The procedure on becoming a lawyer in Nigeria is dual in nature. There are those for Nigeria citizens studying in Nigeria and there are however those for students who have completed their law studies in universities outside Nigerian shores. We’ll split them into two and quickly highlight the processes involved.
(A) Nigeria students studying in Nigeria
If a Nigerian citizen residing in Nigeria intends becoming a lawyer in Nigeria, you will first need to sit for your SSCE exams and have credit passes in the 5 compulsory O’level subjects including Maths, English and Literature-in-English.
After that, you will have to enroll for the JAMB exams where you’ll also need to excel in English, Literature, CRK and any other social science subject. Once you’ve scaled this hurdle you’ll be granted admission by the JAMB board into any Nigerian Law University for a 5-year LLB degree. Upon the completion of your LLB degree, you’ll be automatically enrolled at any of the 6 campuses of the Nigerian Law School in Nigeria for the Bar Part II program.
Once you are at the Nigerian Law School you will be taught the practice and procedure of law in Nigeria along with a compulsory externship in the chamber and court attachment. The duration of study at the Nigerian Law School is for one year. At the completion of your studies there, you’ll be required to sit for the bar exams and if eventually you obtain a minimum of a pass at the exams, you will be called to the Nigerian Bar at the Call to Bar ceremony. At this ceremony, the Body of Bencher’s (the body responsible for the formal call to bar of persons seeking to become legal practitioners) will issue you a certificate of call of bar. Thereafter, your name will be entered on the roll of legal practitioners by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
(B) For Nigerians who have studied abroad
This is for students who have completed their law studies in law Universities abroad. If you’ve
completed your law studies abroad, you’ll have to enroll at the Nigerian Law School for the Bar Part I program. At the Nigerian Law School, you’ll have to satisfy all criteria, including passing the bar exam to be called to the Nigerian Bar.
A youngish lawyer with penetrating insight, Patrick Herbert is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Lawstudenthub, a site dedicated to helping new wigs find their footing in a trickily slippery legal profession and stay current with emerging developments in the legal industry. He holds an LL.B from the University of Benin and a BL from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
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