Studying For University Admission Into Law
Studying to become a lawyer in Nigeria is pretty straightforward when you know the right process. For students who are interested in studying law at the university, you must take certain subjects in secondary school. They include; literature-in-English, Government/History, Economics, Mathematics and English. These courses are also very necessary in your Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE), National Examinations Council (NECO) or any equivalent O'level for prospective students. It's a must for students or prospective lawyers to have at least 5 passes in any of these exams inclusive of all the courses listed above.
For university admission, you will also be expected to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), conducted by the Joint Admissions & Matriculations Board (JAMB). This is one of the requirements for admission to study law at the university. After you have taken this OBJ (objective) test and passed the minimum cut-off mark, you're expected to go to the university of your choice for Post UTME. Your success after this exam will determine your future as a lawyer.
If successful, you'll be required to study law-related courses for the next 5 years. Usually, after graduating, you're expected to go to law school. It's not compulsory to go immediately, however, it's advisable. Law school is a one-year program designed to equip you with the fundamental tools needed for a professional law career.
Requirements For Law School In Nigeria
As mentioned earlier, law school is the perfect training ground for professional development. Here, you will have access to every information that can be useful for your professional law career. Before you're eligible for law training in this school, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your Law Degree Certificate: This is the lawyer certification you received after completing your university law degree (B.L). While law school does not take your CGPA or position (Ist Class or Third Class) into account, you must have a degree or a mixed degree in law to process your admission. Courses offered at the Nigerian Law School consists of Civil Litigation, Criminal Litigation, Property Law Practice, Corporate Law Practice and Law in Practice (also known as ethics and skills).
- Every aspiring lawyer and candidate is expected to satisfy the qualifying degree requirement. This also applies to international students. Nigerian Law School only accepts students of common law countries.
- If you qualify for all these, you're also expected to have your academic transcript. It must be a qualified degree transcript that displays all of the courses offered from the beginning and end of your university years along with their grades.
Taking The Bar Examination
You will also be exposed to practical experiences of how the legal system works through completion of two periods of externships; in a court and a law firm.
For students who did their undergraduate degree in any foreign country like Canada, UK, Ghana, e.t.c, they are required to take the Bar Part 1 programme. This program teaches students the important aspects of the Nigerian legal system, which they are likely not familiar with. Since laws differ in countries, foreign students must take this exam to be properly exposed to the legal process in Nigeria.
A Nigerian student wouldn't need to do this, rather, she/he will proceed to take the Bar Finals examination or Bar Part II, at the completion of the one-year law school program. The examination covers all the courses you have learned in your one-year training. Every successful student will then be eligible to be called to the Nigerian Bar.
During preparations for this examination, students are advised to read and put into practice what has been read. Studying for this exam can be quite stressful, so you should consider taking breaks occasionally.
After your success in the Bar exam, you will witness the call to bar ceremony. It is the official ceremony where every successful student is presented with their certificate of the call to bar. They are then asked to go to the Supreme Court of Nigeria to be enrolled in the Roll of Legal Practitioners, maintained by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
One of the most important to note about the study of law is that it involves human life. That's why lawyers must put in all their efforts. As lawyers, it's best to always practice out what you have learned consistently and be tactical.
How Much Do It Cost To Attend Law School In Nigeria?
Currently, the cost of attending the Nigerian Law school is at an average of ₦295,000. However, adding the cost of living expenses during the one-year program along with miscellaneous, it could easily rise into ₦1,000,000. So, you must prepare for extra expenses while at law school.
Over the years, the cost of getting admitted to the Nigerian Law School has been quite stable. For prospective lawyers, a researched figure of its 2016/2017 fees are listed below:
- Tuition - ₦10,000
- Hostel Accommodation - ₦30,000
- Hostel Caution Deposit - ₦10,000
- Term Dinners - ₦12,000
- Cocktails - ₦8,000
- Library Development - ₦30,000
- Sports & Recreational Facilities - ₦5,000
- The Nigerian Law & Practice Journal - ₦7,000
- Examination Bar Part II - ₦25,000
- Course Materials - ₦20,000
- Development Levy - ₦20,000
- Student Year Book - ₦4,000
- Identity Card - ₦1,000
- Postages by Courier - ₦2,000
- Medical Registration - ₦10,000
- V-Sat and Info-Tech - ₦30,000
- Insurance - ₦5,000
- E-Handbook (CD-ROM) - ₦3,000
- Facilities Maintenance - ₦33,000
- Quality Assurance - ₦15,000
- Security Services - ₦15,000
Foreign students looking to getting admitted into the Nigerian Law School are mandated to pay the same amount for the items listed above except tuition for the Bar II and the fees for the Bar II exam.
For the Bar II tuition, an international student is required to pay $2, 500 (₦900,000), as opposed to the $30 (₦10,000), levied on Nigerian students. For the Bar Part II exam fees, foreigners are expected to pay the total sum of $500.00. Any foreign student is to pay $3,000 (₦1,000,000) plus an additional $720 (₦260,000) in total, compared to $816 (₦295,000 naira) Nigerian law students are to pay in total.
Taking Private Law Lessons
Getting admitted to the Nigerian law school is one thing, taking the time to read is another. However, getting a private tutor to help with your law education is a completely different thing. More than anything else, this is an investment you should consider. Not only would private lessons help with passing your bar exams and increase the chances of becoming great lawyers, but it will also make a lot of courses and practicality easier.
While there is so much information online, you want to make sure you're making the right move. Certified platforms like Superprof has an array of teachers who are skilled in teaching you in every state or level of your law schooling. Whether you're preparing for the bar exams, 400 level exams or just want to understand certain courses, getting a private tutor would do.
Since there is a wide range of teachers that serve different purposes, you should look out for the one(s) that will suit the premise of your education. The Superprof platform gives students the opportunity to view their potential teacher's profile and check past reviews by former students. Furthermore, 95% of teachers under the Superprof platform offer the first hour of their lesson free. Since most private tutors are geared towards an individualised teaching method, your first free hour can help you deduce the level of in-sync you have with your teacher. You also have the option of online lessons via webcam.
Truly, past students have reiterated the fact that bar examination is one of the toughest exams you will face during your journey to becoming a lawyer. Since it's an inevitable experience, it's best to work out the perfect ways to ensure that you are successful at it. That's why, having someone other than yourself, your research and your lecturers can make a lot of difference.