Scrap Law School Now, Sam Amadi Tells FG

Scrap Law School Now, Sam Amadi Tells FG

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, has stated that the current realities in the country have shown that the Nigerian Law School has outlived its usefulness and as such should be scrapped.

According to Amadi, the Nigerian Law School is no longer serving its purpose, which was to provide practical knowledge for young lawyers in the country.

He spoke at the 2023 Endowment Launch of the Igbo Apprenticeship Scheme, ‘IgbaBoyi’, by Igbo lawyers under the umbrella of Otu Oka-iwu, Abuja.

While pointing out that, “the Law School is failing”, the former NERC boss, who is also the Director, Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts, urged for a rethink of the whole framework of Nigeria.

“In my view, it is no longer serving its purpose. The Law School is designed to provide technical practical education. So the question I ask is, what are they providing? My view is, that purpose is best served at a law firm,” he said.

Amadi also observed that many lawyers who go to Law School do not practice, with some of them going into journalism, broadcasting, or teaching in the university.

He therefore urged for the strengthening of the university education for lawyers in order for them to have a broad analytical competency.

“In the United States, when you finish your legal education in the university, you do a quick exam to be called as a lawyer. Here, we can license our universities to take three to six months special rush course for our law students to qualify to practice. After that, they go to the chambers where they learn real practice. The only way one can get tutelage is in a law firm,” he said.

Meanwhile, he commended the replication of the Igbo apprenticeship model where young lawyers will be able to gain valuable internship experience at reputable law firms.

According to him, the model which he said is now studied at Harvard is a unique way of knowledge transfer and it is needed to save the law profession from moral disaster.

He said: “The idea is that lawyers will seek knowledge from the established ones and also, the established lawyers will also be generous enough to support our young people, not just knowledge but in paying them. So what the Igbo lawyers are trying to do is to provide funding to encourage young people so that with the help of the senior lawyers, the junior ones will acquire not just knowledge, but also virtue.”

Speaking, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Yakubu Maikyau, who hailed the lawyers for the initiative described the Igbo apprenticeship scheme as the best way to transfer skills, character and knowledge.

While declaring NBA’s support for the initiative, Maikyau assured that the scheme would be expanded to become a national mentorship policy of the federal government.

“The Initiative is something that the NBA wholly supports. And I believe that since I am your ambassador, whatever we agree on here, give it to me and we’ll pass it across the nation. I would actually be glad to receive the resolution from this meeting as I’ll pass it across to government. We will make a recommendation that this become a national mentorship policy of the federal government of Nigeria,” he said.

President of the Otu Oka-Iwu Abuja, Mr. Ejiofor Onwuaso, disclosed that the endowment fund is a legacy project aimed at replicating the success of Ndigbo in business within the legal profession by institutionalising mentorship and career development for young lawyers.

He said though the legal profession was originally modelled to imbibe the practice of pupillage, the exponential growth in the number of fresh graduates emerging from the Nigerian Law School yearly has made it impracticable for existing law firms and forbears to absorb such young lawyers in their law firms for purposes of pupillage.

Present at the event were former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi,

Senator Ben Obi, who represented Anambra Central, senior lawyers of Igbo extraction, among others.

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