Marks fulfills childhood dream of becoming a lawyer

From left: Attorneys Ayana McCalman and Ocelisa Marks with Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George-Wiltshire

By Gabriella Chapman

OCELISA Marks, who was admitted to the bar on Tuesday, said the achievement is a fulfilment of her childhood dream.
“All I ever wanted was to be an attorney. As a child growing up, I was very argumentative and assertive. My dad kept encouraging me to pursue a career in law since he was of the opinion that I would make a good lawyer. Now here I am today,” said Guyana’s newest attorney.

Marks, who hails from the Essequibo Coast, was admitted to practise by acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wilshire following a petition by Attorney Ayana McCalman.
In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, the 23-year-old attorney said she will use her skills to help people and give back to her community.
Describing herself as a young woman who came from humble beginnings, Marks shared that her mom is a market vendor in Charity and her father is a taxi driver, both of whom ensured so that she was able to receive a sound education.
In fact, the young woman said her entire community played a part in raising her to become the person she is today.

Ocelisa Marks

“There is a saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, well, I am extremely proud of my people of Queenstown Village, Essequibo Coast. I was nurtured, groomed and raised by the village. My support base was indeed overwhelming,” she said.
Her study years were quite challenging, she said, but from primary, straight through her tertiary level education, the young woman scored success.
Even though home is where her heart is, Marks said she cannot return home at this point in her career since she is focused on perfecting her skillset.

“Though my ultimate goal is to give back and help my community, right now I’m more focused on learning. Because I’m relatively young, I need the guidance of seniors and Essequibo doesn’t have a lot of attorneys but Georgetown gives exposure to learn. Like right now, I’m at the AG chambers and I’m learning more about constitutional law and so forth. And in the next two years I want to pursue my master’s in environmental law,” Marks said.

She also shared that law is not what she wants to practice all her life.
“I have a particular interest in mediation and environmental law. Because given the way our country is going and the whole oil and gas industry, there is need for persons trained in the area of environmental law. Persons are just running to oil and gas but the spinoff of oil and gas is environmental law. Should there be an issue like an oil spill, we would need attorneys. So I also see that as a good avenue to give back to Guyana and serve my country. In relation to mediation, we need to learn how to resolve our issues without having to go to court; this will avoid the backlog of cases in the court. And these are areas I want to explore as well,” the young woman said.