The profession of a lawyer is that which is very attractive to the hearing. So many crave to be part of this awed field. But losing track of the right direction to follow a point. Hence, knowing that a lawless community is that in which chaos dominates. For a society to live in tranquility and orderliness, certain laws have to be put in place. Thus, the lawyers are responsible for protecting these laws and ensuring that are heeded. Thus, we are going to tell you all you need to become a lawyer in Nigeria.
Are you a student aspiring to become a lawyer in Nigeria? Do you want to know how long it takes to be a lawyer in Nigeria? Do you want to know the salary scale in Nigeria? Or are you want to know how much it takes to be a lawyer in Nigeria? Then, you need not search the net anymore as we have provided you with all the information you need and even more.
Furthermore, we would tell you the duties of lawyers and how to become a lawyer in Nigeria. But before proceeding to answer the above questions, it will be wise to let you know who lawyers truly are.
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Who is a Lawyer?
In a cooler tone, we can say a lawyer is a legal practitioner. Therefore, a person licensed to practice law is a lawyer. Oftentimes, we refer to them as attorneys or advocates. While we can trace the inception of this profession back to the days of ancient Greece.
It all started when citizens of then needed an Orator to speak on their behalf during some cases. They could either request for their friends who were more outspoken and swift with words to speak for them. Although, as of then, they didn’t have permission to call themselves lawyers. Even though have legal attributes. This was according to Athenian law. While they still couldn’t boast of themselves as legal professionals.
Hence, the first set of lawyers that started receiving payments for their services could be dated back to the earliest lawyers in Rome. This was around 204 BC, they received compensation for their services by the legalization of the profession by Emperor Claudius who removed the ban of them not being paid.
The duties performed by lawyers are very tasking a superseded just being orators for people. They engage in many other activities that require a lot of professionals outstandings to excel. Thus see below for some of the duties performed by lawyers
Duties of Lawyers
However, apart from the duties listed above, there are still more tasks attached to being a lawyer. It will also interest you to know that there are different types of lawyers based on their career options. You can refer here to learn more.
What does it mean to Study Law?
Have you ever asked a student what he/she is undertaking in the tertiary institution and they say I study law? But you don’t understand what it means for someone to study law. Some may think studying law is bringing the file or list of documented laws and starting learning them to perfection. No! Studying law surpasses that.
To study law entails professional education undergone by legal practitioners where they are properly trained in the acts and duties of a lawyer. During the study of law, students will explore the borders of humanities and social sciences. Hence, their minds will be well developed and sharpened in various fields like politics, diplomacy, business, economics, and education.
Law Governing Bodies in Nigeria
Several regulatory bodies in Nigeria monitor Law practices and education in Nigeria. These regulatory bodies are responsible for ensuring the smooth running and mannered behavior of Lawyers. They are also responsible for calling people to the Bar in Nigeria. Hence, below is the list of Law regulatory bodies in Nigeria;
#1. The Council of Legal Education:
This is the body in charge of Law education in Nigeria. They ensure that the appropriate legal education is given to students to become legal professionals. They coordinate the certification of Bachelor of Law degrees and also continuing Legal education. Hence, they are also responsible for setting standards to be used by Faculties of Law in Nigeria Universities.
#2. Body of Benchers:
The body of Benchers is the highest body of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria. Hence, the Body of Benchers is in charge of the Legal Professions in Nigeria. They are responsible for handling the Call-to-bar ceremony and also providing measures that will be relevant to maintaining the values of the legal practice in the country at all times. Also, they exercise disciplinary jurisdiction over all members of the legal profession and also students seeking to become legal practitioners. They are also in charge of prescribing the fee to be paid by legal practitioners who want to join the Act.
#3. Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC):
The LPPC is the body that houses the Senior Legal Practitioners in the country. Thus, with approval from the Body of Benchers, the LPPC makes rules that will be followed by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria. They are also responsible for the conferment of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria. The LPPC comprises;
#4. Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC):
The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) is the Body of Benchers responsible for taking care of cases where it was discovered that a member of the Legal Practitioner misused his authority. This is to ensure that Artonneys in Nigeria do not misuse their positions and thus maintain sanity.
#5. The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA):
The Nigeria Bar Association is the body housing all Legal Practitioners in the country. As long as you’ve been called to the bar, then automatically, you are part of the Nigeria Bar Association. Hence, they are often mandated to pay a practicing fee to continue as legal practitioners in the country. This fee must be paid on or before March 31st each year. Failure to pay the practicing fee, the lawyer cannot appear in court.
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Career Prospects of Studying Law?
