Becoming a lawyer in Nigeria is literally not a day's job. Not only does it take years to get a law degree, but it also requires a lot of time, study and conscious effort. This is probably why the stakes are high for lawyering. For example, if Law is your desired course of study in the university, you will be required to get a high score in your JAMB and surpass the cut-off mark for your Post JAMB. A prospective student or secondary school students who are hoping to take law courses are usually advised to start preparing for exams early enough. This will help you figure out what qualifications you need to be a lawyer in Nigeria.
Let's face it, contrary to the belief that lawyers are liars, lawyers have more often than not, advised and defended honest individuals and corporations to the point of success. It is no wonder this is such a prestigious job and can be very high-paying.
Whether it's a dream career or one of the highest-paying jobs in the country, your reason for becoming a lawyer is not far fetched. So, assuming you have bagged all qualifications and requirements for law practice in every state in Nigeria, the question still remains; what can I do with an LLB degree?
Till date, there are a lot of potential job opportunities for lawyers. In this article, Superprof will introduce you to the opportunities available within and without the law jurisdiction.
What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Lawyer In Nigeria?
If you want to study law, there are certain educational qualifications required from you. In any Nigerian state, law-school admissions require similar certifications before you can start your legal education. Below are the requirements to bag an Llb degree.
Your Secondary School Certifications
For students that require a law course to achieve their career goals, it's necessary to begin preparations from secondary school. Before taking your admission test or exam, you're required to have obtained at least five subjects (including English and Maths) credit passes in your Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council(WAEC) or similar passes in its equivalent National Examinations Council (NECO) exams. The maximum amount of sittings is two. Other important subjects you're expected to pass include; Literature-In-English, Government/History, and Economics.
Of course, it's necessary that you take other Arts and Social Science courses in your Secondary School examinations. However, it's necessary that the topics listed above are on the top of your list. Even though you're qualified for law admissions, you must sit for JAMB and Post JAMB. And since most universities in Nigeria require that you pass their cut-off marks, you will need to sit for both exams. Your success in these exams will help kickstart your undergraduate training to become a lawyer.
During your undergraduate year, you're expected to continually work towards a good CGPA to help you obtain your Bachelor of Laws degree. The total number of years you'll be spending in your university school is 5 years.
Your undergraduate curriculum requires you to study 12 compulsory core law courses. They include:
- 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
These years in the law faculty are usually very delicate. Aside from your training course classes, going to the library for wider legal research is important. More than your classes, you will need hours of study and research to help improve your legal writing skills, practical skills, give you a better perspective to any specialization of your choice and help build a solid foundation for your legal profession.
To pursue a budding career in law, your one year in the school of law will give graduates the vocational knowledge and practical skills needed for a successful career in law.
This legal practice course is referred to as the Bar Part II programme. All courses in this programme are compulsory and you must obtain at least a Pass degree in all of them to complete the programme. During your year, the courses under this programme are:
- Criminal Litigation
- Civil Litigation
- Corporate Law & Practice
- Property Law and Law in Practice (Legal Ethics & Skills).
After you graduate from law school, you can confidently use your professional skills to get jobs at various corporate law firms or become a lawyer for various clients.
Job Opportunities Within The Legal Field
For students that have earned a law degree and are looking to start legal practice, there are quite a lot of options you can choose from. Since your legal training was designed to help in practising law, here are some corporate legal firm jobs you can do within the law field:
If you love the idea of taxation or tax law, you should consider working as a tax consultant. As a tax consultant, you will be offering advice to private clients or business on specific tax issues as well as cost-effective tax solutions.
Since every year's budget in Nigeria comes up with new legislation, it's vital that you have a good knowledge of business law. Additionally, having a background in analysing law and legal changes will make a huge difference. Qualities of a tax consultant include having a problem solver, great persuasive skills and an assuring character that helps to gain the trust of clients.
A legal publisher's job is to produce Articles that report laws cases or discuss the practice of law. Most legal publishers require research, efficiency and the ability to decipher what users and readers need. Most Legal publishers employ lawyers due to the fact that they understand the legalities of things and can decipher it better than the layman. So, if you're more interested in legal research and writing, this is a perfect role for you.
With your university degree as a lawyer or your lawyer qualifications in Nigeria, you can assume insurance roles in a firm, especially in loss adjusting. Usually, lost adjusters are called in by insurance companies to help verify claims. Even though graduates from other fields can apply for this job, it's a profession that's primarily for people with a law degree. A lot of the skills acquired and developed during legal work experience and with legal service background goes well into this field. As a loss adjuster, its necessary to have an analytical mind, great negotiation skills and great communication skills.
A compliance officer's role at the firm is mostly to ensure that organisations or companies comply with rules and regulations. They take care of the company's financial conduct by making sure that it complies with regulations and principles. They are also in charge of providing financial information reports to the regulator. Having great knowledge of ordinance will prevent companies from overlooking certain laws that may have adverse effects.
Career Opportunities For Law Graduates Who Don't Want To Pursue Law
Just because you decided to study law doesn't mean that you can only work within its field. There are plenty of jobs outside of the course you studied at the university. With your experience in jurisprudence, you can apply in a firm for the following positions:
Human Resource Officer
Your position as an HR officer means that you're responsible for recruiting, developing and looking after employees. Asides from recruiting, you'll be actively involved in functions like training and monitoring performance. Your experience in legal service at the university will position you in relating better with colleagues and employees when it comes with personal communication and everything else associated with their wellbeing.
Your writing skillset in law school can easily get you editing jobs in publishing houses, newspaper and magazine companies, digital marketing agencies and much more. Your research skills will also be put to great use within this field and can get you a position in other research-related jobs.
Truly, choosing to study this course would mean spending all of your hours in the library, making research, and improving your writing skills. In any state, the benefits of studying this course are worth all the time. For students looking to improve their understanding of different law levels and courses, consider getting a private tutor. Private tutors can help individualise your learning approach and make it easier. While there are several ways of getting a private teacher, it's important that you choose carefully and wisely. It's best that you work with proper reviews of teachers who will boost your learning experience. Better still search for certified platforms like Superprof that offer the best tutoring services.
Choosing to improve learning with Superprof will give you the following benefits:
- 95% of teachers under Superprof offer the first hour of lesson free. It means that you can easily profile your tutor within this space. Of course, you also get to learn something new during this hour.
- You get access to reviews by past students and see your teacher's experience years and educational profile.
- With the webcam option, you can opt for an online tutor.
Regardless of the level, position or year in your university, getting a good private tutor can make all the difference.