It would appear that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is poised to revitalize its Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) which, among other things, is charged with the task of providing a comprehensive framework for continuing professional development of members of the Association.

Last week, the NBA announced that it will be launching various programmes under the auspices of the ICLE. This seeming rejuvenation of the ICLE with the launch of various programmes has been commended by many and seems to be in line with President Akpata’s goal of expanding the practice areas for Nigerian lawyers so as to ensure that lawyers develop skills in diverse areas and carve a niche for themselves in various areas of practice.

The current leadership of the NBA under Mr. Akpata’s appears truly committed to dealing with issues related to the welfare of its member including capacity building. Our research shows that in one of the statements made by Mr. Akpata before becoming the President of the NBA, he said that “I am one of those who strongly disagree with the notion that we have too many lawyers in Nigeria.

For a country with the largest economy in Africa and a population that is reportedly about two hundred million people, it cannot be the case that less than two hundred thousand lawyers constitute too many lawyers. Instead, I believe that there are too many lawyers practising the same thing and therefore scrambling for very scarce clients and resources”.

It is hoped that the revival of the ICLE and the roll out of specialized trainings and other career development type initiatives for lawyers will help enlarge the frontiers and expand the areas of practice for Nigerian lawyers – a majority of whom are focused on dispute resolution.

According to the NBA in a recent notice issued by its Publicity Secretary, Dr. Rapulu Nduka, the capacity building programmes are expected to commence on the 2nd of March 2021 and will be free for all members of the Association. The registration details can be found at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EFcdSr1TTT-Lbi3z0PIPkg (for IP, Media and Technology Law) and https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UqDcQZvNQi66fOuxqvrecw (for Tax).

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