Before graduation, especially, as a final year law student, you start to wonder what next?
Even as a student, you want to know the opportunities you have to work, apart from becoming an attorney or a solicitor with your law degree. Your answer is in this article.
There is a lot more to do with your law degree than going to court sessions and arguing all day, you also don’t defend people or face an audience, which is unavoidable in court.
A law degree can earn you a place in sectors like Education, Military & Paramilitary, Writing and Publishing, ICT or Tech-companies, and Dispute Resolution centres.
You can work in some of the following jobs as a Law graduate, and some of the jobs can be taken even as a Law student too.
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Opportunities for Law Students in Nigeria
The following are the opportunities available for Law students in Nigeria;
- Law Teaching
- Law Writing
- Brief Writing
- ADR Practice & Consultancy
- Military and Paramilitary
- Judicial Officers
- Research Assistants
This is the part of legal practice that involves going to court to represent clients, or representing clients during negotiations and other agreements.
It is trite knowledge among learned people (law students, legal practitioners, law scholars, etc) that Nigerian legal practice is divided into two forms, so you can be an Advocate, a Solicitor, or both.
Solicitors mostly work in a law firm or as part of a legal team in the firm, they do more underground and in-office work and do not frequent courtrooms.
On the other hand, solicitor advocates, and advocates combine the barrister and solicitor work in a law firm. So they work in the firm, and also represent the interest of their client in the court.
Solicitors, unlike advocates, go to court. They give legal advice, but where that advice goes the wrong path or does not work, they go to represent their client in court.
They are the ‘wig and gown’ lawyers, solicitors are usually outspoken, assertive, and bold people. This is why it is not a profession particularly suitable for all law students.
This is for those who wish to work in the education system.
They teach in secondary schools (as government or Civic teachers), at the higher level, they can also lecture in Universities, polytechnics offering legal courses, NOUN, adult legal education institutions, and other learning institutions or legal institutions that exist.
They can also go higher as professors, heads of departments, and Deans, in these institutions.
This is a job for those who wish to combine law and a writing career. They write law journals, articles, reviews, textbooks, encyclopedias, and other printed materials.
People in this profession usually become legal scholars, especially when they combine legal writing with legal practice. Writing is an innate part of legal practice so it is almost inevitable for a good legal practitioner to be a good legal writer
This work involves mainly giving legal advice, to people who do this work in law firms.
They advise people on how to legal matters, civil or criminal cases, and how best to negotiate or what to do or to not do in certain situations.
They can also help draft agreements, and file them with required authorities.
This is for people that can work as secretaries or personal assistants to legal practitioners. Apart from writing briefs, they also draft contractual agreements, draft letters, etc.
ADR Practice & Consultancy
This involves Mediation, Arbitration, Conciliation, Negotiation, and counselling.
It is an alternative way of settling disputes out of the traditional court.
The rules that apply in ADR are different from statutory laws or even legislations, however, it is easy for a legal practitioner to venture into ADR as it also deals with settling disputes between parties (but with numerous differences and out-of-court).
You can also consult people on matters involving dispute resolution, like which recesses to opt for, and recommendations on better mediators, conciliators or arbitrators, etc.
Military and Paramilitary
This is for people who venture into the aspect of lathe w that deals with law enforcement, or the military.
For example Military law, Navy Law, Air force law, and other areas. People like this usually have to become a part of the force, before specializing in that area of law.
These are people who work in the court, especially in the supreme court and court of appeals, they are required to be legal practitioners themselves (i.e have a law degree).
An example is the court clerk.
People who are good at research can easily venture into this aspect. They will most likely have to attach themselves to a law firm.
They will research to help legal practitioners with their cases, and help search for current cases, current judicial decisions, and the latest legislation changes (e.g if any statute has been amended). Their position is underrated but they are indispensable to those who know their worth.
These people are legal practitioners, but they specialize in distributing properties of their clients, drafting wills, reading wills after the death of the testator, and ensuring that everything is done, and the properties are handled according to the will of the testator.
Conveyancers also help to convey legal estates or interest in legal estates, they help with the documentation, payment of statutorily required fees, and completion of the process.
There are a lot of opportunities for law students, even outside of Nigeria, there are other areas where they can specialize. However, here are some other opportunities which are available for law students in Nigeria:
- Legislative Drafting
- In-house Law Jobs
- Legislators: being a legislator is entirely different from being a legislative draftsman. Only lawyers can be legislative draftsmen. On the other hand, you do not need to be a lawyer to be a legislator, although lawyers can be legislators and indeed make better legislators if they have the requisite skills)
- Judicial Assistance & Consultancy
- Company Secretarial Job/Administration
- Law Reporting
- Law Journalism (Law Editors, Columnists, Law Correspondents, etc in the Print, Broadcasting and New Media and Publishing Houses)
- Law Capacity Development Practice (organizing workshops, seminars, webinars, conferences, etc)
- Law Publishing/Blogging
- Adjudication (Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Chairmen of Tribunals)
- Law ICT Resources and Support Development & Consultancy
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