On Wednesday, about 4,350 successful candidates of the Nigerian Law School’s March 2021 Bar final examinations were called to bar by the Body of Benchers- the Legal Body of Practitioners which oversees the process.
The new set takes the total number of lawyers produced in the country to 197,015, according to official entries.
These new barristers and solicitors put on their wigs at the 3-day Call-to-bar ceremony that held at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
Recall that the Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof Isah Chiroma, had on Tuesday announced that 884 students were qualified to be legal practitioners following their success at the December 2020 examinations.
Still in year 2020, 1785 students passed the January bar examination but because of the covid-19 pandemic, their enrolment into the legal profession was delayed till September 15.
That means a total of 2669 passed the bar examination for 2020.
Our correspondent also gathered that since the inception of the school in 1962, a total of 190,000 lawyers were registered as of 2019.
This was captured in a Policy Book of the 2019 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), seen by our correspondent.
The NBA stated that the figures were given by the Supreme Court.
“According to the Supreme Court, the total number of legal practitioners increased from 120,006 in 2017 to 190,000 in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 32 percent.
“This notwithstanding, Nigeria cannot be said to be ‘over-lawyered’ when compared to Ontario, Canada that has over 52,000 enrolled lawyers in a population of 12 million – i.e. one lawyer to 230 persons as against Nigeria’s one lawyer to 1,054!,” the NBA 2019 AGC Policy Book partly read.
THE WHISTLER reports that the summation of the number of lawyers as of 2019 and the 2020, March 2021 bar examinations, puts the total law graduates at 197,015.
While charging the new wigs on Wednesday, Chairman, Body of Benchers, Hon. Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour(Rtd) urged them to be mindful of their new role.
“The practice of law is not a right, but a privilege. It is a privilege that can be lost should you fail to live up to the requisite professional standards imposed upon you by virtue of your entry into the community of lawyers,” he said.