Law school graduates in Nigeria face a unique set of challenges. One of the most pressing challenges is that there are not enough jobs to go around. Many law school graduates find themselves working in low-paying, menial jobs. This can be quite discouraging, and it can be difficult to maintain a positive outlook when you are not able to use your law degree in the way that you had hoped.
A second challenge that law school graduates in Nigeria face is the high cost of tuition. Law school tuition in Nigeria is often prohibitively expensive, and many students find themselves taking out loans and/or in many cases having to sell property in order to finance their education. This can be a difficult burden to carry, especially when there are not many jobs available to graduates.
Graduates work 1-3 years for free to gain experience.
The legal system in Nigeria is based on English common law, which means that there is a great deal of case law to be studied. However, the legal profession in Nigeria is also heavily influenced by traditional customs and religious beliefs. In addition, the court system is often backlogged, which can lead to long delays in getting cases resolved.
In most cases, law graduates are expected to provide services to law firms and do not receive compensation for their efforts. It is reported that most graduates work 1-3 years for free to gain experience in the field, with hope of getting employment where they volunteered, without any assured guarantees, while having to pay back borrowed money they used for their education.
Graduates gain the experience needed to succeed.
Recent discussions about implementing a minimum wage for graduates seeking employment from law firms has good intentions, but this move will leave many law graduates in the dark as most firms would not be willing to pay minimum wage to multiple graduates. This would mean that students would not be able to access in field experience that is required for employment in this field.
The best solution to this issue is to implement a postgraduate center for field experience, where graduates work for a minimum wage while under supervision from a team of legal experts. The public would be able to seek legal help from this organization at discounted rates, and the graduates gain the experience needed to succeed in this industry.
This represents a win for all Nigerians.
This regulated entity will ensure all law school graduates have access to this service. This would help to fill the gap that exists between the number of legal professionals and the number of people who need legal services. Individuals not able to afford the costs of hiring a firm would have access to legal representation and this represents a win for all Nigerians.