Bar 1 is over… kind of!

Note: This is useful information for those who are going to do Bar 1 in 2014 or are considering it in future. Thanks to anyone else that wants to read it!

 

Before I start, I would like to thank everyone who has been reading and commenting on my posts. It’s nice to know that there are people reading what I write. I appreciate it. Right now, I am holidaying in the East. How I got here was a story and a half involving a 2 hour hold up in Kogi due to a festival and men with inferiority complexes. Bar 1 is over… for now! I’m still waiting for the exam results. Fingers crossed.

 

Anyway! I thought I would put up useful information for anyone that wants to do Bar 1 from next year. Bar 1 takes place in the Abuja campus. I was lucky enough to get information from various blogs, which I’ve previously mentioned, and I wanted to the same. For those who are interested the key is not having any expectations.

REGISTRATION

Registration can be a hectic process as it requires moving from one office to another but the process is simpler of you bring everything that is required of you including up to ten passport photographs. If it’s not possible to get the photographs done before registration, there are photographers on site that will be asking anyway.

Make sure you complete your medicals on time. This enables you to get accommodation. The earlier you get the accommodation, the better before you encounter issues such as the unavailability of rooms. If I tell you what happened to me, you would laugh. The length of time it takes to get the tests done depends on the hospital you go to. Don’t expect the best customer service and you’ll be fine. Also, take a book/mp3 player/ipad or whatever gadget you have as the wait may be long.

IT IS IMPORTANT that the reference and an original copy of the transcript get to the law school before you do or bring it with you. If these documents are not provided, then a student will be on provisional admission until the documents are given.

ACCOMMODATION

It is given out on a first come, first served basis. Campus accommodation is ok. Two people share a room and four people share a toilet and a bathroom. It makes life easier if your roommate is nice. I had a great roommate so I was fortunate but others weren’t. There were issues with the gutter smell, electricity and broken sockets but we managed. A form is to be filled for repairs and maintenance. The bed comes with a protective cover and a mosquito net which have to be returned after the term. The motto is if it’s broken, try and get it fixed or manage. There are women that fetch water and clean. They can be hired on a daily or monthly basis. I hired a woman for 2,500 Naira a month. Don’t hire the first person you see. I made that mistake and I complained the whole time.

It is better to hire drums than to buy them in my opinion. When the term ends, you won’t have to worry about where to put it. A

    lovely

person sold one to me for 3,500 Naira. It was small and was twice the price it should be and less. You can buy a bigger one for much less. Before making decisions please, please, please take a while to think things over!

There are alternatives to campus accommodation such as Elim top suites and Pride Estate which are both close to the campus for those who don’t want to share toilets and bathrooms. Another alternative is to rent a property nearby or in town but there will also be the added cost of cab fare which can cost up to 5,000 Naira one way.

UNIFORM

Males: Black or navy blue trousers with a white or black shirt. They must wear black ties and blazers are optional. Shoes must be black.

Females: Black dress or black skirt with a white or black shirt. Shoes must be black and must not be too high. Earrings must not be big. Studs are preferred. Blazers are optional. The uniform must not have designs such as frills and lace. Note that the black skirts and dresses must be below the knee. For those who find it hard to find such, it may be good to buy the material and have it sown. A friend of mine did it and it looked really nice. I thought it was store bought.

COURSES AND BOOKS

The four courses that are taken are:
1. Land Law
2. Nigerian Legal Systems
3. Constitutional Law
4. Criminal Law

I enjoyed lectures but I made the mistake of not reading from the very beginning. Everyone (or at least most people) will be split into groups for presentations of topics given by lecturers.

Don’t rush when buying books. Take your time and try and see if you can find the most recent and up to date textbooks. Cross check them with the syllabus that will be given to you. I bought books which I ended up not using and spent too much on them.

REMEDIALS

These are the courses that students are required to study alongside the four core courses as they are deficient in them i.e. they did not do them at undergraduate level. These subjects are also required to have been studied by the law school for admission.

The remedial courses are:
1. Law of Evidence
2. Commercial Law
3. Equity and Trusts
4. Law of Tort
5. Contract Law

The classes are held on Fridays. The downside is that while most people are waking up late on Friday, those that have remedial courses have to go for lectures. Another downside is the extra exams which adds to the stress that is there already. This may mean that some may have two exams in one day.

