Dear Candidates at Bar Final Examination, I am privileged to have graduated at the Nigerian Law School with the very Set which commenced the present curriculum though it has been subjected to several amendments and update. As I mark 10Years at the Bar this year, I looked back, assessed the Legal Education at the Law School and the plights of those who are yet to scale through the Examination of the Council and the message that I have for them as they prepare is that ‘drafting is golden’.
For instance, in 2009, when we wrote the Exam, most of my Colleagues lamented because they couldn’t cite many cases and sections they had memorised into the Hall. Similarly in 2011, I observed that many Candidates had Conditional Pass in Civil Litigation than other Courses because the drafting tasks in the questions for that year were overwhelming for those who did not care to practice before the Exam.
In my book, Sample Drafts for Lawyers (4th Edition 2019), I quoted Dr. Tahir Mammam, SAN who administered the New Curriculum until 2014, saying that no Lawyer or Principal in Chambers ask any Young Lawyer to cite a case or section or even state the principles of Law for any brief brought by a Client.
Rather you hear them say ‘go and prepare the Motion’, ‘Take the file and prepare the necessary Letter to the Client’, ‘study that file and prepare a legal opinion for me to vet’ and so on. This is even common while you are Externs at the Law Firms.
This is the reason why drafting tasks in not just part of the examinable areas but also important such that most times it could attract more marks than other questions. For example, drafting of Charges is a compulsory question in Criminal Litigation Bar Examination. Drafting of Motion and Affidavits are indispensable to the final assessment of Candidates in Civil Litigation and also completing CAC Forms in Corporate Law Practice Examination whether at incorporation or at post incorporation. The same also goes for drafting of various land Instruments such as Deeds and parts of Deed in Property Law Practice.
With my experience at Bar Examination Assessment, year in, year out, I can frankly say that for a Candidates to do well, he/she must make drafting of all sorts a priority and part of study time table. Most _Candidates are however lazy in this aspect._
And most relevantly, a Candidate at Bar Final Examination needs a guide and practical tutorial on how to master the numerous drafting tasks in Criminal, Civil, Property Law, Corporate Law and Law Office drafts. This is where lectures, tutorials, assignments and Precedent Books comes to help out and ease the burden of study and practice.
Akin Olawale OLUWADAYISI, _LL.M (Notary Public and Lecturer_ , Faculty of Law, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko
& Fellow, University of Cape Town Faculty of Law, South Africa.
_Author_ : Sample Drafts for Lawyers (4th Edition 2019)