“Inappropriateness” of Wearing the Wig and Gown before the Call

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Call-to-Bar
Call-to-Bar

On Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th December, 2017, the Body of Benchers would call successful candidates who passed the 2017 Bar Part II Exams into the Nigerian Bar. Those students are not just successful in the examination as set by the Council of Legal Education, they have also been found worthy in character.

There is however a recent trend which I find a bit disturbing. It is either I have been mistaken in my understanding or something is truly amiss.

The procedure for the Call requires Bar Aspirants (that is the nomenclature for those who are about to be called to the Bar) to dress in their designated lawyer’s attire, without putting on the wig. At the Call ceremony, after the preliminary processions and formalities, the Chairman of the Body of Benchers (or his representative for the Call) would officially Call the Bar Aspirants to the Nigerian Bar by making the ultimate pronouncement: “YOU MAY NOW WEAR YOUR WIG. Donning the Wig signifies that a Bar Aspirant has been called. It is the only moment when the Bar Aspirant is permitted to wear the wig.

I recall during my call, there was so much story about how you must not be seen wearing the wig to take pictures before you are officially called and authorized to wear the wig. What we now see rampant is Bar Aspirants wearing the Wig and Gown for various reasons prior to the official call. Some wear the Wig and Gown to pose for pictures to be used for souvenirs, some wear suit and the wig without gown to show “swags” about how foreign their wig is. These pictures are openly posted on social media…

I wish the Bar Aspirants all the best as they prepare for their call. It’s indeed an epic moment for them and can’t be compared to anything. But, be careful. It’s a very conservative profession. Very little things are taken seriously as long as it touches on tradition. You don’t want to be told you are no longer worthy in character simply because you showed yourself off on social media in your “foreign made” wig and gown.

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Just passing by ni o…

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