Law and social work practice in Nigeria: A need for effective collaboration

  • Christopher Ndubuisi Ngwu
  • Anthony Obinna Iwuagwu


Positive collaboration between social workers and lawyers is important in social work because law plays some critical roles in the practice of social work. The aim of this paper therefore, is to examine the needs, challenges of effective collaboration and similarities between social workers and lawyers in Nigeria, in the  service of clients so that each profession can increase its understanding of the other discipline. It considers also the location of relationship between social work and law practice and explores areas of convergence. We employed in-depth interviews (IDIs) as instruments for data collection for this study, using a  sample of 10 social work educators and 10 practicing lawyers at University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Enugu campus respectively, targeting participants with long working experience. The interviews focused on the strengths and weaknesses of collaborative models which use all of their valued knowledge, training and  ability to care for clients. The data collected were analyzed thematically. Findings showed that the law and social work professions are interwoven professions given their similarities. Results also showed the importance of collaboration between lawyers and social workers as well as the barriers that has impeded such collaboration among  professionals. It is therefore of utmost importance that right measures are taken to overcome these impediments and laying a foundation for effective collaboration between the two professionals.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934