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Challenges and prospects of legal education in Nigeria: an overview

N.J. Madubuike-Ekwe


Due to the falling standard of legal education, many people now question the quality and integrity of the legal profession. Many lawyers lack the intellectual skills to deal with simple legal tasks they are briefed to handle; some lack the rudimentary knowledge of basic legal principles and some dabble into unethical conducts such as defrauding clients, bribing judicial officers and embezzlement of funds in their custody etc. Hence, there is clamor for reforms not only in legal education but the entire educational system in Nigeria. This paper examines the problems facing legal education in Nigeria from the early sixties to the present day. It discusses the challenges of legal education such as inadequate funding, too many law faculties, and explosion in student population, conservative curriculum, and uncommitted lecturers among others. To rectify this problem, efforts should be made to harmonize the teaching and learning methods at the Law School and the Law Faculties in such a way that the Law Faculties would teach both the substantive and procedural law. Similarly, the Nigerian Law School should be abolished and turned into an examining body responsible for organizing and conducting bar examinations. If legal education is well funded and appropriate steps taken to remedy the problems highlighted in this paper, legal education and profession in Nigeria will greatly improve.

Keywords: Legal education in Nigeria, Law Faculty, Nigerian Law School, Council of Legal education, Lawyers, Clinical legal education