Studying Law opens students to so many career prospects other than being a lawyer. Even the profession of lawyers is a very broad one. Thus there are different kinds of lawyers known in their field of the establishment. Students who had studied law can work in different firms and organizations around the globe. Assisting in legal bidings in the organization. So many spaces are also available for lawyers in governmental bodies as most of the activities therein require a legal practitioner. Hence we have provided a list of different career prospects for lawyers and also different kinds of lawyers available below
Here are different career prospects for students studying law;
#1. Judges and Hearing Officers:
This category of career prospects are those who work in law courts. The Judges and hearing officers are responsible for resolving administrative disputes, issuing legal decisions, conducting pretrial hearings, and also facilitating negotiations between rivals.
#2. Post Secondary Teachers:
People who study law can also apply for teaching jobs, especially as postsecondary teachers. They will be instructing students on vast fields of academic and technical subjects above the secondary school level. They can also be responsible for conducting research and publishing scholarly books and papers.
#3. Legal and Paralegal Assistants:
This career prospect is more of being an assistant to a lawyer. You might decide not to be a lawyer, but you can become a legal or paralegal assistant. They perform different duties in assisting the lawyers like helping them to draft documents, maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and others.
#4. Mediators, Conciliators, and Arbitrators:
Persons who studied law can also be mediators, conciliators, or arbitrators outside the law court. They will serve to provide negotiation and dialogues between rivals and resolve the dispute.
Different Types of Lawyers
There are different types of lawyers concerning their work applications. Thus, in case you intend to become a lawyer, it is relevant to bring the different types of lawyers to your notice. So you would know the one to ply for at an early stage of your decision-making. Hence, below is the list of the different kinds of lawyers obtainable when considering their area of career;
Things to Set Your Mind to Before Considering To Study Law?
Before considering studying law, there are certain things you are to bear in mind. You must know these things to avoid a situation where you will feel that you were oblivious to it at the initial. Thus, below are things to set your mind to before considering studying law;
#1. Be Ready To Wear Cooperate Wears:
People who study law at the university are known to be bound by their dress codes. They are expected to dress in cooperative wear all the time or else face a penalty in class. Mostly, it is white and black, that is, a white shirt and black cooperate trousers. Thus if you know you don’t like wearing cooperate wears and aspire to be a lawyer, it is time you learn to adapt to it.
#2. Law Books Are Expensive:
It is also good to know that law books are very expensive and bulky. Most of the textbooks that you will require during your study as a law students are pretty expensive and you can’t get them for free. Thus, you have to prepare your mind, because as expensive and big as it means that you are required to have a stretched reading time.
#3. Law School is Intense:
In the process of becoming a lawyer, you’d have to go to law school after your undergraduate study in Law. Thus, in law school, you will be engaged in several intense mental training and activities. This is the most difficult experience you’d get in becoming a lawyer.
#4. Adopt Certain Skills:
To become a lawyer, students are ought to adopt certain skills. There are essential skills that make up a good lawyer, like; Analytical skills, writing skills, problem-solving skills, speaking skills, interpersonal skills, and research skills.
How much does it Cost to Become a Lawyer in Nigeria?
The cost of studying Law or becoming a lawyer in Nigeria is not so expensive. Though, this depends on the type of institution you choose to attend. During your undergraduate study, you can choose to attend either a Private, State or Federal University in the country. Hence, considering the type of uni you decide to undertake your undergraduate course in Law degree may hype or normal the price of being a lawyer in Nigeria. Therefore you can visit the respective university you intend to acquire your undergraduate law degree to see how much the tuition fee cost per session. Though, the cost of tuition for law students per session in Nigeria ranges from N150,000-N1.5m depending on your choice of institution.
However, after obtaining a law degree (LLB) from the university, students are required to go to law school. Here they may require to spend a budget of up to N300,000 for their one-year program at the law school.
In summary, to become a lawyer in Nigeria you are to make a budget ranging from N2m-N8m for the full course of your path. Though, this is in consideration of the category of the institution you choose to attend.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Lawyer in Nigeria?
To become an attorney in Nigeria requires years of study and experience. Generally, it requires 7-8 years to become a full practicing lawyer in Nigeria. Thus, counting from the undergraduate level in Nigeria, students who want to obtain law degrees will have to spend 5 years at the university. Then, they will do 1 year of service to the nation. And also spend 1 year in Nigeria Law School.
Meanwhile, you’d know that you cannot enter a Law School without a bachelor’s degree in Law. Also, you will have to take the law school admission test to get into the school of Law. Furthermore, having more other certificates like courses in Economics, English, History, Public Speaking, and Government will be an added advantage.
Also, know that having preliminary experience is essential. Thus before applying to Nigeria Law School, it will be wise to gain little experience by attaching to a legal firm. This will boost your professionalism when you become a lawyer.
What is the Lawyers Salary Scale in Nigeria?
