by Hameed Ajibola Jimoh, Esq.
Many a time, ‘law reform’ and ‘continuous legal education’ are much more talked about by all and sundry. I have thoughts about all these requirements for the development of the legal profession and Nigeria as a whole. It is my humble consideration that educational scholarship for lawyers would be a great tool in achieving these objectives, hence this paper.
In my humble view, educational scholarship would aid many lawyers to progress in their continuous legal education. It is not an understatement to state that there are more than one hundred thousand (100,000.00) lawyers in Nigeria whereas, not up to 50% of all these lawyers could afford to undergo a post-graduate or professional courses as a means of continuous legal education. The poor economy is another setback in achieving this project. Only very rare would one be able to study a master’s degree or post graduate degree with any sum less than a hundred thousand naira (
N100,000.00). Also, I am not aware that a standard and qualified professional legal education for lawyers is anything less than the sum of fifty thousand naira ( N50,000.00). Therefore, it is important in my humble view, for the necessary authorities to consider investing in Nigerian lawyers that are deserving in the education legal scholarship. The determinant or criteria in my humble view, should not be Cumulative Grade Point (CGP) as 2.1 or a first class, rather, it should be the status of being a ‘lawyer’! The criteria in essence, should be that every qualified applicant must have been called to bar and enrolled. While some might be sponsored in their educational legal education in a post-graduate degree, others may be sponsored in certificate professional courses.
Therefore, the Nigerian Bar Association, the government and other non-governmental organizations must speedup in this objective by offering educational scholarshiop to deserving members of the legal profession.
This would have positive impacts on the law reform, the legal profession and Nigeria as a whole. This would also be a good legacy for Senior Advocates if they can sponsor (at least) a lawyer in either post-graduate legal education or a certificate professional legal course. I therefore advise that all hands must be on deck to ensure and guarantee educational scholarship for lawyers in Nigeria.