It is never easy to become a lawyer in Nigeria. You must spend 5 years in a university accredited by the Council of Legal Education, followed by one year in law school, for a total of 6 years in school. However, this is not the end of the road. Before you can practice as a lawyer in Nigeria, you must first pass the bar examination. Is six years in law school really too long? If YES? What about other countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and so on? Do you know that it takes about 7 years to become a lawyer in the United States? And even more in other countries around the world.
Do you aspire to become a lawyer in Nigeria? Here are some steps to help you get started in the legal field.
How To Become An Attorney In Nigeria
1. Recognize the subject combination for law
Before you can be admitted to any Nigerian university to study law, you must have a good subject combination and at least a pass in those courses. This rule applies to both your waec and your jamb. In Nigeria, the main subject combinations for studying law are: 1. English 2. Government 3. Literature and 4. CRS. Some universities, however, substitute CRS for Economics and Government for History. As a result, you should consult the official website of the law school to learn about their admissions requirements.
So, before you write your waec, neco, or jamb, make sure these four subjects are on your subject list. Otherwise, even if you have a 400 in Jamb, you will not be admitted to any Nigerian university to study law.
2. Obtain university admission.
As far as the Nigerian educational system is concerned, you can never become a lawyer in secondary school. Before you can study procedural law in law school, you must first be admitted to a university where you can study substantial law. So, when writing your jamb, aim to score higher than the departmental cutoff of your preferred school. Law is a highly competitive course all over the world. It took me four years to gain admission to law school.
In 2017, a year after graduating from secondary school in 2016, I took my first jamb. I scored 263 in my first jamb and 50 in the post-utme but was not admitted to Unizik to study law. In 2018, I applied to Uniben after my post-utme with 268 and an aggregate of 67, but I was not admitted. In 2019, I reapplied to Unizik with a jamb score of 265 and a post-utme score of 46, but I was denied admission. If you’ve ever been in my shoes, you’ll understand how frustrated I was. Finally, with a jamb score of 277, I applied to Unical in 2020 and was accepted. The point of this story is to demonstrate how difficult it is to study law and other professional courses in Nigeria, such as medicine and surgery, nursing, and pharmacy. So, try to improve your jamb and post-utme scores.
3. Attend law school
Following your university days, the next step is to pass the law school admission test and gain admission to a law school in Nigeria. That is where you learn about the procedural aspects of the law. Here is the final step to becoming a lawyer in Nigeria after you have gained admission to law school.
4. Successfully complete the bar exam
The final step toward becoming a lawyer is passing the bar exam. That is what demonstrates your eligibility to be called to the bar. When you are finally called to the bar, it means you have been granted the right to practice law in Nigeria. These are the four steps to becoming a legal practitioner in Nigeria.