The students where said to have arrived late for the dinner which was the third for the session. This action by the students was reported to have been a breach of the guidelines set by the Body of Benchers before a person can be called to the Nigerian Bar.
The Nigerian Law School In its release also stated that the students (with a total number of 55) shall not be eligible for the call to bar ceremonies holding in Abuja at the international conference Center. This means they would be eligible for another call to bar ceremony to be held sometime next year upon attending a dinner to be stipulated by the body.
To gain access to most professions, it’s enough to sit for an exam or two. But the bar is different, the qualification as a lawyer in Nigeria is contingent on law graduates attending the three law dinners. Law dinner is part of the school curriculum inherited in the 60s from the uk, and has been in operation till date.
The guidelines state that a student shall(Compulsory) attend all dinning terms fixed by the authorities and anyone who misses such important dinners shall not be eligible for the Nigerian Bar in other words shall not be fit and proper to practice law in Nigeria.
It is now a norm not only in the Nigerian legal profession but some countries that law dinner must be held for lawyer students who are in law school before they will be qualified to be called.
Before one can be called to the Nigerian Bar, such a person must dine three times, the first two will be done while you’re still at the law school and the last one will be during the call to the bar ceremony. It then means that it is only those who pass the Bar Final Examinations that would have the last dinner.
The idea for this dinner is to create an avenue for the students to meet with members of the legal profession and the benchers, as well as to inculcate the habit of learned gentlemen into the students.
Most people get excited at the first dinner, especially those who have not attended a formal law dinner before while for some, it was just an opportunity to get free dinner which rarely happens. During our time, we were given practical classes on how to use the cutleries, hold cups and how to use cloth napkins.
On the day of the dinner, we were all asked to form a queue for inspection, some of the male students were not allowed to enter the dinner hall until they were properly dressed. For the male students they must be on a black trouser, white shirt,with black tie, and a black suit, black socks , black shoes and their hair must be well cut. For the ladies you must wear a black skirt which must not be above your knees, white shirt, with a suit, there must be no form of attachment on the hair, it must be natural hair and well packed, the makeover has to be moderate or no makeover at all, black shoes with no shinning leather, no blink blink of whatsoever. Your earing must be small and simple. After the first dinner most people got disappointed and weren’t moved during the second dinner.
We were offered half sliced bread, small sachet blue band butter with a cold white soup. The idea was to “break the bread into the soup”
For the main course, we were served jellof/fried rice with chicken and moi moi. A bottle of wine was served on each table, then bottled water. For the desert we were served some pieces of water melon.