Meeting the Required Reforms in Legal Education in Nigeria: Clinical Legal Education – Ten Years After
AbstractIn many parts of the world, including Nigeria, legal education systems have been severely criticized both by stakeholders and consumers for being deficient in many respects in preparing “future lawyers, with many failing to provide the core competence necessary to practice law after a university education.” A global review has indicated that legal education systems are generally inadequate and needs to be improved upon. Also, a series of discussions at both international and regional levels have emphasized the need for transition in legal training in order to enhance its effectiveness. Legal education systems around the world have been under surveillance for failing to produce students who possess problem solving abilities, and the skills and values requiredfor the profession. In Nigeria, as it is in other jurisdictions, criticisms against legal education by stakeholders and consumers are severe, focusing on the quality of training, which is regarded as inadequate.For these and other reasons, critics have called for reforms in legal education in Nigeria.Based on the above, this paper attempts to examine the legal education deficits in Nigeria requiring reforms, and how clinical legal education (hereinafter called “CLE”) introduced in Nigeria in 2003, ten years ago, best meets the required reforms, the challenges confronting the practice and institutionalization of clinical education, towards the objective of having a legal education which inculcates knowledge, skills and values, and is more practice oriented. This paper is divided into five parts, Part II examines the introduction in Nigeria; Part III discusses the capability of CLE to meet the required reforms in legal education in Nigeria; Part IV examines the achievements, and challenges confronting the practice, mainstreaming and institutionalization of CLE in law faculties and the law school, and an evaluation of CLE; while Part V captures the conclusion and recommendations.
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