massification of university education, 5 decline in number and seemingly quality of lecturers in faculties, the technically qualitative legal education fostered by the early generation of law teachers took a nose dive.
In the final analysis, it became self evident that in practice, and in significant ways, there is a consensus on the misdirection or decay regarding the aims and purposes of legal education.
With this framework, students in large measure seem to acquire a “trade school mentality (with) endless attention to trees at the expense of the forest” which is reinforced by institutional practices in post qualification attitude of lawyers to each other to be an exercise largely in the reproduction of hierarchy. This institutional practices of lawyers orient students while in School and out of School as well to accept willingly and often times unquestioning participation in the hierarchical roles of lawyers. In effect, an uncritical curriculum structure and delivery method, the classroom experience and post qualification institutional practices have the real capacity to undermine the production of lawyers who can develop a theoretically critical attitude and reflection towards the system, the problems of his society and beyond.
Against this background regarding the aim or probably aimlessness of our system of legal education and the general complain with regards to the technical competence of Lawyers, the question becomes, what do we need to do or can do to ensure that the legal education system provides for the type of Lawyers the country needs.
Challenges of Skills and Number
As at 2009, about 40 of the 95 universities in Nigeria offer Law as part of their menu of academic programmes. In the broad discipline of Arts and Humanities, Law is rated as one of the programmes in very high demand and the profession’s association is arguably considered to be the leading professional body in the country. Added to these are
5 There are now 40 universities with accredited faculties of law and about 4 more in the pipeline.