brother and sister for their support and also expressed gratitude to other family members and friends.

Sharing brief remarks, Senior Counsel Jack said in Cummings’ short life, he has exhibited a maturity that is far beyond 23 years, nurtured by the good care and assistance he has been given by his parents.

Sister, Annique Cummings, who described her brother as a calm and thoughtful person, beseeched him not to hesitate to ask questions.

Andrew Cummings QC made reference to a discussion that has been going on in the legal community relating to the growing numbers of young lawyers.

Cummings further stated that when his daughter was called to the Bar two years ago, 250 lawyers were on the list and when he checked again on December 10, that number had risen to 318.

“A discussion has erupted throughout the legal community about if we can cope with 300 lawyers.”

He said that he was in a discussion with some young lawyers and was asked if they have made the wrong choice, saying that they didn’t feel as if they belonged.

“Can each of us get a small slice of a small cake?

“They deserve opportunity, too. They want to be involved. The Bar needs to be more inclusive,” Cummings said.

Cummings added that the Bar Association must do better to improve the environment for young lawyers.

“Young lawyers need a chance too. We have to help them,” he said.

Presiding judge Frederick Bruce-Lyle stated that he feels the number of lawyers here is too small.

“Being a lawyer doesn’t mean coming to court and fighting a criminal case. There are so many facets of law. Think outside the box. There are so many areas where lawyers can strive here in SVG. “

Queen’s Counsel Bertram Commissiong and Zhinga Horne also delivered remarks. (KW)