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Career Opportunities in Law

In Nigeria, a person in the legal profession is held in high esteem and hailed as knowledgeable. The legal profession has many opportunities for career growth, as the expertise of a law graduate is needed in every industry and every legal establishment. With a law degree, you can work with corporate firms as a legal advisor, in public service as a solicitor general, in law enforcement as a prosecutor, as a teacher, a member of the nation’s parliament, the list is endless. In this article, we will be sharing some of the most profitable career opportunities available to professionals in the legal industry.

1. Judge

A judge is the highest job role in the legal industry. He presides over court cases, and delivers judgment on offenders, either alone, or as a member of a team. The Chief Justice has the highest authority in the legal profession. To become a judge, you need to gradually grow up the ranks from a regular lawyer to a barrister, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and so on. This requires spending several years as a practicing member of the legal profession and bagging numerous awards.

The judge has to resolve conflicts fairly, upholding the rule of law, and not compromising the standard. The chief justice of the federation has the final say over any case. Judges have been vested with great legislative power and authority by the rule of law – anyone who defaults to the law must obey the judge’s orders, regardless of class, wealth, position, or affluence. This is the highest-paid job position in the legal profession. The average salary of a judge in Nigeria is NGN600,000, plus extra allowances and benefits of the office.

2. Legal Advisor or Consultant

A legal advisor works with companies and business enterprises. He gives legal advice to the company, regarding corporate affairs, collaborations, mergers, investments, and so on. Legal advisors may also work in court as private advisers. The job of a legal consultant requires great research skills, and consistent learning, to stay abreast of new policies and laws that are implemented daily, that could affect the company.

3. Solicitor

A solicitor is a legal expert who appeals cases in a law court. Becoming a solicitor requires five years of training in an accredited university, and 2 years or more of law school.

4. Barrister

The role of a barrister is similar to that of a legal advisor. The barrister, however, appeals cases in court, keeps a record of legal proceedings, and shares his claims to protect his client in court.

5. Corporate Secretary

A corporate secretary is responsible for keeping relevant records of business deals, and ensuring that all legal protocols are duly observed and satisfied. He functions in the same capacity as a regular secretary, except that he manages the legal paperwork instead.

6. Legal Publisher

A legal publisher is a legal expert working in the writing and editing industry. Legal publishers could become reporters, journalists, or bloggers. Legal publishers write and publish articles sharing relevant knowledge on legal affairs with the rest of the human community. Textbooks and journals used for training young lawyers are also created by legal publishers. Legal publishers may work with law firms or broadcasting agencies.

7. Legal Data Analyst

The legal analyst is a legal expert with knowledge of data analytics. He is responsible for carrying out legal research, creating and organizing information gotten from the research in databases, and drawing useful conclusions from the results of his data analysis. The legal data analyst is also in charge of conducting surveys and properly documenting legal records.

8. Public Servant

Legal experts who work in public service are employed in various ministries. In public service, a law graduate can serve as a solicitor, a prosecutor, a legal advisor to the ministry, and so on. The difference between working in public service and working with a private establishment is that public servants are employed and paid by the government, and have better job security. Legal experts who work in public service are often shuffled and required to function in different capacities. Veteran lawyers who may no longer be going to court are often posted to law schools to function as mentors and lecturers.

9. Legal Advocate

Legal advocators are often found partnering with NGOs and associations. They work to ensure that the rights of their affiliated association‘s members are protected always.

10. Stockbroker

The legal experts who are stockbrokers are probably the most versatile set of legal professionals. They can work anywhere, and with anyone regardless of niche and industry. They are often employed on a contract basis and may work for several clients at a time. A stockbroker offers helpful advice regarding investment deals, and sources profitable stock transactions for his client. Excelling in this job role requires background knowledge in asset management and business administration.

How to Start a Career in Law

Becoming a lawyer in Nigeria requires a great deal of patience and commitment. To start your journey, you will need to obtain a law degree from an accredited university. The period of training in the university is usually 5 years, after which you will be posted to a recognized law school. All legal practitioners have to ace the law school examination and be called to the bar before they are licensed to practice in any law firm, institution, or ministry in the country. In five short steps, to start a career in law in Nigeria, you need to:

  • Apply to study law in an accredited university, and pass the certification examination with flying colors.
  • Go through mandatory graduate training in an accredited law school, and ace the examinations as well. Law graduates who ace the law school examination are called to the bar and licensed to practice.
  • Apply for one year of internship training at a reputable law firm to gain experience. If you perform exceedingly well during your internship with the law firm, you may be retained.
  • Join relevant associations, connect with learned colleagues and stay active.
  • Apply to job listings of your dream role on job boards like HubforJobs and prepare properly for the interview.

Is a Career in Law Worth It?

The average salary for a law graduate new to the legal industry is NGN50,000, however, this amount is expected to increase as he gains experience and makes notable achievements. Like in the healthcare industry, in the legal industry learning never stops – continuous research is required to stay up-to-date on relevant policies and bills passed into law. A career in law will be rewarding for you if you have a passion for conflict resolution and love to maintain law and order.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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