So you want to be a lawyer? Well…strap on your seatbelts, as you are in for a long ride!
The Nigerian Legal system runs a common law system, centred on the old English common Law. Our legal system is similar to those of other Commonwealth countries like Australia, South Africa, Canada etc.
What are the Steps to Becoming a Lawyer
- Step 1 – Complete an undergraduate degree called the LLB in a Nigerian University (or Foreign University). In Nigeria, this is a 5-year course, the undergraduate curriculum requires law students to study 12 compulsory core law courses- Legal Methods, Nigerian Legal System, Contract Law, Constitutional Law, Company Law, Law of Torts, Commercial Law, Law of Equity and Trusts, Criminal Law, Land Law, Law of Evidence, and Jurisprudence.
*Students who have obtained their undergraduate degree from a Nigerian university should jump to step 3*
- Step 2 – Enrol at the Nigerian Law School Bar Part I programme. As your undergraduate degree is from a foreign university, you will be required to undertake the Bar Part 1 programme which teaches students the important aspects of the Nigerian legal system, which they would not have been exposed to.
- Step 3 – Enrol at the Nigerian Law School for the Bar Part II programme. The Nigerian Law School educates and trains law graduates in vocational knowledge and practical skills. All courses in the Bar Part II programme are compulsory and students must obtain at least a Pass degree in all of them to complete the programme. The courses are Criminal Litigation, Civil Litigation, Corporate Law & Practice, Property Law and Law in Practice (Ethics & Skills).
- Step 4 – During your time at the Law School, you are expected to attend 3 dinners (yup, dinners…but they are done in the afternoon, weird!), and to also get practical experience of how the legal system works by completing 2 periods of externships- in a law firm and in a court.
- Step 5 – All Bar Part II students must undertake the Bar Finals examination. Students who are successful in the Bar Finals examination will then be eligible to be ‘called to the Nigerian Bar
- Step 6 – Final step! The Call to bar ceremony, this is the official ceremony where you are presented with your certificate of call to bar, and then you are asked to go to the Supreme Court of Nigeria to be enrolled in the Roll of Legal Practitioners which is maintained by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
And that’s it…you are a now a Nigerian Lawyer!
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.