Is the New Proposed Grading Good for Law School?

 Good morning noble reader,
I trust you are well. Few days ago the President of NBA, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, SAN , in his capacity as the Ag. Chairman Council of Legal Education, recommended 2.1 grade as the requirement  for law graduates who should be admitted to the Nigerian Law School. Sequel to this recommendation by the President of the NBA, BarFirst360, the latest Bar issues platform, conducted research based on comparative analysis of the requirements between Nigeria and some foreign jurisdictions. Find below the outcomes of the research. We also want to use this medium to encourage you to join BarFirst360 whatsApp Groups
and other platforms of the same brand for more incisive research outcomes on other issues. Join the group today and you would never regret you did. BarFirst360 is a platform founded not only on law and policy research interventions, but on issues relating to regulation of the legal profession, welfare of Lawyers, and public interest themes including promoting the rule of law and protection of human rights. Please read the piece below and comment:
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UK
• In essence it is not a requirement to have a 2.1 to attend law school but it will usually be the determining factor before you can be taken on for a pupilage or training contract
• With a law degree – can either become a barrister or solicitor.
• If you want to be a solicitor you must complete the vocational Legal Practice Course (LPC) before undertaking a training contract with a law firm – as part of which you’ll have to pass a Professional Skills Course.
• Those wishing to become barristers should take the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) followed by a pupillage (practical experience in barristers’ chambers).
• Law is such a competitive sector that even candidates with top grades can sometimes struggle to win a training contract or pupillage after their studies. You’ll find that a 2:1 degree is often the minimum requirement for entry.
• Nevertheless, you can become a lawyer with a 2:2 or a third. You’ll need to ensure that your applications stand out in other ways, for example by gaining extensive and varied work experience, such as pro bono work or court marshalling
USA
• Here too it is not a hard and fast rule to have the highest GPA [equivalent of degree level] or highest LSAT [special pre-entry exam administered before admission to law school] score, but the higher you get the more likely you are to be admitted
• Every U.S. law school will require you to have an undergraduate degree — preferably from a reputable university.
• A minimum 3.0 GPA will be required for almost every law school in the country, but for the record, that’s probably not good enough. You’ll want the highest GPA possible to get good financial aid and get into a stellar law school.
• Law School Admission Test (LSAT). It’s a half-day standardized test required for admission to all ABA-approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many non-ABA-approved law schools. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.
• A 180 is a perfect score on the LSAT. Because of its importance, many students take a preparatory course to obtain the highest score possible
South Africa
• You can start fresh into a four-year bachelor’s program to earn the required LLB law degree. Or, you can earn a three-year bachelor’s law degree, then finish by competing two additional years of study.
•  South African law makes a lawyer complete one of the following: six months in pupilage, or an apprenticeship with a practicing lawyer; six months working at a community service law clinic; or completion of a full-time program designed for practicing law. This practical experience must be completed before taking the admissions exam.
• The Attorneys Admission Examination in South Africa is similar to a state bar exam in the United States. It is a mandatory test administered by the South African Law Society.
• Before admission, the Law Society interviews applicants to investigate their morals and honesty and to ensure they intend to practice law with integrity. An applicant’s criminal record is carefully considered and weighed during this personal fitness phase. An applicant also must be at least 21 years old and either be a South African citizen or be entitled to legal residence.
Kenya
• very similar to the Nigerian system
• graduate with a degree in Law- It usually takes a student 5 years in university.
• Without a Diploma in Law from Kenya School of Law, you won’t be allowed to practice law in Kenya. After you have completed your degree course, you are required to proceed to the Kenya School of Law for a diploma course, which takes one year.
• Exams at the Kenya School of Law are tough, tougher than the exams in universities. After graduating from the Kenya School of Law, you will be admitted to the Bar, where you become Advocate of the High Court. This is the final step where you are issued with the certificate of practice.
Canada
• Most Canadian law schools require that you have a bachelor’s degree, or have completed 90 credit hours (three years) towards a bachelor’s degree, prior to entering law school.
• Because Canadian education is regulated on a provincial level, there are no national accreditation bodies for Canadian colleges and universities. Government organizations recognize certain colleges and universities within their jurisdiction.
• Each Canadian law school has its own requirements and standards regarding the undergraduate education you must complete before applying to law school. Most have credit requirements, while others may require certain courses to be taken.
