Reform Of Legal Education In Nigeria

Reform Of Legal Education In Nigeria

REFORM OF LEGAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

The reform of legal education was launched in 2004 with the 1st Nigeria Clinical Legal Education Colloquium with the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Akin Olujimi SAN, Director of Legal Aid Council of Nigeria Mrs. Uju Hassan-Baba, Deputy Director Nigerian Law School now the Director General Dr. Tahir Mamman and representatives from 22 law faculties, National Universities Commission, Nigerian Bar Association and NGOs working on delivery of legal services.

 

This was followed up with the ‘Clinical Legal Education Colloquium’ in 2004 and the 2nd All African Clinical Legal Education Colloquium’ in 2005 in addition to series of advocacy meetings carried out (2004-2006 activities report).

 

Four (4) pilot law clinics which were later increased to six (6) in collaboration with Open Society Justice Initiative with support from Open Society Institute were established between 2004 and 2007. In 2008, with the support of MacArthur Foundation, the program was expanded to a total of ten (10) University based law clinics. In addition, 2 national and 15 on-site clinical legal education teachers’ trainings for Nigerian universities were organized out of which approximately 194 law teachers were trained on CLE methodologies and law clinic management. NULAI had also facilitated the participation of 15 law teachers in CLE and Street Law teacher trainings organized in South Africa and the Philippines.

 

Summary statistics gives from 2005 to 2010 a total of ten (10) law clinics starting with four (4) pilot clinics in 2005 and expanding to thirteen (13) in 2010. By 2008 six (6) out of seven (7) law clinics had adopted a full clinical legal education program, and by 2010 nine (9) had adopted a full clinical legal education program with an additional four (4) emerging new clinics. Students participation as at 2008 was 1,280 and 2,579 as at 2010.

 

Academic Integration and Standardization
National Universities Commission (NUC) and Council of Legal Education recent guidelines published in October 2009 on Guidelines and Conditions for the Establishment of Faculties of Law in Nigeria stipulates that "any proposal to commence law program must contain a detailed curriculum which shall include teaching delivery method with emphasis on introducing clinical legal education".

NULAI in 2006 developed and published “Clinical Legal Education Curriculum for Nigerian Universities’ Law Faculties/Clinics”. This was distributed widely to all law faculties in Nigeria and has been adopted by nine law faculties/clinics. The curriculum has been reviewed (Clinical Legal Education: Curriculum, Lessons and Materials) and has also been distributed.

 

The Nigerian Law School has reviewed its curriculum and adopted clinical legal education in all its campuses, with the Enugu, Kano and Yola Campuses establishing legal clinics.