FOOD AND NECESSITIES

The main place to buy food and necessities is mami market. There are restaurants, shops, barbers, hairdressers and etc. I recommend Mama Ngozi for food. The customer service is really good and so is the food. The dining hall is a good place to eat. It has more of variety which is good because I get tired of the obvious choices i.e. “Swallow” and soup or rice. There are random indomie and chicken and chips/sharwarma spots. There is also a good meat pie and doughnut place near the boys hostel.

There are no cooking facilities so you’ll have to buy food and provisions.

Whether you get bigger or not depends on your body type. πŸ˜‰

This is where my info ends. If anyone needs more information, feel free to email me at Naijabrit88@gmail.com or fill out the contact form (the link is on the right hand side).

I typed all of this on wordpress for blackberry so if there are mistakes, I’m sorry. I’ll correct them later. πŸ™‚

Bye for now.
NaijaBrit88

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29 thoughts on “Bar 1 is over… kind of!

  1. hi naija brit, this is really helpful. i am currently a final year student and just wondering what the very first step should be; is there any pre-registration process i need to do so that i admitted to Bar school, and what do you mean by medicals?

    also do you have any friends living out of campus, could you ask them to write a little piece on how they find it, i mean proximity and all… Thanks so much.
    This is incredibly helpful

    • Hi Oma!

      Thank you so much. I am happy you are finding this helpful. πŸ™‚ There is no pre registration process. Applicants just have to wait for the application form to be available on mynlsp.com. My year’s application was available in May.

      By medicals I mean that they’ll have a form on the internet with various tests that they expect you to have done at state hospitals.

      Thank you for the idea. It will be good to have a guest poster on my blog. I’ll get one of my friends to write about living off campus. πŸ™‚

      Good luck with your final year!

      If you have any other questions and you need help, feel free to ask me. πŸ™‚

      NaijaBrit88

  2. Again another question (sorry if i am getting annoying). I am of the impression that Bar 1 is compulsorily at ABJ; however, I wonder if one can transfer to another part of the country for Bar 2; like Lagos? Or does one have to stay in ABJ the whole way through.

    Thanks so much πŸ˜€

    • Hi. You are definitely not annoying. I love to be of help. Bar 1 students have to do the course in Abuja. One can choose to go to another campus when applying for Bar 2. I’ve been told by a lot of people that Abuja is the best place overall to study but Lagos has excellent lecturers.

      You can ask me questions any time. πŸ™‚

      NaijaBrit88

      • Thanks a lot πŸ™‚
        Again, someone told me that Abuja is the place to be to build good professional networks but then i am not sure how this happens when one would probably be in school day in and day out?
        Any word on this?
        Thanks a lot

      • You’re welcome.

        Abuja is a good place to build professional networks. From what I’ve seen, it’s from students interacting as there are some that have connections. People of all ages are here and high profile people do come to study at the law school. It is from mixing with such that one can build a professional profile.

  3. Hello, just wanted to find out about the people who lived off campus – did any of them have their own cars? Is that allowed (i saw somewhere that it isn’t). Would you advise campus over any of those off-campus options? Thanks so much btw this is super helpful. Information on law school is hard to find :/

    • Hi. Thank you so much for reading my blog. Glad I can be of help. πŸ™‚ People who live both on and off campus can have cars. There are car parks and spaces to park all over the campus.

      Whether to live on or off campus is all down to the person. Living on campus is not that bad. There’s no running water so the bucket method is used to flush toilets and shower, you have to share a room (which is not bad as long as your roommate is sane), the electricity goes off randomly, it gets noisy, there’s no wifi or tv and you can’t be out too late. Living outside gives you more freedom. You get more privacy and it comes with a lot of costs such as buying a generator, fuel, furniture, electricity and etc.. The cost to live on campus is part of the fees and the rooms are on a first come first served basis.

      I have only lived on campus but I think it’s the better option. The good thing is that you will be around friends, everything you need (well, at least most things) are on campus at the mami market and the electricity is mostly constant here.

      If there’s anything else you would like to know, feel free to ask. πŸ™‚

  4. hey! please can you give more insight about the day of registration and exactly what needs to be brought. Thank you

      • Yh but I finish uni in Jan, so wen is the next one and my uni doesn’t do evidence law, do you kno if they will take me?

