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Blame decline in legal education on poor university system says Don

By Innocent ANABA
Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Dr Tahir Mohammed, yesterday attributed the decline in  legal education in Nigeria to the progressive decline in university education,  decline in the number of lecturers in faculties and the technical quality of legal education fostered on the country by early generation of law teachers.

Dr Mohammed, who spoke on the theme, “The Globalization of legal Practice: The challenges for Legal Education in Nigeria”, at the 2nd Annual Business Luncheon of SPA Ajibade & Co, in Lagos, yesterday, called on the  Federal Government to critically look at the state of education in the country and if need be, declare a state of emergency on the sector, saying that the call had become imperative due to the lack of spare parts for human resources.

Describing legal education as the most neglected by official organs, he said legal education and training at the local level was too important to be left to teachers alone at the Law Schools.

He said, “you either have human resources or not or you either develop them or not. There is no spare part for that. Since legal practice has mounted this global stage as a business, it must then adjust its strategies and strengths. So, the adage of if you cannot defeat them, join them was adopted as a realistic philosophy.

“The inevitable conclusion is that the educational system both at the university degree level focused on disconnected individual subjects and their contents with little attention on concepts, issues, philosophy and policy considerations underlying that area of law, with students unable to see the big picture by themselves”.

He  called for partnership among lawyers, to position the legal practitioners to compete at global level.
The law school, he said had already started the move to bring back apprenticeship in the profession and called on the Nigeria Bar Association to send a Bill to the National Assembly,  that will mandate young practitioner to stay in practice for a minimum of five years before establishing their own law firms.

Justice Walter Onnoghen, a former Justice of the Supreme Court and chairman of the occasion, said that the topic of the luncheon was timely and apt,  especially with evolving developments, saying lawyers must keep pace with the unfolding developments, and thing imposed on them by the changing features of time and practice.

According to him, there is need for lawyers to come together and look at issues arising  in the profession like that the call for the abrogation of the rank  of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), with the view to finding a solution to the issues that gave rise to the calls.

He said that it was not the best approach to call for its abrogation of SAN, but that the appraoch should be to remedy whatever that is found to be wrong with it.


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