“Law need not be a second degree programme,”- Akpata

Olu Akpata speaks on quality of young lawyers, legal practice , others

Immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law NBA-SBL Mr Olumide Akapta has expressed his views on some topical discuss around the legal profession and these are his projected opinion.

On whether he shares concerns on the quality of young and upcoming lawyers which has also been a major concern for many senior lawyers, he said:

“Yes, I do. But it is not necessarily the fault of most of the young lawyers. I have mentioned that the system and content of our legal education needs to be reviewed and upgraded to cater for contemporary realities.

“Having said that, I must however encourage the young lawyers to take their destinies in their own hands; The need for personal development cannot be overemphasized.

” Thankfully, with the intemet, resources that were not available during our early days abound now and are easily accessible and affordable.

” Once again, the way forward is specialization, there are countless practice areas and young lawyers must be encouraged to carve a niche for themselves and become what 1 term SMEs or ‘subject matter experts’.

” I have been making my modest contribution in this regard and I pledge tc continue to do so.

On whether he thinks the Nigerian law school is enough to prepare Lawyers for the changing phase of legal practice or if law should be a second degree programme in Nigerian universities, Akpata opined:

“I do not think that law needs to be a second degree programme. There are jurisdictions where law is a first degree programme but that has not diminished the quality of the lawyers. In this country, law is studied for five years in the university and one year at the Law School.

“I think this is enough time to train the students. Why that is not happening, in my assessment, is because the system is faulty, from strikes and distorted abridged semesters to dated curricular and lack of practical training, the average Nigerian law student, in my view, does not get the much that she should out of her six years of legal training,” he said

Culled from Akpata’s Interview with LAWDIGEST

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