      • Bar 1 starts around late June or early July every year. As long as you studied in a common law jurisdiction, they will accept you. The law school will require you to take a remedial class for evidence and they will charge you for it. It was 30,000 Naira in my set. Not sure if it’s gone up. You should be fine.

      • Thanks so much for ur reply,one more question, how long does bar1 last for. I don’t like abuja. My parents live Der so it will b a nightmare so need to get out as soon as bar 1 is done.

      • You’re welcome. Bar 1 is for three months. Abuja is not that bad. Your other alternatives are staying on campus, renting temporary accommodation or staying at a hotel. There are places nearby that you can stay such as Elim Top Hotel and Suites or Pride estate.

  5. I know this is a lil late but I just found your blog. I’m an Attorney in California and plan to go to Nigerian Law School. I understand I have to do Bar 1. My questions:

    1. My law school transcript shows al, the required courses but “commercial law,” “land law,” and “equity & trust.” Here, land law is property; commercial law is “business associations” and equity & trust is “wills & trusts.” Not sure if these are synonymous.

    2. Do I have to do NYSC?

    3. Do I have to be physically in Nigeria to register? Isn’t everything online? I didn’t plan on moving to Nigeria until I’m accepted for Bar 1.

    I haven’t been to Nigeria since I left in 1995. I am scared of how I’m going to adjust. Furthermore, I’m bringing my “half-caste” son with me who has never left the U.S. I’m really nervous. I definitely will live off-campus. I don’t know how I’ll be able to juggle being a single-parent with the rigors of law school. Yikes!

    • Hi Abbey.

      Thanks for reading my blog. Nigeria can be so stressful but no matter what, you will be able to adjust. It may take a while because you’ve been away for so long. I was last here in 2009 and coming back in 2013 was a big adjustment.

      The mothers I saw, who brought their children back with them were able to manage but I can imagine there were issues they had to overcome such as new schools for their children, getting help to look after their children and making sure they were in safe hands.

      I was 11 when I first came to Nigeria and I felt the difference. I went straight from London to my village though. Your son will be OK, He will adjust. He will definitely feel the difference and get home sick but once you have things set up for him, he’ll get used to the new environment. How he’ll take will also depend on his age.

      Here are the answers to your questions. The law school has numbers up on their website you can call if you need help and if you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them.

      1. They seem to be similar but the law school to verify this will request the syllabus of each course and match it to the required courses to study prior to enrolling at the Nigerian Law School. This was for the extra courses such as commercial law, tort and etc though. I think I can recall some people asking their universities to email the law school their syllabuses for them to compare. It will also help to call them so they can further assist you on this.

      2. You only have to do NYSC if you are below 30.

      3. Most of the registration is done online. It’s after you have been accepted that you’ll have to come down to Nigeria to register.

      I’ll be happy to answer any more questions you may have.

      Best of luck.

      • Awesome! Thanks for your response. πŸ‘Œ

        1. I’ve emailed the Nigeria Law a School & I haven’t got a response. I offered to send the law school course descriptions for the courses I was inquiring about (Property, Business Associations and Wills & Trusts). I’ll call them soon. I don’t plan on registering until next year so I have some time to get it all together.

        2. I’ve never been happier to be over 30! I was not looking forward to NYSC. 😜

        3. That sounds great.

        Oh…one last question. I’m trying to determine how long it would take me to become a Lawyer in Nigeria. From Bar Part 1 & 2 to taking exams. Is this approximately 2 years?

      • You’re welcome πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t trust emailing them. Calling them is more effective. Lol at never being happier to be over 30. You sound like a friend of mine. NYSC can be so annoying so you should thank your stars you don’t have to do it. All you have to do is apply for an exemption. I have four months to go. Can’t wait for it to be over.

        Bar part 1 is three months and Bar part 2 is around 9. Just a year. I wouldn’t be surprised at the number of people that wouldn’t bother with the law school if it was 2 years. I would have thought twice.

  6. Hi there! I’ve been on your blog for almost 2 hours and I can honestly say that you are amazing – all your little tips and funny stories – I’m so grateful. So many questions to ask I don’t know where to begin! I know some things have changed since your time at law school (I’m applying for Bar 1 for next year) but the most important question for me – how much is the tuition fee roughly? Will Bar 1 be paid differently from Bar 2? I can’t seem to find this information anywhere, it’s all a mess. Please answer x

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