Legal education in Nigeria: An evaluation of the recruitment practice for the teaching of law as a career
Commonwealth Law Bulletin
Department of Public and International Law, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Km 8.5 Afe Babalola Way, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
This article makes a critical assessment of legal education in Nigeria, focusing on the standard of hiring for the teaching of law as a career in the country. Legal academics are hired based upon an accreditation standard that requires a vocational qualification determined through a call to the Nigerian Bar. The article argues that making a vocational qualification a criterion for academic appointment - apart from other achievements demonstrated through higher law degrees - inhibits innovation in teaching and learning and needs to change. This change is premised on three reasons: the growth of interdisciplinary legal scholarship; the trend in the legal marketplace; and the correlation between a law faculty and a department of religion. And it concludes with some proposals to think about for a more scholarly approach towards the teaching of law within Nigerian academia. The aim of this article is to inform the essential dichotomy between legal scholarship and practice, and the transnational aspirations of legal academics, for those involved in the development of law teaching and study, as well as those concerned with educational policy and administration around the world. © 2013 Commonwealth Secretariat.