• You must pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, before you will be accepted into any LSAC-member Canadian law school. This standardized entrance test is given four times annually.
• The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180. The average student admitted to a law school in Canada has an LSAT score of 160 or above
• Scoring well on the test is important for admission to law school. You can take the LSAT several times in an effort to improve your score
South Korea
• Legal education in South Korea underwent a fundamental transition in 2016
• Legal education is now based on a postgraduate law school model. In 2009, 25 Korean universities were given permission to establish law schools by the Ministry of Education. Students attend these schools for three years, and receive J.D. degrees upon successful completion.
• They then take the Lawyer Admission Test (which is distinct from the Korean Bar Examination); once they pass this exam, they are eligible to practise law in Korea. \Under the new regime, there are 25 law schools, which admit only 2,000 students per year in total. Competition for admissions will remain steep
Ghana
• In Ghana, you are called to the Bar as both a barrister and a solicitor.
• To qualify for the Bar, you must satisfy a 2-year educational and skill development requirement at the Ghana School of Law.
• To be enrolled in the Ghana School of Law for this course, you must possess a Law Degree from Universities and Institutions approved by the General Legal Council and must have passed the following subjects: Law of Contract Torts, Criminal Law, Law of immovable property, Constitutional Law, The Ghana Legal System and its History, Equity and Succession.
• You will then write an entrance examination followed by an interview before you are admitted to undertake the 2-year training.
• After completing and passing the Ghana School of Law course, you will be enrolled into the Ghana Bar if the General Legal Council is satisfied that you are of a good character followed by a 6-month pupillage requirement after which a Solicitor License is issued.
Brazil
• Get a law degree [no set degree qualification required]
• Pass the National Bar Examination set by the OAB
• OAB is the abbreviation of the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, or Brazilian Bar Association, an organization responsible by the regulation of the Brazilian legal profession. Every college student is only formally recognized as a lawyer and able to develop its profession, not after its graduation as a Bachelor of Laws, but after they have been approved in the Brazilian Bar Examination.
• The OAB Examination is applied in the whole country and usually occurs two or three times throughout the year, in January, March and September. The Exam is very difficult and require good preparation from the students that are applying for it
• With a chosen subject, the candidate must answer five essay questions and a written motion, with a pass mark of 60% [which is essentially a 2.1]. After approved in OAB Examination, the Bachelor is finally free and legally able to exercise its profession.
Australia
• Completion of an approved law degree (LLB or JD) [no set degree standard required]
• Completion of an approved practical legal training (PLT) course to obtain the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or completion of a supervised traineeship at a firm
• Application for admission to Roll of Lawyers
• Application for a practising certificate – through the Law Admitting Authority in their state UK
• In essence it is not a requirement to have a 2.1 to attend law school but it will usually be the determining factor before you can be taken on for a pupilage or training contract
• With a law degree – can either become a barrister or solicitor.
• If you want to be a solicitor you must complete the vocational Legal Practice Course (LPC) before undertaking a training contract with a law firm – as part of which you’ll have to pass a Professional Skills Course.
• Those wishing to become barristers should take the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) followed by a pupillage (practical experience in barristers’ chambers).
• Law is such a competitive sector that even candidates with top grades can sometimes struggle to win a training contract or pupillage after their studies. You’ll find that a 2:1 degree is often the minimum requirement for entry.
• Nevertheless, you can become a lawyer with a 2:2 or a third. You’ll need to ensure that your applications stand out in other ways, for example by gaining extensive and varied work experience, such as pro bono work or court marshalling
USA
• Here too it is not a hard and fast rule to have the highest GPA [equivalent of degree level] or highest LSAT [special pre-entry exam administered before admission to law school] score, but the higher you get the more likely you are to be admitted
• Every U.S. law school will require you to have an undergraduate degree — preferably from a reputable university.
• A minimum 3.0 GPA will be required for almost every law school in the country, but for the record, that’s probably not good enough. You’ll want the highest GPA possible to get good financial aid and get into a stellar law school.
• Law School Admission Test (LSAT). It’s a half-day standardized test required for admission to all ABA-approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many non-ABA-approved law schools. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.
• A 180 is a perfect score on the LSAT. Because of its importance, many students take a preparatory course to obtain the highest score possible
South Africa
• You can start fresh into a four-year bachelor’s program to earn the required LLB law degree. Or, you can earn a three-year bachelor’s law degree, then finish by competing two additional years of study.
