Law is one of the most popular career choices among students in Nigeria. Alongside medicine and surgery, pharmacy, and engineering, a law degree is one of most coveted university degrees in the country. Every year, numerous students throng JAMB offices across the country to fill in law on their registration forms as their preferred course option.
The reason for this is not far-fetched. Law is one of the most highly respected professions in Nigeria. This is majorly due to the task lawyers are saddled with. In Nigeria, the judiciary is commonly known as “the last hope of the common man”, as such, lawyers are seen as enforcers of justice and equity, especially among the poor and middle class folk in Nigeria whose civil rights are trampled on on a daily basis in the country. Nigerians give lawyers a somewhat messianic prestige within the country, and it is this prestige that makes many students choose law as their preferred career choice.
It is not only students that are carried away by the high esteem lawyers are held in the country, parents as well persuade many of their children and wards to pursue a career in law because they want to revel in the thrill of being called parents of barristers. The allure of being a lawyer is not the only selling point of law though. Law is also a very lucrative profession, as it provides a number of career opportunities across the labour market for law graduates. Lawyers can serve in various administrative, advisory, and corporate management positions in various organizations across the public and private sectors.
There are also areas of specialization for law graduates across the profession. Lawyers can choose to specialize in areas like patent law, property law, corporate law, or criminal law. The reason lawyers can serve in a number of different positions in the corporate world is down to the various skills that are required to practise the profession, skills that are required in many administrative positions across the corporate world, and skills that all law graduates possess from their grooming in the university.
Some of these skills are; research skills, analytical skills, evaluation skills, critical thinking skills, reasoning and critical judgement skills, negotiation skills, persuasion skills (both verbal and written), problem solving skills, etcetera. All of these skills are essential to the legal profession and majority of them come into play daily in the corporate world. Little wonder then that lawyers are invaluable to the corporate world. Also, aside the allure and lucrative nature of the legal profession, most students choose law because of the passion they have for it. Students who enjoy the thrill of sound and concise arguments, as well as the joy and fulfillment that comes from enforcing justice, usually find themselves pursuing law as their preferred career choice.
Places to work with a law degree in Nigeria
For many students and parents in Nigeria, when you mention law, the first thing that comes to mind is a law court. That is the conventional idea about a lawyer. However, like we’ve stated earlier, lawyers have numerous career opportunities open to them across the corporate world. Both public and private firms and organisations all have legal matters to deal with that do not necessarily require a court hearing. Banks, insurance companies, hospitals, schools, and even churches all require lawyers at one point or the other to handle certain legal issues for them. Property sales, document signing, and business registration are some of the issues that require the services of a legal practitioner. Briefly, we’ll list below career opportunities open to law graduates in Nigeria.
- Barrister’s clerk
- Chartered accountant
- Patent attorney
- Public prosecutor
- Civil service administrator
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Legal analyst
- Legal advisor
- Detective/Private investigator
- Company secretary
- Chartered legal executive
- Licenced conveyance
- Government lawyer
- Civil litigation lawyer
- Human resources officer
Admission requirements and universities to study law in Nigeria
For many students who wish to study law but do not know what is required of them before they’re given admission, we’ll quickly look at the admission requirements needed to study law across universities in Nigeria, as well as some of the universities where law is offered as a course option across the country.
As usual, students who wish to study law are required to possess five ‘O’ credits passes in their SSCE (WAEC, NECO, GCE, or any of their equivalent). Mathematics, English, and Literature must be among the subjects passed. Any other two art or social science subjects can be included. For UTME, English language and literature are compulsory subjects and, as such, must be included in your subject combination. Any other two art or social science subjects could be added to it. It is important you check the admission requirements of the university of your choice, as some universities have subjects they require and those they do not accept in the course combination. Very quickly, we’ll list out some of the universities in Nigeria where you can study law.
- University of Benin
- University of Lagos
- Benue State University
- Ambrose Ali University
- Adeleke University
- Benson Idahosa University
- University of Jos
- University of Ibadan
- Igbenedion University, Okada
- Ekiti State University
- Babcock University
- Imo State University
- Kogi State University
- Enugu State University of science and technology
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka
- Afe Babalola University
- Obafemi Awolowo University
- Joseph Ayo Babalola University
- Lead city University
- National Open University of Nigeria
Law is a very popular career choice among students in Nigeria. The allure of the legal profession, it’s lucrative nature, and the delicate task lawyers are saddled with are among the many reasons students pursue a career in law. While the conventional idea of the job of a lawyer is defending a client in a court of law, numerous career opportunities abound for law graduates across the public and private sector, especially in the corporate world. We hope this article has been helpful with necessary information about a career in law. Let us know in the comment section.