Lawyers in Nigeria are one of the most comfortable individuals. A lawyer may earn up to N500,000 on a monthly average in Nigeria. Nonetheless, this depends on the aspect you work as a lawyer in the country. At some point, some lawyers tend to earn up to N1m. Hence, in normal terms, payments of lawyers are in consideration of the person’s professional dexterity and years of experience. Below, we have provided an average monthly salary scale of lawyers in Nigeria when looking at the age of experience. This information was gotten from salary explorer;
0-2 years: N151,000
5-10 years: N297,000
10-15 years: N363,000
15-20 years: N395,000
20+ years: N450,000 +
How to Become a Lawyer in Nigeria?
To be licensed to practice law in Nigeria, you have to meet to-the section 4(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act. In essence, you have to register and enroll as a legal practitioner in the country. Thus, becoming a lawyer in Nigeria is not an easy one but surely one has to start from somewhere.
However, becoming a lawyer in Nigeria can be traced back to the secondary school stage of students. We know that in Nigeria, students spend three years at the senior secondary school level. Hence, if you aspire to become a lawyer in Nigeria, it starts from that level of education as students are required to choose their different fields of aspiration. At the secondary school level, the students are given an option to either choose between the Science and Arts field. Students who aspire to become lawyers at this level of education are to go for the Arts field. Here they will be taught different subjects of discipline that will set their mindset to their future aspiration of becoming a lawyer
Subjects like economics, government, history, and all sorts will be taught to expose their minds to future tasks. Hence, at the end of this study stage, students will usually obtain an O’level (WAEC/NECO) result satisfying that they’ve completed their secondary education.
Now, to enter the full course of their journey of becoming a lawyer, as earlier said, they would have to meet the requirements of section 4(1) of the Legal Practioner Act in Nigeria and must be fulfilled for admission and qualification as Legal Practitioner in Nigeria. Hence, this entails;
#1. Obtaining a Law Degree (LLB) from an Accredited University:
This is the first bold step you will take to become a lawyer. To obtain an LLB degree. LLB stands for the Latin Legum Baccalaureus a Latin word meaning Bachelor of Law.
This is the stage the student decides on a suitable university in the country to attend and obtain a bachelor’s degree in Law. In this level of education, the students will be taught substantive laws. They will learn different concepts and theories associated with law study. At this level, the students will spend 5years of their process of becoming a lawyer here. Some of the concepts that will be taught then will be based on the following;
However, to get admission to an accredited Nigeria University, students need to meet certain requirements of the institution. Though, there are different ways of getting admitted to Nigeria Universities. It is either you get admitted using Pre-degree, Jupeb, Direct entry, or through direct application. Either way, the students are to ensure they meet the under-listed requirements and procedures;
#1. O’Level Requirement:
First and foremost, to be admitted to study law at an accredited Nigerian University, you need to get an O’level result (WAEC, NECO, or GCE) in not more than two sittings. You must ensure, that you have up to 5 credit passes in subjects relevant to the law including English Language and Literature-in-English. Then any other Arts/Social Science related subject like Economics, History, Government, Commerce, etc.
#2. UTME Requirements:
After meeting the O’level requirements, the students are to ensure that they enroll for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. The popularly called JAMB exam. Here they will be accessed for key courses in their relevant aspired field of study. To see the perfect JAMB Combination of Law students visit here. The students are expected to meet the Jamb cut-off back for the school they aspire to study to be able to apply for the university admission screening exercise. The minimum Jamb admission cut-off mark for Law aspirants is usually 200 out of 400 in the JAMB grading system. Though, it is often advised that the students aim as high as they are often competition. And admission consideration will be given based on academic merits.
Haven passed and met the JAMB criteria and O’level criteria, the students are now to apply for the school screening exercise popularly called post-UTME in the country. Here the school will assess the students by themselves and ensure that they can meet the school standard of education. Applying for post-UTME is always concerned with the University you wish to undertake your program. After the Post-UTME screening exercise, admission will be granted to all deemed fit to continue in the study of obtaining an LLB.
#4. Direct Entry
Alternatively, as earlier said, you can process admission into Nigeria University to study law using the direct entry process. Where you are required to apply using your ND/HND certificate from the field related to Arts/Social Sciences. You must obtain at least an upper credit pass to be eligible for enrollment. Either way, the students are also expected to write JAMB but the process is usually simpler to obtain admission to study Law.
#2 Complete a Professional Program at Nigeria Law School
The next bold step to take to become a Lawyer in Nigeria is to attend the one-year Law School. This is usually after they have done their one-year NYSC service in the country. There will then use their LLB to apply to the Nigeria Law School. Here, they will be taught procedural law and training in law practice. Nigeria Law School is been coordinated by the Council of Legal Education in Nigeria. Thus, this organization in charge of Law study in Nigeria mandates that all aspiring practicing lawyers in the country must attend Law school.
