Book Launching at the Externado – “Firmas de Abogados en Colombia”

The event provided an opportunity to draw awareness to the urgency of increasing efforts in the training of attorneys, beyond the development of professional skills.

Juan Carlos Henao, Rector of our House of Studies, Fernando Carrillo, Colombia Attorney General, and Fernando Quijano, director of the newspaper La República, launched the work on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

Several attorneys and members of Law firms met at the Casa Externadista to celebrate the publication of the book “Firmas de Abogados en Colombia” (Law firms in Colombia), created by the newspaper La República – Legal Affairs, seeking to recognize the legal sector serving citizens and businesses on a daily basis, as noted on the cover.

Added to the section on Law firms, is a chapter reviewing the major Law Schools in the country who participated in the project.

The text shows how the legal industry has become a market, moving billions, thanks to relevant actors, such as Law firms. According to Fernando Quijano, director of La República newspaper, there are very few documents that talk about the inception and internationalization of Law firms; thus, included in this work.

Fernando Carrillo, Colombia Attorney General, referring to the evolution of legal training, stated: “In the past, training of attorneys was very different and marked by parameters that were never able to structure a strategy relevant to the State’s public policy.  This changed in the 1990’s with the Constitution and modernization. Now, attorneys and judges are looking for economic growth and Justice reform,” he said.

For his part, Juan Carlos Henao, Externado rector, said: “Law firms are very important for the country, but more importantly, ethics in the sector must be pursued.”  Stressing that “all universities have produced corrupt lawyers,” Henao urged the Government to become more rigorous in monitoring Law schools, as so-called “garage universities” abound in our environment where quality and ethics are conspicuously absent.

In this regard, Carrillo noted that corruption, a problem that has existed for a very long time in Colombia, is now in the spotlight, due to the end of the armed conflict: “Owing to corruption and scandals, justice and lawyers have earned disrepute; however, now, without the war, we are going to emphatically fight against this scourge,” said the Prosecutor.

Carrillo noted the book “Firmas de Abogados en Colombia” will enrich all knowledge about Law, attorneys, and Law firms, and become a pioneer text in Colombia.

Lastly, Carrillo and Henao, pointed out the legal world is currently working with very traditional models and invited to a reflection on the subject: “This book is a first step, the need for more attorneys to go to other areas, other than politics  or management; it is vital now, with the great effort of the peace process,” said Carrillo.

The general conclusion was the need for cultural change, indispensable for reinstating ethics in the professional scenarios.