The topic of this post will not go down well with many people who will stumble on this article. Before you start rising up your mouth in protest to this article I will like you to read in between the line and relax a bit, think over it before you comment. Please do not comment first and read later.
There is nothing wrong with Law as a profession. Through the practise of law, many people that were not guilty of the offences they were accused of regained their freedom although on a negative side, some were able to pay with their lives.
If you are studying Law in any Nigerian university and you are planning to practise Law in Nigeria, then this article is for you. Otherwise, if you are studying law for the purpose of knowledge and the accolade that goes with the profession, don’t worry and don’t let this post take away your sleep.
This post is not in any ways trying to discourage you from studying Law in Nigeria but a checklist list of things you might not have known or put into consideration before you started your journey.
Below are five reasons why you should not study law in Nigeria
Long training process
Law programme in Nigeria is among many other programmes that take a minimum of seven years to qualify. Yes I mean seven years when you factor in one year of National Service and another one year for Law School. It can spill over to eight or ten years if there is a prolong strike by universities in Nigeria or Failure in Law School and other unforeseen factors. After spending all these years in school your chances of getting a dream job is far-fetched and most that succeeded to attach themselves in a Law chambers are paid basically nothing.
Old aged rewarding profession
Law in Nigeria is an old age rewarding profession. You have to make your mark in the luminary environment with many successful cases to your belt before things will start to look promising for you. Although there are few exceptions, smart and street lawyers who focus on conventional areas like charge and bail, real estate and the likes can create a reasonable life for themselves. If you are attached to a chamber as a junior lawyer, most often your monthly pay will depend on number of cases you brought in that month. It takes years to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) which might give you that added advantage in your career success.
Many lawyers struggle to pay for their basic monthly expenses. They hardly make enough money from their profession to buy a portable second-hand car. Recently, they have been many complain about how most banks in Nigeria treat their staff but when you put a junior banker and a junior practising law side-by-side you will see the difference immediately.
High unemployment rate / Respect
This particular situation is not peculiar to law profession in Nigeria. We knew that there is a high unemployment rate in Nigeria. But the sad part with lawyers is when their families have gathered resources and everything they have to train them for at least seven years with the hope of them contributing back to family growth, they live a life of excuses why things are not always working well. There is always a time limit for this kind of story, once the time is exceed lawyers usually use respect even in their very own family. Statement like this “no grammar bring money” will start to fizzle out from your loved ones.
As a lawyer struggle with all these challenges of making it in law profession, you are always wary of the path you have cross. Most cases they handle in Nigeria come with huge risk especially political and family related cases. Imagine being in a profession where you barely make ends meet and you are also in danger of losing your life. It is something to reconsider.
We have rant about five reasons you have to reconsider before studying or practise law in Nigeria. Please note that one of the following listed attributes below have helped some lawyers sail through this path unscratched.
1. Family connection (with established law firm or name)
2. Exceptional skills