Thus, the Nigeria Law School is divided into two segments which are; the Bar Par I and the Bar Part II
Bar Part I:
The Bar Part I are usually for students who obtained their LLB from a foreign University. Thus, Bar Part one is a six-month sectioned program at the Nigeria Law School meant for foreign student who wishes to be legal practitioners in Nigeria. Here they will be introduced to the general principles of Nigerian Law and learn about the following fields; Nigerian Criminal Law, the Nigerian Legal System, the Nigerian Constitutional Law, and the Nigerian Land Law. Hence, after their six months Programme at Bar Part I they will be required to join their Nigeria colleagues at Bar Part II
Bar Part II:
This is the stage where law graduates begin to learn practical knowledge and vocational skills. Here all courses offered are mandatory and the students will ensure to get a pass mark to be considered fit. Here, the students will be engaged in quizzes, tests, simulation clinics, etc. The kind of courses students will come across in this stage are; Civil Litigation, Corporate Law& Practice, Property Law, Criminal Litigation, and Law in Practice. Furthermore, students will learn good ethics and skills here. Also, are mandated to attend at least formal Law dinners. This is to learn to adopt the attitude of a good gentleman/lady and also get to meet legal practitioners and learn from their experiences.
Meanwhile, you are also required to get practical experience in the workability of legal systems at this stage. This is usually obtained by completing two externships in a law firm and court. At the end of their program at the Nigeria Law School, they will be required to sit for their final examination. Hence, a successful student of the exam will be issued a qualifying certificate from the Council of Legal Education.
#3. Present a Qualifying Certificate to the Bencher Body
After obtaining your qualifying certificate from the Council of Legal Education, you will have to present it to the body in charge of the legal profession in Nigeria (Body of Benchers). Afterward, the Body of Bechers will organize the Call to Bar Ceremony as it is their responsibility. Hence, in the Call to Bar Ceremony, successful candidates will become initiated into the Nigerian Legal Profession. They will swear an ought to abide by the laws and practice incorruptibly. On that day they will be on their Barrister robes. At the end of the ceremony, they will offer them the Certificate of Call to Bar.
#4. Enroll as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria
This is the last stage you’d need to meet to become a practicing lawyer in Nigeria. Hence, after you have obtained the certificate you will need to enroll as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court. The names are usually included in the Roll of Legal Practitioners that is maintained by the registrar of the Supreme Court.
Thus, Section 7(1) of the Legal Practitioners Acts; Says that a person is only entitled to have his/her name placed on the Roll of Legal Practitioners only if he/she has been called to the Bar by the Nigeria Body of Benchers and he has produced a Certificate of the Call to the Bar to the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
While Section 2(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act states that a person can only be entitled to practice as a Solicitor and Barrister in Nigeria if his name is on the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria.
At last, at this stage, you are now a fully licensed lawyer in Nigeria and can now represent in court, draft legal documents, and advise clients.
Schools Where You Can Study Law in Nigeria
If you are considering obtaining a Law degree at Nigeria University, we have provided you with a list of Universities in Nigeria where you can study Law in your Undergraduate study. Currently, 38 Universities in Nigeria offer Law degrees. Hence, consider checking them up in our list of universities and choose the best you deem fit for your convenience. Anyways, in no manner of order see below for the list;
Thus, See The List of Schools You Can Study Law In Nigeria
FAQs on How to Become a Lawyer in Nigeria
How long does it take to become a Lawyer in Nigeria?
Generally, it requires 7-8 years to become a full practicing lawyer in Nigeria.
How much do Lawyers earn in Nigeria?
To see how much Lawyers in Nigeria earn, it will be wise for you to visit here for clear information.
Who is a Lawyer?
A lawyer is licensed to practice the law. Lawyers are often time called attorneys or advocates
How do I become a Lawyer in Nigeria?
The process of becoming a Lawyer in Nigeria will require you meet to the requirements of section 4(1) of the Legal Practioner Act in Nigeria and must be fulfilled for admission and qualification as a Legal Practitioner in Nigeria. To see clear information on this visit here
What are the requirements for obtaining an LBB degree in Nigeria?
To obtain an LLB or Bachelor of Law degree in Nigeria, the candidate must meet all the admission demands of his/her intending University of attendance and successfully pass the educational requirements while studying Law.
How many types of Lawyers do they have?
There are different types of Lawyers and different career prospects for Lawyers. Though we have provided a few lists here you can check here to see the list.
Becoming a lawyer is an incredible choice of career. But, before making that choice, be sure you have wanted it takes, or are better ready to fit into the stress and task accompanying your aspiration. Meanwhile, lawyers earn pretty well and the career choice is one that any brilliant student in the field of social sciences will like to ply for. For the main time, we will appreciate it if you would kindly rate this article below.