No philosophical quotes here. Let’s get real with the adventures and realities in the Nigerian Law School(NLS).
Reality no 1: ANYBODY CAN FAIL BAR-FINALS; ANYBODY CAN PASS BAR-FINALS.
This is very true. Nobody cares about your academic history. Your journey in the Nigerian Law School is another clean slate offered to you. You either pass or you fail. To be honest, it’s not by reading everyday or drafting all the draftables. It is not also by answering all the questions in class or asking all the intelligent or dull questions. It is not by reading all the blah blah notes…your class notes might just be what you need. To some, writing legibly and fast is the problem while for others it is comprehending the question. To do well in Law School, you have to be smart, observant and play the game strategically.
Reality No. 2: LAW SCHOOL IS MENTAL TORTURE
The NLS curriculum is voluminous and so it’s natural to be mentally stressed along the way. However, some students choke themselves with many materials because “senior this” told them “that” and she got a first. See, times change, law is dynamic. For instance, sec 13 of the ISA provides for the functions of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). One of them is the supervision and monitoring of the mergers and acquisitions of companies. The foregoing is no longer within the purview of SEC. Currently the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has been empowered to supervise mergers, acquisitions, takeovers between companies by virtue of the FCCCPA. So, You need to find your formula. If you are the textbook person; stick with it and stop looking for those notes and materials that might get you confused. If you are the materials person; stick with one source. Don’t go frolicking about.
Reality No.3: LAW SCHOOL IS A POSTGRADUATE STUDY:
Thus, there is no need for unhealthy competition. However, you will find this in campus. You will realize that your colleagues are hoarding materials, past questions, notes etc. You will see law graduates from a particular school forming a closed network and portraying themselves to be better than others. You will witness different personalities; the annoying, intimidating and sweet ones. Nevertheless, law school is another platform to mingle and network. Don’t let this pass you by.
Reality No. 4: YOUR HEALTH WILL DETERIORATE:
This is as a result of many factors. The water you drink, the food you eat in public places, the physical and mental stress you are passing through, the environment, the public toilet facilities and all that. So, be prepared. You might want to get your multi-vitamins and antibiotics ready. For the special students like asthmatic and pregnant students….take charge of your health. The truth is that whether you break down or not…classes will go on and you will be left behind.
Reality No. 5: YOU WILL GET TIRED
Yes you will. Most times, when BAR-FINALS is fast approaching, you become physically and mentally exhausted. You just want everything to end. At some point fear sets in and you might go crazy. This is the reality. You can try to take walks, watch a movie or do something to clear your head. Whether you want a first class or pass, try your best in the exams. You definitely do not want to go over this reality show a second time.
Reality No.6: YOU NEED PLENTY MONEY
Obviously! You will spend a lot in law school on accommodation, feeding, clothing, books, personal care, transportation to and from law school and many other things. You need to eat well to survive and be healthy.
Reality No. 7: PERSONAL STUDY WON’T BE EFFECTIVE
You can’t do well by reading alone. You need to share, branch out and read with others. Even if you think you know it, a friend might be in need. Share your knowledge. Don’t read alone. Who knows…you might be reading the wrong thing. Sometimes, it’s people’s reaction to some questions during group study that helps you remember some points in BAR-FINALS. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot by becoming a lone-ranger.
Keywords: Bar-finals; Nigeria Law School; Law students; Realities
Chinecherem is a legal practitioner based in Lagos, Nigeria. She can be contacted via email@example.com.