The unprecedented 161 First class released at the just concluded Bar Final of 2017/18 set has generated a lot of reactions among both Lawyers and non-lawyers to say the least.
Several opinions have been held; some believe that this is a sign of rapid decline of the standard of the highly revered Nigerian Law School; some simply say this is a well-deserved reward for brilliant efforts by the students; others believe there has been a change of policy by the new Director General of the Nigerian Law School Prof. Isah Hayatu SAN. To them, the policy may be that students should be awarded their merited grades without the already known intrigues on downward or backward or whatever grading formula of the school; the last group are the ones that are just angry with the whole process. They are not just down with whatever has happened but would not take it lying low.
In whatever divide you find yourself, the unprecedented results, especially the jaw dropping number of first class category should raise everyone’s consciousness to the following issues;
- If in the past, you had on the average, 0-10 first class from the Nigerian Law School, is it the case that the Nigeria Law School since inception, up to the last set of produced law school graduates had been admitting sets of dullards or do we have a case of past DGs deliberately denying people of deserved first class grade?
- Did this set of law school students with their trail blazing history came from a special planet with super packed computer craniums or are they aliens?
- Were these students taught by different lecturers or did they get the opportunity to be taught with different teaching mechanism and skills by the same lecturers we all know. If the answer to the above is in the negative, then those questioning the results are not out of place.
- Was the DG trying to attract some attention by towing a path that will become the talk and subject matter of every concerned persons both within and outside the legal profession for a long time?
In as much as I won’t allow sentiment to becloud my rational sense of reasoning, I honestly opine that the present DG and management of the Council of Legal Education should have adopted the previous characteristic antecedent of modesty that gives Nigeria Law school its uniqueness rather than the liberal “spraying of First Class like a charitable organization”
The prize of having a First class at the Nigeria Law School should be high. This category should be kept exclusively for the highly intelligent.
I am very optimistic that the justification, appropriateness or otherwise of the unprecedented number of First class at the just concluded Bar Exam will soon come to limelight when like gold the output of the newest class of excellence are passed through the fire of expectations. While that is happening, I would suggest that an empirical evaluation of the results, devoid of sentiments, bias or personal interest should be carried out. This will go a long way to salvage the future and standard of the NIGERIA LAW SCHOOL despite diverse opinions.
NB: Note, my personal opinion is not borne out of jealousy nor ill motive, nor was it to disrespect people in authorities.
Rotimi M. Kodaolu Esq.