•  South African law makes a lawyer complete one of the following: six months in pupilage, or an apprenticeship with a practicing lawyer; six months working at a community service law clinic; or completion of a full-time program designed for practicing law. This practical experience must be completed before taking the admissions exam.
• The Attorneys Admission Examination in South Africa is similar to a state bar exam in the United States. It is a mandatory test administered by the South African Law Society.
• Before admission, the Law Society interviews applicants to investigate their morals and honesty and to ensure they intend to practice law with integrity. An applicant’s criminal record is carefully considered and weighed during this personal fitness phase. An applicant also must be at least 21 years old and either be a South African citizen or be entitled to legal residence.
Kenya
• very similar to the Nigerian system
• graduate with a degree in Law- It usually takes a student 5 years in university.
• Without a Diploma in Law from Kenya School of Law, you won’t be allowed to practice law in Kenya. After you have completed your degree course, you are required to proceed to the Kenya School of Law for a diploma course, which takes one year.
• Exams at the Kenya School of Law are tough, tougher than the exams in universities. After graduating from the Kenya School of Law, you will be admitted to the Bar, where you become Advocate of the High Court. This is the final step where you are issued with the certificate of practice.
Canada
• Most Canadian law schools require that you have a bachelor’s degree, or have completed 90 credit hours (three years) towards a bachelor’s degree, prior to entering law school.
• Because Canadian education is regulated on a provincial level, there are no national accreditation bodies for Canadian colleges and universities. Government organizations recognize certain colleges and universities within their jurisdiction.
• Each Canadian law school has its own requirements and standards regarding the undergraduate education you must complete before applying to law school. Most have credit requirements, while others may require certain courses to be taken.
• You must pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, before you will be accepted into any LSAC-member Canadian law school. This standardized entrance test is given four times annually.
• The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180. The average student admitted to a law school in Canada has an LSAT score of 160 or above
• Scoring well on the test is important for admission to law school. You can take the LSAT several times in an effort to improve your score
South Korea
• Legal education in South Korea underwent a fundamental transition in 2016
• Legal education is now based on a postgraduate law school model. In 2009, 25 Korean universities were given permission to establish law schools by the Ministry of Education. Students attend these schools for three years, and receive J.D. degrees upon successful completion.
• They then take the Lawyer Admission Test (which is distinct from the Korean Bar Examination); once they pass this exam, they are eligible to practise law in Korea. \Under the new regime, there are 25 law schools, which admit only 2,000 students per year in total. Competition for admissions will remain steep
Ghana
• In Ghana, you are called to the Bar as both a barrister and a solicitor.
• To qualify for the Bar, you must satisfy a 2-year educational and skill development requirement at the Ghana School of Law.
• To be enrolled in the Ghana School of Law for this course, you must possess a Law Degree from Universities and Institutions approved by the General Legal Council and must have passed the following subjects: Law of Contract Torts, Criminal Law, Law of immovable property, Constitutional Law, The Ghana Legal System and its History, Equity and Succession.
• You will then write an entrance examination followed by an interview before you are admitted to undertake the 2-year training.
• After completing and passing the Ghana School of Law course, you will be enrolled into the Ghana Bar if the General Legal Council is satisfied that you are of a good character followed by a 6-month pupillage requirement after which a Solicitor License is issued.
Brazil
• Get a law degree [no set degree qualification required]
• Pass the National Bar Examination set by the OAB
• OAB is the abbreviation of the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, or Brazilian Bar Association, an organization responsible by the regulation of the Brazilian legal profession. Every college student is only formally recognized as a lawyer and able to develop its profession, not after its graduation as a Bachelor of Laws, but after they have been approved in the Brazilian Bar Examination.
• The OAB Examination is applied in the whole country and usually occurs two or three times throughout the year, in January, March and September. The Exam is very difficult and require good preparation from the students that are applying for it
• With a chosen subject, the candidate must answer five essay questions and a written motion, with a pass mark of 60% [which is essentially a 2.1]. After approved in OAB Examination, the Bachelor is finally free and legally able to exercise its profession.
Australia
• Completion of an approved law degree (LLB or JD) [no set degree standard required]
• Completion of an approved practical legal training (PLT) course to obtain the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or completion of a supervised traineeship at a firm
• Application for admission to Roll of Lawyers
• Application for a practising certificate – through the Law Admitting Authority in their state

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